Learning and development programme

This programme has been developed in conjunction with adoptive parents. It helps adoptive parents develop the skills and confidence to support their child's emotional development and wellbeing, to maximise their potential. The programme is aimed at adopters approved and waiting, adopters who have children placed with them and adopters who have adopted children.

The workshops will be delivered by members of the multi-disciplinary post adoption team, including clinical therapists as well as external speakers.

Reflective parenting support group

This course will run over 8 weeks and there are 6 places available.

An adoptive parent's journey is complex and can be emotionally demanding. The ability to develop metacognitive skills for thinking about your child's mind when you are feeling under pressure has been called 'to mentalise'. ‘Mentalising’ can be described as the ability to reflect upon, and to understand one's own state of mind and that of the other (e.g. child) and to respond in a way that is ‘in tune’.

An adoptive parent/s journey is complex and can at times be emotionally demanding. The capacity to mentalise can help parents to resist the impulse to react ‘unthinkingly’ in the face of significant provocation and is a crucial aspect of a successful adoption. The group will promote the development of these reflective parenting interventions.

The aim of the group is to provide a reflective space in which members can focus on the psychological and emotional issues that arise in day to day life with their adopted children; to share and process the feelings and gain support and understanding from each other. The outcome of the group is for parents to feel more confident in helping their children to develop emotionally and socially.

Incredible Years parenting programme

This course will run over 12 weeks and there are 15 places available and will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

The Incredible Years evidence based parenting programs focus on strengthening parenting competencies and fostering parent involvement in children’s school experiences, to promote children’s academic, social and emotional skills and reduce conduct problems. Group sessions focus on: strengthening parent-child interactions, nurturing relationships, reducing harsh discipline, and fostering parents’ ability to promote children’s social, emotional, and language development.

The programme is a 12 week accredited parenting course adapted for adoptive parents. This course is geared towards parents of children between the ages of 3 and 9 years old. The course helps parents to:

  • understand the importance of attachment theory and its relevance to understanding the relationship with your child
  • understand the impact of parenting style and capacity on the development of the child
  • identify the intent behind a child’s negative behaviour, promotion of child social competence, emotional regulation
  • understand the importance of play, communication, routines and boundaries
  • improved parent-child interactions, building positive relationships and attachment. Improved parental functioning, less harsh and more nurturing parenting and problem solving
  • behaviour management strategies which can be passed onto all adults that care for your child

STOP Programme

This course will run over 10 weeks and there are 10 places available and will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

STOP is a 10 week parenting course for parents of adoptive adolescents between the age of 12-16

The course looks at:

  • techniques for improving communication
  • reducing conflict
  • identity with an adoption focus
  • setting limits and boundaries
  • helping manage the testing time of adolescence.

As young people are developing and changing, this course will increase knowledge on effective behaviour management skills.

Information on key parenting concerns for this age group such as drugs, drink sexual health & aggression in young people will also be provided.

Adoption Advisory Board

The board is chaired by the Post Adoption Team Manager and aims to ensure adopter involvement (through being a critical friend) in relation to service development and continuous improvement. The board has advised the service in relation to new developments such as website content and design, the council’s recruitment campaign for adopters, the learning and development programme and the Christmas and summer events for adopters and children.

The Board meets quarterly. Membership includes new and experienced adopters, plus members of Kent County Council and Coram.

The adoption advisory board will be meeting on these dates this year:

  • 14 January 2019
  • 4 March 2019
  • 20 May 2019
  • 8 July 2019
  • 16 September 2019

The meetings are held at Lenham Community Centre and run from 18:30 until 20:00.

The Adoption Advisory Board would really welcome new members. If you are interested in attending or would like further information, please contact Post Adoption Support at PAST@Kent.gov.uk or on 03000 42 05 08.

Life story workshops

This course will run over 2 weeks and there are 15 places available and will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

Explaining adoption to children and young people is not easy and how you talk to them will change according to their age and stage of development. Many parents are understandably anxious about how to talk to their children and young people about events in their past, and how to help them come to terms with adverse early experiences and losses.

This two-day workshop will provide a framework for understanding when to talk to children and young people about adoption, how to put complex experiences into words, how to understand children's reactions, how and when to use their life-story books. The course is spread over two days to provide an opportunity to reflect on day one and practice some ideas before day two.

Kent’s Young Persons Participation Group

‘The Adoptables’ is a group initially set up by Coram comprising of adopted young people aged between 13 to 25 who get involved in a range of workshops and public appearances in order to raise awareness and improve services for adopted children and young people. Older members of the group (16 – 25 years) are able to become ‘Adoptable Ambassadors’ taking part in a weekend residential where they receive media training, public speaking training and personal development support. These Ambassadors then go on to speak on public platforms about their experiences and those of other adopted young people. They have spoken at conferences such as Coram BAAF and SEPAN and our Kent Ambassadors have presented at the Kent Adoption Education Conference.
Kent’s own participation group has now been going for over three years, having started in September 2015. It has grown over time and now consists of 12 young people between the ages of 12 and 18 years. The group meet approximately every 6 weeks either during a weekend, evening or school holiday where they work on specific projects, some of these being initiated by the group and others developed from requests within the adoption service. For example, the group was involved in the initial stages of creating The Schools Toolkit and in writing Information booklets for the social media Post Adoption workshop.

In 2016 and 2017 the group worked alongside the Coram Adoptables with a scriptwriter and theatre director where they created and performed a theatre production around their adoption journeys and performed to parents, family and professionals at London based Theatres during National Adoption Week. The young people’s ideas are hugely important and will contribute to positive changes and further develop and improve services for adopted young people.  Members of the group also met with the Corporate Parenting Panel and present at the Preparation groups for prospective adopters.  The group also enjoy socialising with one another and have enjoyed joining with the Coram participation group for social events.

Young people and their families have fed back how important the group is to the members that attend.

If you would like more information on the participation group please contact Clare Marks or Caroline Underwood on 03000 42 05 08.

Non-Violent Resistance Group (NVR)

This course will run over 8 weeks, each sessions is two hours long.  There are 12 spaces available for this course

The NVR (Non-Violent Resistance) parenting group  is based around a strategy use to help manage the violent, aggressive and harmful behaviours in children and adolescents. The basis of this strategy is from ideas and ethology's from Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, and Rosa Parks.

The key concepts covered on the in NVR parenting are to:

  • de-escalate conflicts
  • increase parental presence
  • taking a firm stand against any acts of violence
  • announcing this commitment to your child or adolescent
  • arranging sit-ins
  • breaking the cycle of shame and silence
  • recruiting and utilising supporters
  • use of reconciliation gestures that despite a young person’s behaviour will help to increase positive interactions between parents, children and young people

Incredible Years Parenting Course

This course will run over 12 weeks and there are 15 places available and will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. It

The Incredible Years Parenting Course is accredited parenting course adapted for adoptive parents. This course is geared towards parents of children between the ages of 3 and 9 years old. The course helps parents to:

  • understand the importance of attachment theory and its relevance to understanding the relationship with your child
  • understand the impact of parenting style and capacity on the development of the child
  • identify the intent behind a child’s negative behaviour, promotion of child social competence, emotional regulation
  • understand the importance of play, communication, routines and boundaries
  • improved parent-child interactions, building positive relationships and attachment. Improved parental functioning, less harsh and more nurturing parenting and problem solving
  • behaviour management strategies which can be passed onto all adults that care for your child.

Autism and Adoption Therapeutic Parenting Group

This course will run over 6 weeks and there are 10 places available and will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. It

This is a course for parents of adopted children who have been diagnosed with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The course will involve a combination of learning more about the diagnosis of ASD and how this relates to children who have been adopted, and then considering and reflecting upon the use of therapeutic strategies aimed at helping parents manage emotional and behavioural difficulties in their child.

It is hoped that parents attending the course will utilise the strategies discussed in the session to reflect upon and learn from others about what works for their child.

Who's in Charge

This course will run over 2 seperate days.

This two-part workshop is for adoptive parents with children aged 12 and under.

This workshop will explore the reasons why children who have experienced early neglect and trauma often seek to have tight control over their environment and their relationships.

We will think about what it feels like to be on the receiving end of controlling behaviour and how it affects family relationships. We will look at strategies to manage controlling behaviour and ways to avoid the everyday battles over who’s in charge.

Current events

DateTimeEventVenueBook
15 July 201910am - 1pmWho’s in charge workshopThanington Resource Centre, Thanington Road, Canterbury CT1 3XEBook your event
11 July  20197pm to 8:30pmAdoption Advisory Board meetingTo be announcedBook your event
25 and 26 July 20191:30pm - 4:30pmSchool transition workshop – Tree of lifeTo be announcedBook your event
July 2019 - date to be confirmedTo be confirmedWeathering the stormTo be announcedBook your event
9 August 2019To be confirmedSummer picnicTo be announcedBook your event
September 2019 - date to be confirmedTo be confirmedIncredible years parenting courseTo be announcedBook your event
September 2019 - date to be confirmed (8 weeks)10am to 12pmReflecting parent support groupTo be announcedBook your event
19 September 20197pm to 8:30pmAdoption Advisory Board meetingTo be announcedBook your event

We will also contact adopters by email about the programme. Please contact adoption.training@kent.gov.uk to update your email address with us.

Contact

For Learning and Development information, please call us on 03000 420508 or email adoption.training@kent.gov.uk.

Feedback

Read feedback from adopters about our training courses.

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