Why choose Families for Children?
At Families for Children we are committed to providing long term adoption support for all our families should they need us. We know the many challenges that our families face throughout their lives.
We offer help for families, young people, children and birth children of adoptive parents to ensure the best possible outcomes.
This involves individualised work with children and young people, parents and carers, in addition to the Adult Adoption and Birth Relative Counselling services.
Our adoption support service is staffed by experienced social workers who are able to offer specialist support. We offer a creative and flexible service which can adapt to the needs of a family. We offer insight and understanding into the unique challenges that adopted children may present and aim to support parents to develop the skills that they need to ensure that these special children have the best experience of family life that they can.
Rapid Response Service
Families for Children are there at the end of a telephone to advise and guide you through any situation you find yourself in as an adoptive parent. From the simplest advice, such as Disability Living Allowance, to help with accessing therapeutic support when things are more complex. We aim to respond within 24 hours (working days) following a request for support and are also able to offer advice via email and post if preferred.
Life Story Work
Adopted Children bring experiences with them. As they develop and grow so does their understanding, so Life Story work is an ongoing activity. We are able to support parents to help their children understand and process their experiences. We also support older children with one to one Life Story work when appropriate.
Feeling settled and secure in school helps to build confidence and self-esteem in children. Adopted children often need additional support in school in order to thrive. We work with schools and designated staff providing one to one training or workshops so that they are able to understand and support adopted children.
In addition to working directly with families and children, we can also advocate on behalf of adopted families and children to help them to access services and support from other agencies. We support families to request assessments of need from the local authority and help to secure funding for therapeutic support or other services.
Family Support Services
We offer regular activity days for families, particularly during the holidays. We run a support group for parents whose children are living away from home. In addition we have established a therapeutic course for our adoptive parents called “Safety First”. This is a five day course plus an individual 90 minute consultation with clinically trained professionals experienced in working with adoptive families.
We just wanted to write to you and thank the team that delivered the training at Buckfast during November. We have been adoptive parents since January 2014 and this course came just at the right time for us. We were starting to run out of energy and in our worst moments worrying if we had taken on too much.
Meeting and sharing our experience with people who really understood our journey, helped us understand how far we had actually come. The content of the course built on and reminded us of our pre-adoption training. It deepened our knowledge and helped us to interpret our little girls behaviour in new ways. We had so many moments during the 4 days where a light went on in both our heads, “so that’s why she does that!
We have subsequently amended our instinctive parenting response and with P.A.C.E we are starting to see positive change already. It’s really starting to make things more fun!
We know we have so much to learn but it’s given us back a spring in our step for the next part of our family’s journey.
Thank you so much for helping us just when we need it.
A couple who attended Families For Children Parent Course ‘Safety First’ November 2014
Sensory Processing Clinic
The objective of our Sensory Processing Clinic is to support parents and carers of children with Sensory Processing difficulties. The service can help parents to understand why children may experience difficulties (such as clumsiness, poor attention span, over-eating, poor sleeping, etc.) and suggest practical strategies and activities that may support them.
What is Sensory Integration?
Sensory Integration refers to how people use the information from their environment and their senses. For most of us sensory integration occurs without conscious thought or effort.
Who are the children who may have Sensory Processing difficulties?
- Premature babies
- Babies that are affected in the womb environment by alcohol, drugs or high levels of the stress hormone cortisol
- Children who are sensory deprived at critical times in their development
- Children with Autistic Spectrum disorders – difficulties with Sensory Processing is one of the hallmarks of the disorder
- Children with cerebral palsy
- Children with learning difficulties
- Children with a specific learning disorder
- Sometimes Sensory Processing Disorder is misdiagnosed as ADHD
- Looked After and adopted children are likely to present with a combination of sensory processing and attachment difficulties because of a history of separation, loss,abuse/neglect
What can you expect from our Sensory Processing Consultation?
Before the consultation, you will be asked to complete some questionnaires in respect of your child. This will give the occupational therapist the information that they need to prepare relevant information, discussion areas and strategies/ideas for the session.
Adoptive Parents Counselling
During your adoption you may experience some challenges. Families for Children are able to offer individual counselling to adoptive parents when difficult issues may arise.
This counselling service is completely confidential, empathic and non-judgemental and can help explore some of the following:
- Thoughts and feelings of uncertainty brought up by the adoption process
- Feelings of loss and grief
- Difficulty bonding with your child or children
- Relationship difficulties
- The impact on your wider family
Alternatively, you may simply wish to have the space and time to reflect upon the changes that adoption has made to your life. This is a service for individuals only
Adult Adoptee Counselling/Tracing Service
Families For Children provides access to birth records and supportive counselling to adult adoptees.
This service is open to any adoptee placed by the agency. Personal histories and individual’s current circumstances are unique. It is recognised that adoptees need support, time and space to develop their understanding of the set of circumstances surrounding their own adoption. Where we began, is part of who we are and naturally involves our emotions, these need time to be explored.
Mediation work between adult Adoptees and Birth Relatives
This work can lead to requests from adoptees for help making contact with birth relatives. Changes to the law have made possible requests from birth relatives for contact with an adopted person. Families For Children will undertake this work with the welfare of all affected in mind and having decided this is safely achievable.
This includes enabling each to reach a realistic expectation of what may come of this contact, an appropriate say in arrangements and control of their personal details. Adoptees and birth relatives are helped with actual contact and are also able to return to the agency for further advice at any later stage.
Times a changing …..
For the most part adult adoptees seen for this service were “given up” to adoption as babies, admittedly where circumstances were very difficult. In more recent years however, this kind of arrangement has become quite rare and most children placed for adoption, are placed following an intervention and removal by local authority social workers, because of concerns. This may add a dimension of risk, when there is a question of later renewed contact for an adult adoptee. In these circumstances Families for Children will go back to the Local Authority, to ensure the risk is understood and manageable.
Families for Children provide, through the Consultancy, based in Exeter, a service which offers families the opportunity to explore and understand some of the difficulties they may be experiencing (post placement) with a focus on helping them to maximise their strengths and coping strategies.
Please contact us for a referral and availability of any of these services
01364 645480 or email firstname.lastname@example.org