staff 2018 rev 2

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.


Family Finding Social Workers

Families for Children have a highly skilled and extremely experienced team of Family Finding Social Workers across the region. The Family Finding team focus on the recruitment, assessment and preparation of adoptive parents matching & placing children and providing high quality support after placement.  It is their job to get to know you better than you know yourselves and to guide you through every stage.

The process of assessing and preparing adoptive parents is understandably rigorous and will involve looking at all aspects of your lives. Our Family Finding social workers work closely with you to ensure your adoption experience is a success. They have excellent communication skills, are good listeners and are there to ensure you understand the process and the challenges involved in adoption both through training and one to one sessions.   They have a wide professional network, and work alongside the children’s social workers on your behalf in ensuring a successful match.  As far as possible we aim to allocate you a worker from the outset, right through with no change - ensuring continuity and a trusting relationship throughout.

Adoption Support Workers

The Atrium is staffed by very experienced Therapeutic Social Workers and Family Support Workers. All have been trained in a range of therapeutic interventions and offer insight and understanding into the unique challenges faced by adopted children. Through their intervention, Adopters are supported to develop the skills that they themselves need to ensure that their children have the best experience of family life.

Our Adoption Support service is able to offer a creative and flexible approach to addressing the needs of the family – we look at lower level support, based in the different locations, including support groups, activities and chances for adoptive families to meet and spend time together. We also offer specific training within our new workshop development based on what adopters have asked for.

Our Social Workers are able to undertake Adoption Support assessments in order to form later therapeutic input and also have a lot of experience in applying for Adoption Support Funding and accessing Local Authority provision.


Clinical Psychologists

Our Clinical Psychologists are trained and experienced in working with families, young children, teenagers, parents and adults. We aim to use a wide range of psychological theories and research to help develop a collaborative understanding of the developmental, emotional, social, behavioural and relationship wellbeing, as well as the mental health of young people, families and adults. This understanding is then used to direct therapeutic intervention, whether this is direct with families and young people, or whether it is through consultation with staff supporting the young person, and offering training and workshops.

Our team of Clinical Psychologists at the Atrium have particular expertise in working with young people with complex developmental trauma and can offer a wide range of therapeutic interventions, including (but not limited to) Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP), Video Interactive Guidance (VIG), Systemic Family Therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and using psychodynamic theory in therapeutic life story work, and support in understanding how our past can influence our emotional regulation in the present. We can also offer specialist assessments as appropriate to help understand and support young people.

Educational Psychologists

Educational psychologists apply specialist knowledge of psychological theory and research to help support the learning, development, emotional wellbeing and mental health of children and young people.

We aim to support young people’s inclusion and participation in education and work with the young person, family, education setting and wider agencies to facilitate person-centred approaches and collaborative support plans.

Our role can involve providing consultation, training, coaching, direct assessment and therapeutic intervention with school and setting staff, families, children and young people across the age range of 0-25. Within our team at the Atrium, we have specialist knowledge and training to work with children and families that have experienced developmental trauma and can provide a range of therapeutic intervention including Compassion Focussed approaches, Video Interactive Guidance and Dyadic Developmental Practice (DDP).


Occupational Therapists

Occupational Therapists are trained and experienced in human occupational performance. We work with people of all ages utilising a broad range of knowledge including; models of human occupation, neuroscience, development, sensory processing, regulation, socio-emotional theory, cognition, play, learning and work related theory. Thus, our attention is focused upon all aspects of performance central to well-being. Occupational Therapists working at the Atrium have post-graduate training and experience in sensory integrative approaches and trauma focused interventions. In our work we primarily adopt a body-focused approach using sensory motor based regulation theory.

Trauma resides within the nervous system and so our aim is to down-regulate levels of arousal. We promote regulation by developing body awareness, biological rhythm and engagement in occupations that calm the nervous system. Our work includes the use of body based interventions such as the Safe and Sound Protocol by Stephen Porges, Therapeutic Listening and Interactive Metronome Training. We offer educational training in body-focused approaches for the resolution of trauma.


Our counsellor offers a completely confidential, empathic, non-judgmental counselling service for adoptive parents, with a very client centered personal appreciation of the challenges adoption can present. You may wish to explore your adoption journey and the often difficult issues that can arise, such as:

  • thoughts and feelings of uncertainty brought up by the adoption process
  • feelings of loss and grief
  • disappointment
  • frustration
  • difficulty bonding with your child or children
  • difficulties coping with challenging behaviour
  • anger
  • resentment
  • depression
  • 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.