Parenting courses for adopters

We recognise that adoption is a journey, and at Adopt South we are committed to supporting you and your adoptive family on this journey. To this end we provide a range of programmes and workshops to support your family, whatever stage of the journey you are on. We provide the highly recommended therapeutic parenting programmes that form the solid foundations in the early placement stage, through to the more specialist workshops available post adoption order

Please view our offered workshops below. For further information please call 0300 3000 001 to discuss a course or enquire online

Adopting Little Changes -parenting under 2 years old

Now your new family has been formed, all the knowledge in your head will be mixing with the emotions you will be feeling as you spend time with your child. You may be thinking “what’s “normal”, what’s not?” “Should I be weaning”, “what about potty training” “Is this because she’s adopted”?

Number of sessions: 2

Adopting Changes Under 12 years old

The benefit of the Adopting Changes programme is; it’s ability to adapt to wherever you are on your journey. Many parents have found it useful early on, to “set them on the right track”. However, if things are tricky, this programme is also extremely useful to make sense of where to begin, and provides useful strategies to start making changes.

Number of sessions: 7

Adopting Changes over 12 years old

For those parent who are tearing out their hair as their child reaches adolescence, don’t worry, we have an over 12s programme. Much like the Adopting Little Changes, Adopting Changes 12 + helps differentiate what’s typical teenage behaviours, and what may be part of their early childhood experiences.

Number of sessions: 7

Therapeutic Parenting and Brain Development

‘Everything a child does makes sense when considered alongside their past experiences.’

Behaviour is communication. Understanding how brains develop and function helps us to understand behaviour. This workshop is based on the most recent research in brain development, and will consider how parenting or caring for a child contributes to brain development.

Managing Challenging Behaviour through Emotion Coaching

Emotion Coaching is about helping children and young people to understand the different emotions they experience, why they occur, and how to handle them. Emotion coaching is also about developing in ourselves and others the best possible responses to the behaviour of children and young people ‘in the moment’, intervening with the child as the behaviour is happening.

Education Matters for Adopted Children

A member of the virtual school will come along and talk about starting school, free nursery hours, ‘Education Health and Care Plans’, pupil premium, working with the school, supporting education at home, Virtual School role, and transitions.

Social Media, and Internet Safety for Adopted Children

This workshop will focus on the benefits and risks related to the internet and social media, for all children, an issue faced by all parents. However, the impact of social networking and social media on adoptive families, and birth families means it requires additional attention. This workshop provides up to date information to assist in setting good habits around screen time, as well as looking at safeguarding in the digital age.

Children and Young People who Self Harm

This workshop will examine the challenges of the teenage years, and possible reasons why children and young people develop unhelpful and damaging coping strategies, including self harm. We will look at the various types of self harm, and consider ways in which we can help to build emotional resilience in young people, as well as other ways of supporting them to feel safe, self regulate, and gain control.

Sensory Processing Difficulties for Children Who have Experienced Trauma

Sensory Integration difficulties occur when sensory signals are either not detected or don’t get organized into appropriate responses. This can happen when a child suffers trauma or abuse in early life, affecting the basic sensory processing pathways of the brain.. Does your child seem ‘out of tune’ with themselves, or struggle to know how their body is feeling? Do they find it hard to balance, or feel uneasy when their feet leave the ground?

Using the Life Story Book, Later Life Letters, and Talking About Adoption

‘It is difficult to grow up as a psychologically healthy adult if one is denied access to one’s own history,’ (Fahlberg)

Talking about trauma can be a vital part of processing the child’s experiences, and can be an opportunity to unburden their feelings. Talking about the past is vital for sequencing and understanding events – in a way that the child does not feel blamed.


Setting Screen Time and Surviving Social Media

Screen time and the impact of social media is an issue that faces all parents, and there are no easy answers. However, the impact of social networking and social media on adoptive families, and birth families means it requires additional attention. This workshop provides up to date information to assist in setting good habits around screen time, as well as looking at safeguarding in the digital age. If you have younger children, in may seem a long way in the future, but we highly recommend that family plans are set at a early age, so that when your child reaches an age where you can no longer supervise all your child’s digital life, the good habits are already embedded. Our objective is to support and empower, rather than scare…

Number of sessions: 1

Caring for Children who have experiences trauma

This programme allows parents to explore the world of a traumatised child to a deeper level. It is delivered by an Education Psychologist supported by Adopt South social workers. The sessions are based on the findings of The National Trauma Association. The programme provides the opportunity for parents to gain the knowledge and skills required to therapeutically parent a child who has experienced developmental trauma. Whilst this is a more intensive programme than Adopting Changes, the feedback form adoptive parents has been extremely positive, and the relationships formed within the programme have been known to last for many years after the sessions have finished.

Number of sessions: 6

Relatives Workshop

Your family and closest friends will have been part of your journey to varying degrees. Whilst most will be excited and supportive, they will probably also have questions and worries. It’s not always easy for those who love you, to ask difficult questions, as they don’t want wish to seem unsupportive. Other relatives may just not be able to “get their heads around” the experiences of children with a plan of adoption. The relatives workshop provides the opportunity for the significant members of your support network to learn more about the children, ask the questions they may be too nervous to ask, and understand how they can support you and your child. Your support network is crucial, not just in the early days, but to share the good times and the challenging times in the years ahead.

Number of sessions: 1

Knowing Me, Knowing You

Sadly child on parent violence is an issue faced within adoptive families, and can emerge even in primary school aged children. This programme was designed by a therapist (and adoptive parent) and, is based on the most up to date thinking around Therapeutic parenting and child on parent violence. Based on the work of Bruce Perry, Bryan Post (The Great Behaviour Breakdown), Haim Omer and Peter Jacob ( Non- Violent Resistance Therapy, as well as other experts in the adoption field. Due to the highly emotive nature of the subject, it can be an emotionally challenging programme, and therefore the therapist will meet with parents as part of the programme to ensure it is the best programme for them.

Number of sessions: 1

Sensory Day

A child’s sensory system can be significantly affected by trauma and this can play out in many behaviours. The workshop will explain the impact that trauma has on the sensory system and then will look at easy and practical techniques that you can use with your child to help them manage the senses that they struggle with. This process is called Sensory Integration. This is a fun and practical workshop and there will be some moving around so please dress in comfortable clothing and bring your sense of humour and willingness to try something new!! If the concept of sensory integration is new to you, please have a look at this YouTube link and hopefully things will start to become clearer.

Number of sessions: 1

Stay and play sessions across the region

Bring your pre-school child or children and enjoy the chance to meet other parents in a safe and friendly environment where you don’t have to “explain” your family. Whilst we encourage openness about adoption, it can take a while to find a “script” that your whole family can feel comfortable with. A great place to find ways together.

Number of sessions: 7

Soft Play Sessions

Adoptive parents have told us that soft play can be a daunting and stressful experience. Not only because the noise and chaos can be just too much for some children, but also because you never know how understanding or tolerant other children and parents will be about your child’s additional needs. We book exclusive use sessions in soft play centres, so your whole family can enjoy this without the stress. It may help your child “practice”, and general use sessions could be an option in the future

Number of sessions: 7

Theraplay workshop

Unleash your inner child! The road to adoption is very serious, but that’s all the more reason to remember to have fun. This workshop introduces a range of activities for parents to engage in play with their children. This will help build attachment, develop a secure base, and most importantly have fun as a family and build great memories. Of course, we’ll talk about the science, but funny walks, family handshakes and bubbles galore… don’t forget to bring your silly…

Number of sessions: 1

Education and adopted children

Led by an education worker for adopted children this workshop is an opportunity for parents get to know and be supported with key education themes related to adoption: including choosing a school , supporting your child when they come to change class or school, specific support available for adopted children in education and tips and guidance to support your child’s learning.

Number of sessions: 1

Explaining Adoption

The focus of the workshop is to help you talk about adoption with your child, particularly if the conversation hasn’t come up much or you are feeling anxious about conversations around adoption. It’s a really informal workshop to help you explore your feelings around the conversations, as well as some ideas on the best actual words to use.

Number of sessions: 1
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