Adoptive parents may need to contact Caritas Care to request support for themselves, or any of their other children (birth or adopted) who may be affected by adoption. In addition, the Centre for Adoption Support also offers a wide range of training/support to other associated professionals and adoptive families. Support Services for all adopters approved through Caritas Care (pre and post-placement/adoption) include:
- A dedicated team of Adoption Support Social Workers who provide emotional and practical support, advice and guidance to enable adopters to meet the needs of vulnerable children, including direct work where required.
- Training for Support Network members – this is available via CfAS and is delivered in groups or on an individual basis as deemed appropriate.
- Pre-placement and transition support for Nurseries and Schools and access to support from our Education Officer. Additional training which focusses on Attachment and early trauma is available for schools upon request for which there are additional charges.
- Working in partnership with Local Authority Social Workers
- Regional Consultation meetings for adopters regarding adoption support, advice, guidance and signposting to other relevant services.
- Named Social Workers and contact numbers for adoptive families to access advice and support through CfAS.
- Skills Bank – linking adoptive families together through an established buddy system – this is an informal arrangement.
- Adopter resources pack containing comprehensive Information Sheets covering a range of topics including attachment and parenting the hurting child.
- Extensive post approval training programme delivered across the Region through CfAS including Therapeutic Re-parenting, Nurtured Heart Approach and associated workshops, Life Story Work, Explaining Adoption, Support Network Training etc.
- Adopters Support Groups incorporating informal peer support, these groups are offered across the region and identified within the CfAS newsletter.
- Training and workshop opportunities linked to the Adopters’ Support Group
- Regular Mailings of Agency and CfAS Newsletters
- Access to specialist training by recognised speakers eg Dan Hughes, Margot Sunderland
- Children’s seasonal celebrations and other activities according to geographical area e.g Teddy Bear’s picnic, Rock and River adventure etc as detailed in the CfAS newsletter.
- Post placement access to a Clinical Psychologist and Trauma Therapist (Local Authorities are requested to make applications to the Adoption Support Fund as a means of contributing to the financial cost of this specialised support)
- Access to specialist advisors including the Agency Medical and Legal Advisors
- A letter to all adoptive parents at the time of the making of an Adoption Order, confirming Post Adoption Support Services detailed above available to them through Caritas Care via CfAS.
- Access to Records (Schedule 2) counselling and tracing service for adopted adults.
Caritas Care offers an ‘open door’ policy to pre and post-placement/adoption support that is available at any time for parents and children. Our support programmes help all those close to the child to develop emotional and practical strategies in order to respond similarly and constructively to individual needs.
Adoptive parents (and their children) will also be able to request an assessment of need from the relevant Local Authority, under the Adoption Support Services Regulations 2005. Caritas Care via CfAS will undertake such assessments on behalf of Local Authorities upon request and work closely with them to ensure that the appropriate level of support is provided in a timely manner. It is the expectation of Caritas Care/CfAS that applications to the Adoption Support Fund for financial assistance will be made by Local Authorities on behalf of adopters and adoptive families who have been assessed as being in need of more specialised adoption support.