All prospective adoptive parents being assessed by our adoption agency are invited to attend an adopters training course called Preparation to Adopt, which forms part of the assessment and usually takes place in Stage 1, however on occasion may be extended to Stage 2.
Not only does it form part of the assessment, the training also provides a great opportunity to meet other people in the adoption process, and to realise that you’re not on your own – everyone has similar questions about the assessment process, panel and being matched with a child or children.
For many people their preparation group becomes the beginning of a support network of families built by adoption, and new friendships are made.
So, what is Prep to adopt and what does it cover?
The aim of this training is designed to prepare adopters for the journey ahead of them, to build on their knowledge of what adoption is and about the types of children that need adopting, and to know what to expect.
For many prospective adopters, understanding the process going forward is something they’re eager to hear about. Throughout the course, prospective adopters are told a little bit about the types of Panel there are, what the difference is between them, who the people are on the Panels and what experience they bring.
During the course those hoping to adopt have the opportunity to hear about adoption support, groups for families with young children, support groups run by the agency as well as support available from national networks.
When does the training run, and who is it run by?
The preparation course is run over three days, combining weekdays and weekends. The three days involve exercises and role play, watching DVD’s and experiencing fun and enjoyment in learning as well as reflecting on their own lifestyle and childhood experiences.
It’s led by experienced social workers and adoptive parents, and there are also experienced adopters who attend to share their stories with the group. The adopters will speak about their own journey and really “tell it how it is”. Many people are interested to know how introductions are planned, when they meet the foster carers for the first time, and what it’s like to meet the children who are coming to live with you. The adopters will answer questions, and are able to reassure prospective adopters that it is all worthwhile, and is the beginning of living as an adoptive family.
What do people say about it?
The feedback we receive from participants tells us how much they enjoyed the opportunity to learn more about adopting alongside other families on the same journey, and their increased level of knowledge and confidence going forward to fulfil their dream of becoming a family.
It’s a very interesting three days where you’ll learn so much about adoption, and perhaps a little bit more about yourself too.
We hope that you’re looking to start the adoption journey with us, and that we’ll see you on the Prep to Adopt training soon.