Hi, I’m Kirsty, Post Adoption Support Worker for AFA. I have been with Adopters for Adoption for 3 years now and absolutely love the team I work with and the role that I play within the agency.

I have 10 years’ experience as a Family Support Worker working within a range of Children’s Centres supporting families with a variety of needs and have always worked closely with other professionals and services to affect positive change to enable families to stay together and see positive changes.

I work 21 hours usually spread across the week offering day times, evening and weekends to ensure I am flexible and available to the families I work with. I think what I like most about my work is that it is very varied and hugely interesting with lots of opportunities for challenges and to learn more about our adopters and their children.

My focus and daily role is creating a positive experience of adoption with all those involved and delivering  comprehensive post adoption support to our families. My main role is delivering our therapeutic parenting programme called Safer Stronger Families (SSF).

My role within AFA has evolved over the three years. I have helped develop this programme further and have
created a brand new Settling In package for adopters.

The programme I deliver is over 14 weekly home sessions with three follow up phone calls to support families to implement changes over a further 12-week period. The programme gives families 6 months’ worth of skills based,
practical, tailored intervention. The programme includes effective, practical therapeutic parenting programme, structured yet personalised adoption support and a dynamic family action plan, which is reviewed regularly to monitor progress.

Because of this support, families experience stability and resilience. This then creates the additional benefit of providing a platform from which further therapy or support can be undertaken where necessary. Part of my role is
to also liaise with other professionals involved to discuss further support, which may be needed for families.

I have recently created and now deliver the Settling In package for adoptive parents. These sessions consist of looking at and discussing the child’s behaviour, past experiences, attachment, trauma and expectations. This support is offered to families before the child/ren are placed with them in preparation.

I can also be found delivering the three day Preparation to Adopt training to prospective adoptive parents. This training is designed to prepare adopters for the journey ahead of them.

At other times, I can be found running our Midlands Adoption Support Group. This gives me the chance to spend time informally with the families in my area. In addition to this, I help run workshops and training days on topics that adopters have requested.

I have to say my job would be very different without the amazing team that surrounds me at AFA. I know that I can rely on any member of the team to help and that they are working as hard as I am to continually improve our service and to ensure the adoption process is as smooth and rewarding as possible.