Are you working with adopted or looked after children?
We still have spaces on our Therapeutic Life Story Work course running 23 to 25 April. This professional development training will give you a framework and the confidence to address difficult issues from the past with traumatised children. The course will also give you the ability to use non-verbal and creative arts to help children express difficult and complex feelings, plus guidance on how to use life story work to support facilitated contact.
Find out more about our professional development training here.
We are very pleased to be launching our Helping Families Heal series of videos, hosted by a parent who has adopted a child through Family Futures. In this first video, Dr Dan Hughes, Clinical Psychologist and founder of DDP (Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy) gives his thoughts and suggestions on some of the trickiest questions for adopters today:
Should you let sleeping dogs lie?…Is there a danger of ‘putting ideas into their heads’ if you talk to a child about their past? Especially where a child’s trauma was very early on, pre-verbal and the child has no actual memories.
What about children for whom talking about emotions is a trigger?
Other questions Dan addresses here include:
What about children who are shut down?
How can parents and carers work with schools…help their child make friends…get beyond ‘blocked care’?
Can sensory integration intervention help?
Subscribe to our YouTube channel to see our upcoming videos in the series and please share with adopters, carers and professionals you know.
Family Futures 2019 training – now available to book online
Parent education training can be funded by the Adoption Support Fund. You need to make an application through your local authority adoption support service for this funding. If you have any queries about booking training, please contact Claire on 020 7354 4161 or email us.
14, 15, 16 & 30 May 2019
For social workers, therapists and psychologists
4 to 7 February 2019
For therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists and social workers. Dr Dan Hughes will deliver this training on his treatment model which involves working with a child and their family to improve attachment relationships.
Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy Level One
11 to 14 November 2019 Trainer: Dr Dan Hughes
Trainers are UK-based & Certified Theraplay therapists, supervisors and trainers. Theraplay courses are for psychologists and psychiatrists, occupational therapists, social workers, speech and language therapists, counsellors, adoption and post-adoption counsellors, family therapists, early childhood & developmental specialists and teachers.
Theraplay Level One and Group Theraplay
1 to 5 April 2019
2 to 3 May 2019
Theraplay Level Two
25 to 27 November 2019
23 to 25 April 2019
For social workers working with adopted and Looked After children
Social workers in Looked After children, fostering and adoption teams; adoption and fostering team managers; clinical psychologists, paediatric occupational therapists, therapists, solicitors, panel members, adoption support agency service providers, psychiatrists, paediatricians and teachers
For adoptive parents, prospective adopters awaiting placements, foster carers, social workers (Adoption, Fostering), teachers, health visitors, parents of abused/traumatised children.
Contacting Family Futures over Christmas
Family Futures is closed from 5pm on Friday 21st December 2018 to 9am on Tuesday 2nd January 2019. If you are a family in treatment with Family Futures and have a serious emergency or crisis during this time and you think that the crisis requires the emergency services, we suggest you call them first. You can then ring into Family Futures on the main number 0207 354 4161. On the days when the office is closed a Duty Manager is available between 10am and 5pm. On working days you can contact a Duty Manager between 5 – 9 pm. If when you ring in, you then press 3 as instructed on the answerphone message, it will divert your call to the Duty manager’s mobile. Please leave a message with your name, number and why you are calling and the Duty Manager will call you back as soon as possible. We hope however that you have an enjoyable Christmas and New Year.
Our Occupational Therapy Team have put together some ideas for sensory activities with children and tips for the festive season
Family Futures Sensory Christmas activities
Create a sensory Christmas bottle with your child
Spotting the hidden items can have a calming effect at night time.
Fill a plastic bottle with glitter glue (1/3) and add some small beads, stars, glitter, letters, marbles, small plastic animals etc. Fill it up with water. Use hot glue to shut the lid.
Make your own decoration
Great to encourage fine motor and praxis skills, and the pipe cleaners provide tactile stimulation.
You will need: Various beads and pipe cleaners. Place three pipe cleaner strands overlapping. Fix them in the middle with a small piece of pipe cleaner. Parents can also prepare the star shapes and help their children. Have fun putting the beads on the rays. Encourage the child to work in patterns. Tie an additional thread around it and decorate your tree or your room with it!
Key messages from our 2018 Conference
Many good things came out of the conference ‘Assessing and Treating Developmentally Traumatised Children’ in October. Colwyn Trevarthen, our keynote speaker, reminded us all how important the first few weeks and months of a baby’s life are. What really struck home to me was his point that babies from the outset are intentional. They want to relate, they need to relate and they have a way of relating in-built that is musical in nature. Read Alan’s blog here.
Would you consider joining our Adoption Panel?
We’re looking to increase numbers of Independent Panel Members available to attend our Adoption Panel. The aim of the Panel is to ensure we have carried out a thorough assessment of prospective adopters, in order to find the best possible parents for children in need of a permanent home. The role is an interesting, responsible and at times challenging one. To find out more information, visit our Join Us page.
Join us for an inspiring range of performances in support of the Young People’s Forum
Tickets are now on sale for Acting Out – in support of adopted young people. The event will showcase an exciting range of creative arts performed by Forum supporters, members and outside professionals who have kindly donated their time.
Join us on Saturday 27 October to watch an inspiring range of performers – a professional dancer (Asmara), a filmmaker (Shabazz), a rapper (Malachi) and more. There will be Q&A sessions with performers and a chance to meet up with other young people at the event.
Venue: The Rosemary Branch Theatre, 2 Shepperton Rd, London N1 3DT
Date: Saturday 27 October
Book your tickets here:
and find out more about the event and performers here.
“A nationally recognised centre of excellence for therapeutic adoption and adoption support services”
Family Futures has been rated ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted (August 2018) for the third time in a row and under the new, more robust Ofsted inspection framework. Ofsted recognised that:
“The agency is a nationally recognised centre of excellence for therapeutic adoption and adoption support services which address the damage caused by early developmental trauma. The agency has developed its own highly effective therapeutic model over many years, which has been externally evaluated.”
“Children and their families receive holistic care of exceptional quality, which results in excellent experiences, outcomes and progress.”
Alan Burnell, Family Futures’ Registered Manager, comments on our Outstanding Ofsted rating, 2018:
Modelling a better future for families
If 20 years of helping families heal is a crowning achievement, then the jewels in our crown are this summer’s Ofsted inspection and our recent round of research. We are very proud that for the third inspection in a row and under the new, more robust Ofsted inspection framework we once again have been judged as Outstanding. One of the criteria of the inspection framework is ‘how well children, young people and adults are helped and protected’. This was judged to be Outstanding. The inspectors reached this conclusion in part because of our research programme. Read More…
Realistic Positivity: understanding the additional needs of young children placed for adoption, and supporting families when needs are unexpected
This research by the Council for Disabled Children explores support for adopted children and their families in relation to special educational needs, disability and health. Interviews with parents and professionals are considered alongside policy and available evidence.
Alan Burnell, Registered Manager at Family Futures comments on the report:
It’s refreshing to read an independent report that evaluates current adoption and post-adoption services with a fresh pair of eyes. Sadly those eyes see many of the same shortcomings that Family Futures has identified as a result of our work in the field of adoption.
We very much support the findings from the parent interviews which once again highlight the need for comprehensive, developmental, multidisciplinary assessments of children prior to placement, as well as the need for a post-adoption support service that has the expertise to meet those needs.
We realise that some adoptive parents and professionals may balk at the idea of labelling adopted children as ‘disabled’. At Family Futures we have said from the outset 20 years ago, that the majority of adopted children, because of early adversity, neglect and abuse, have ‘invisible special needs’ at the point of placement. Neuroscience has confirmed this and the label of developmental trauma is now used to describe their developmental challenges. Labelling children does not define their limitations but should be used to shine a light on what their needs really are and how they can be met.