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The future of the Adoption Support Fund – please share your views

Inquiry into ASF invites responses from adoptees, adopters, social workers, agencies, LAs & support providers

The new All-Party Parliamentary Group for Adoption and Permanence has set up an inquiry to consider the future of the Adoption Support Fund (ASF), examining the role it has played in supporting children and families engaged in adoption and special guardianship arrangements.

The inquiry will focus on:

  • the accessibility of the ASF, including timings and the application process
  • types of support accessed and gaps in support provision
  • long and short-term impacts of support accessed through the fund

The group will examine evidence presented covering these areas and make recommendations to Government around the future of post adoption support.

Please share your views via this survey link which also includes a separate survey for young people to complete. The inquiry is inviting responses from adoptees, adopters, social workers, agencies, LAs & support providers (deadline 24 April at 12pm).

Training for Social Workers – Therapeutic Life Story Work

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.

Helping Families Heal – an adoptive parent speaks to Dan Hughes


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.

New Professional Development and Parent Education programme 2019 

Family Futures 2019 training – now available to book online

“Extremely inspiring. I really cannot wait to start the preparation and use the resources and strategies of the course to start Life Story work.”
Our training this year for professionals, parents, carers and special guardians is based on our research, and clinical practice. All our trainers have specialist knowledge, expertise and experience of child development and will focus on giving you practical tips and techniques to use and share with others. Have a look at our list of courses for 2019 below and click on the title link to find out more or to book your place.

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.

From Hindsight to Mindsight – the practical application of the neuro-sequential,  NPP approach to the everyday practice of working with Developmentally Traumatised Children
14, 15, 16 & 30 May 2019
For social workers, therapists and psychologists
 Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy Level Two
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

Group Theraplay
2 to 3 May 2019

Theraplay Level Two
25 to 27 November 2019

 Therapeutic Life Story Work
23 to 25 April 2019
For social workers working with adopted and Looked After children
 Siblings Together or Apart
7 to 8 May 2019
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

 The Great Behaviour Breakdown. Bryan Post’s follow up to Beyond Consequences

3, 4 & 18 June 2019
For adoptive parents, prospective adopters awaiting placements, foster carers, social workers (Adoption, Fostering), teachers, health visitors, parents of abused/traumatised children.

 

Festive season services from us

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

Click here for the full list of sensory activities and tips for the festive season 

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!

            

 

Alan Burnell’s blog – December 2018

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.

Do you have an interest in or personal experience of adoption?

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.

Acting Out – a creative arts event in support of adopted young people

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.

Tickets are £5 each and funds raised will go back into to the Young People’s Forum so that we can continue to fund activities and workshops for our young people.

Venue: The Rosemary Branch Theatre, 2 Shepperton Rd, London N1 3DT
Date: Saturday 27 October
Time: 11.30am

Book your tickets here:   Book now
and find out more about the event and performers here.

Family Futures rated Outstanding by Ofsted, 2018

“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.”

Read Ofsted’s 2018 report here

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…

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