Relationships are what make us who we are...
Connections with others has shaped our family journey, whether this is the relationships forged through adoption and re-unification with first family, or the professionals along the way who believed in us as individuals, offered support and understanding which helped each of us heal and grow. It was the lessons learned from our family experiences which gave Ruth an understanding of relational trauma that she hadn't previously had as a social worker.
"Relationships are agents of change and the most powerful therapy is human love."
Dr Bruce Perry
Whether it’s supporting relationships within adoptive families, with first families or between professionals and individuals or families who need support, connections and care are key to all we do.
Dealing With Trauma
The impact of relational trauma and the loss of connections with people who have loved and cared for them is often not recognised in planning for children who cannot remain with their natural family. Children often lose links not only with their parents but brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, grandparents and a myriad of people who care for them and hold a part of the child's history and 'life story'. Even babies feel the loss of their natural mother and this 'primal wound' has lifelong impacts. We support social workers to ensure relational trauma is better understood and that planning for children and young people reflects the diversity of family relationships.
Adoption & First Family Relationships
Adopted children and the adults they become, often continue to feel part of their first family, or that part of who they are and where they come from is missing. For anyone who knows which side of the family their big ears or wonky toes comes from it's easy to underestimate the impact of not knowing! Discovering their heritage and family resemblances has been so important for Lyris and Jorja, and for Ruth, knowing the girls were just like 'Mummy Jo' and their 'Auntie Bear' made understanding the girls and parenting them a whole lot easier!
Contact in Adoption
The digital age we live in means that unsupported 'contact' between a young person and their first family is often just a click or two away for anyone curious enough to search. Ensuring children and young people impacted by foster care or adoption know their ‘story’ and have strong connections and communication within adoption or foster families around the muddle of feelings often experienced in foster care and adoption, increases the likelihood that young people can be supported in their search for identity or knowledge.
We know that just as a parent can love more than one child, children can love more than one family, but also that emotions and relationships can be difficult and messy! We understand that maintaining relationships isn’t always easy and not right for everyone. We offer support to anyone looking to re-establish connections or needing support to manage on-going natural family or important person relationships, whether this is Therapeutic Life Story Work for a child or young person, emotional and practical support including communication and making arrangements between adults to ensure everyone’s expectations are clear and any potential conflicts recognised and addressed.
Support & Training
Our training and workshops can offer social workers, carers, parents and professionals working with children and families, the opportunity to learn what Ruth learned through adopting but wished she'd known as a social worker about relationship trauma and the importance of relationships in healing.