Tag Archives: online

New single adopters network launched

We’re pleased today, to bring you news of a new network that has recently launched, especially for single adoptive parents…logo FINAL

Hello!  I’m Sarah a single adopter to a gorgeous 8 year old.  When I started my adoption journey 3 ½ years ago I didn’t really think about how much support I would need.  I made the decision to adopt and assumed I would get the support I needed when I needed it.  As we all know though, the reality is often very different.

Throughout the approval process all the training I received was aimed at couples, which is understandable.  I don’t have anyone to takeover when he’s having a meltdown and I feel like I want to join in.  Since my son moved in 16 months ago it has been a rollercoaster ride, with some amazing highs, and a lot of difficult lows.  Throughout that time I’ve been lucky that my social worker has been good, but my son is from a different LA and they are not quite so good.  To start with there were no support groups near me and I couldn’t have gone to an evening meeting anyway.

All of this got me thinking about the type of support I wanted and needed.  I spoke to a number of other single adopters to see how they felt and a clear message came out – they wanted a support group specifically for single adopters to focus on their issues.  In some cases they didn’t know any other single adopters, had very little support from their LA’s and felt isolated.  That’s not right and needs to change.  Whilst there are many similarities between the experiences of couples and singles adopting there are of course differences, and recognising and supporting those differences doesn’t always happen.

From these discussions the idea for the Single Adopters Network was born.  I decided to create a support network just for single adopters and I wanted it to be one everyone could access.  My intention is for the group to be a supportive, friendly and non-judgemental community purely for single adopters, or those thinking about adopting by themselves.  It is an online network, so it doesn’t matter where in the country you are, you can join and get the support you need when you need it.  There is a secure forum where you can ask for advice and support each other, as well as a resources area with useful information that is only accessible to members.  There will also be a monthly call, via a teleconference system for anonymity, which will give you the opportunity to talk to other single adopters from across the country from the comfort of your sofa, so no worries about babysitters!  All of this is designed to support us in building a strong, supportive community where we can help each other through the difficult times, but also celebrate the good times together.

I’m so pleased that the network launched on Saturday and if you’d like more details about the group and how to join the website is www.singleadoptersnetwork.com

I can be contacted via email sarah@sarahpfisher.com or mobile 07817 544707 if you’d like further information or to have a chat.  I’m also on twitter @fishercoaching

I’m passionate about building a supportive, friendly and non-judgemental community to help single adopters like me so, if that’s what you would like, come and join us.

Finally, I want to thank www.theadoptionsocial.com for their support I really appreciate it.

Sarah

www.singleadoptersnetwork.com
@fishercoaching
sarah@sarahpfisher.com

Course review – Caring for Others, Caring for Ourselves

Today’s review is of a bespoke course for a local authority, delivered by Kate Cairns – our very own Vicki, also of The Boy’s Behaviour attended and this is what she thought…

Since The Open Nest’s #Taking Care conference in October, there has been an emphasis on self care in many of the social media channels that I use as an adoptive mum. This is great and shows that we are beginning to believe that looking after ourselves is key to parenting our children as best we can. It’s wonderful and encouraging to see the photos, and hear the ways in which adoptive parents are taking time to care for themselves.

I was thrilled to be offered a free place on ‘Caring for Others, Caring for Ourselves’, a short course that aimed to provide an understanding of ‘Secondary Trauma’, and would be delivered by none other than Kate Cairns – formerly of BAAF, and well known author.

Surrounded by 6 other adoptive parents and 33 foster carers, I attended the course, led by Kate and her husband and immediately felt like this was someone who truly understood. Kate and Brian have parented a number of children and have experienced pretty much every behaviour and challenge that you would expect to have. And beyond that, Kate herself developed secondary trauma – although of course at the time, couldn’t see that.

The course whizzed by, but Kate gave enough information on each short section to ensure that an understanding was gained. There were plentiful opportunities throughout the day to ask questions and clarify any issues.

So we covered trauma, toxic stress and the nervous system.
We used our hands to see exactly what it looks like when the connections between our frontal cortex and the rest of our brain are broken – flipping one’s lid. (Based on a hand model by Dan Siegel).
We thought about survival versus safety, escalation and de-escalation, and something called Five to Thrive – respond, cuddle, relax, play and talk.
And then we looked at the impact of trauma, recovery and resilience and secondary trauma.

I found it interesting to thinking about secondary trauma in terms of my support network – it doesn’t just affect my husband and I, or ever our wider family network, but can also affect teachers, doctors, therapists and social workers, each of whom generally work in those fields because they have compassion and they care. When they seemingly don’t care and lose that compassion, it’s not necessarily because they’re working against you (although it often feels like that) but it could be because they are suffering from secondary trauma too, and they just can’t see it.

The day ended by talking about training, support, therapy and self-care, and confirmed everything I know about looking after myself. I found Kate’s term PIES a good way to think about self-care: Physical, Intellectual, Emotional and Spiritual factors all play a part in personal resilience.

I found this short course so useful and informative. I met other adoptive parents in my area, I chatted to foster carers about their expectations and experiences, I talked to Kate Cairns about The Adoption Social, and I know have access through Kate Cairns Associates to connected learning opportunities, including an online learning module on Secondary Trauma. If your local authority can commission a similar course then I’d highly recommend attending.