Co-production group – what’s going on?

The Adopt South West Co-production Group meet to share their experiences about adoption, services for their children, and think about what works well and what needs to be improved.

Peer support and mentoring

Feedback from adopters is that peer support is crucial in helping parents to develop their knowledge, parenting skills, increase resilience and reduce feelings of isolation. It is recognised that peer support can be delivered effectively, in a way that supports existing provision at a time when adoption support services are facing increased pressures and demands. The co-production group is therefore in the process of developing a peer support/mentoring service which can hopefully support people through their adoption journey, from the time of their assessment, to having children placed and beyond.

We have secured funding for a part time Family Practitioner who will work, alongside the co-production group and staff within Adopt South West, to develop this project. Our hope is that support will be delivered by experienced therapeutic parents who understand the issues that adopters and prospective adopters face.

Co- facilitation of training

Another area of service development that the co-production group is working upon is the development of training that is co-facilitated by adoptive parents and Adopt South West staff. We believe that prospective adopters will benefit hugely from the empathy, understanding, practical support and information that can be offered by a trainer who has been through the adoption process and experienced many of the challenges that parenting an adopted child brings.

Health project

Another area of service development that the co-production group is focusing upon is the experience of families when interacting with Health Professionals. Our Adopt South West Co-production Group is developing a survey to find out more about your experiences of accessing health services for your children which will be in the April newsletter. We would love as many parents as possible to complete it, in order to provide us with feedback from a wider audience.

Stage 3 – rolling workshops

Another area of development that is being focused upon is what the co-production group have termed ‘Stage 3 Rolling Workshops’. We know that learning about adoption doesn’t end with training during the assessment process and feedback from parents is that it is difficult to relate the information they receive during the training when they aren’t parenting at that point.

Therefore, the Co-Production group, staff from Adopt South West and outside agencies such as Education and Health are hoping to develop rolling workshops which take place approximately three times a year on subjects including educational workshops, self-care workshops, Connective Parenting workshops, Parenting Teens Workshop and FASD workshops.

Join us

Co-production groups are held once a month in the evening. If you would like to have a voice in shaping Adopt South West services please feel free to join us – we welcome new members.

Any Adopt South West adopters who would like to join, please email adoptsouthwestsupport@devon.gov.uk