Events

Virtual parent support group – January (The adopted child and running away)

Date and Time

Date(s) - 25/01/2022 - 22/03/2022
7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

Categories


Our monthly virtual parent support group is run for adopters by Bay Deane, a psychotherapist and adoptive parent.

For each session we will have a theme – previous discussions have been based around managing challenging behaviour and Polyvagal theory. This is a friendly, supportive group and new members will be very welcome. Bay explains how the sessions run below for 2021/2022:

Sessions will be held once a month on a Tuesday, from 7.30pm to 9.00pm 

Each session ends with a short relaxation session for those who want to stay for it.

If you’d like to join, please get in touch with Veronica Birch on veronica.birch@devon.gov.uk

 

History

This support group came out of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many parents all over the world were struggling with changes to the environment, fears and school disruptions and closures. Veronica came up with the idea to run an online group to help adoptive parents and foster carers relax by teaching them relaxation techniques they could also share with their children. This was such a great success we ended up running two groups of over 15 parents a week for six weeks! We followed this up with a similar Zoom-type session to help with strategies for going “Back to school post COVID-19”. Again this was taken up well and we ran two groups a week for five weeks each. We also started to incorporate a relaxation in at the end of the session to help parents decompress and de-stress. The parents were the ones that suggested a Support Group and so the model for the current support group was born.

Description of the group

We start with a check in where every parent gets to speak, to off load and say what they are going through that month. I then present a subject relevant to adoption for discussion. We then have a group discussion and the members of the group often help each other. They gain confidence and hope from others in the group who have previously been going through a difficult time and are now in an easier moment. Also vertical grouping of children’s ages means parents can offer support and help to each other if they have been through similar issues in the past. We end the group a short 15 minute relaxation to help them de-stress for those who wish to say.

The funding for this group over the last 18 months has enormously helped around 40 parents. The fact it is an online group means parents don’t need a babysitter and the relaxation is in their own home so they finish the group relaxed and with no need to travel home. There is a relaxed feeling in the group where parents may have to put a child back to bed or attend to something and this is all done with great boundaries. Often parents coming to the group with headphones and no camera and typing their comments in the chat box so they can still participate even though they may be attending to their children. This aspect has been a great strength of the group.

Lastly, this is an amazing set of parents who are now working together to help each other through common difficulties. Their strength and resilience for such complex issues can as a facilitator bring tears to my eyes, especially when I witness them coming through such difficult issues. It really is a great honour to work with such amazing parents doing such a great job.