Certificate in Adoption Support Counselling
Who is the course for?
In December 2010, amendments were made to the Adoption and Children Act 2002 to ensure that individuals affected by adoption in the UK are provided with support and services from practitioners who hold the proper qualifications and experience.
The introduction of this legislation now means that any counsellor and psychotherapist working with a client for whom any aspect of adoption is the main focus, must be registered with Ofsted (or RQIA in Northern Ireland) and subject to regular inspections.
The Albany Centre, St Albans, in association with Barnardo’s, is designing and producing a national, specialist post-qualifying training programme for counsellors and psychotherapists to be appropriately trained and registered with an adoption support agency.
This course is therefore for qualified Counsellors and Psychotherapists who wish to develop their skills and knowledge to support all those affected by adoption and special guardianship orders at every stage of the process. This programme is designed both to provide sufficient learning to enable you to undertake adoption support therapy and to enable you, if you wish, to progress to the Certificate in Attachment Focused Therapy.
Once trained, you will need to register with Ofsted, or with an Adoption Support Agency (ASA), to undertake any adoption therapy.
Once trained, and if you make yourself available, the Barnardo’s LINK service may approach you with an offer of undertaking therapeutic work on Barnardo’s behalf, including adoption support work that has been commissioned by a Local Authority, a Regional Adoption Agency or other commissioning agency.
You will not be either an employee of, or an associate with, Barnardo’s, but will remain an independent therapist who can mix private practice and work for Barnardo’s LINK.
Please note that successful completion of this training does NOT guarantee registration with the Barnardo’s LINK service.
This course is delivered entirely online consisting of e-learning modules and live ‘real time’ sessions. The course features contributions from experts in the field of adoption as well as interviews with people with lived experience.
The student is assessed throughout using quizzes, mini case studies and short reflective pieces to test knowledge and understanding.
Part One: History
This part covers the history of adoption and Looked After Children in the UK from Elizabethan times until the present day, including social, religious, political, and legal facets of adoption. There is a particular focus on the last 75 years of legal and social change and the rights of adopters, adoptees, and birth families.
- Episode 1 Pre 1945 (pre legislation, abandoned babies)
- Episode 2 1945-1980s adoption becomes regulated although there are still some notable scandals
- Episode 3 1980s till the present-day emphasis moves to what’s in the child’s best interests
- to gain knowledge of adoption in the UK over the last few centuries in its historical context
- to understand the change in attitudes around adoption – morals, laws, social mores
Part Two: Processes surrounding Adoption and Special Guardianship
- Lesson 1 The diversity of current adoption placements
- Lesson 2 Reasons why a child might be placed for adoption
- Lesson 3 Reasons why people adopt
- Lesson 4 The child’s journey through the adoption system
- Lesson 5 The adopter’s journey through the adoption system
- Lesson 6 Special Guardianship Orders
- Lesson 7 Transitions to a new family and life together
- Lesson 8 The language of adoption
- Lesson 9 Contact
- Lesson 10 Audio interview with a manager of a Contact service
- Lesson 11 Placement disruption and breakdown
- Lesson 12 Post adoption support
- to gain a solid understanding of the legal and practical processes in adoption and special guardianship
- knowledge of post-adoption support available today
Part Three: Working therapeutically with individuals’ lived experiences
- Lesson 1 Interview with a manager of adoption support counsellors
- Lesson 2 Interview with an adopter
- Lesson 3 Audio interview with a birth mother
- Lesson 4 Lecture on attachment and loss
- Lesson 5 Audio interview with a birth father
- Lesson 6 Interview with an adult adoptee
- Lesson 7 Audio interview with a young adult international adoptee
- Lesson 8 Lecture on brain development and therapeutic parenting
- Lesson 9 Interview with a relationship therapist and researcher (same sex couples)
- Lesson 10 Lecture on therapeutic life story work
- Lesson 11 LIVE 3 hour interactive group session with an experienced adoption counsellor
- an awareness of the impact of adoption on a range of people personally affected by it
- knowledge of effective therapeutic interventions to help individuals to process their experiences
Typically this course will take 6 to 8 weeks to complete.