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 in St Albans (Hertfordshire), in association with Barnardo’s, has designed and produced 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 for qualified counsellors and psychotherapists who therefore 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.
After you have completed the course, you will need to register with Ofsted, or with an Adoption Support Agency (ASA), to undertake any adoption therapy.
Once trained, you may approach any adoption support agency (including Barnardo’s LINK service who require applicants to be at least 3 years post qualified) with the aim of undertaking therapeutic work on that organisation’s behalf; this may include adoption support work that has been commissioned by a Local Authority, a Regional Adoption Agency or other commissioning agency, or work with private individuals seeking therapeutic support.
If you are offered work with Barnardo’s, 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 one live ‘real time’ session. 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 and short reflective pieces to test knowledge and understanding. Additionally, the student is offered an interactive group Zoom session at the end of the training (with two adoption counsellors) to discuss the course and aspects around becoming an adoption support counsellor.
Please be advised, you may find some of the material contained in this course emotionally distressing.
Part One: The History of Adoption
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 100 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 the child’s best interests)
- to gain knowledge of adoption in the UK in its historical context over the last 150 years
- 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 The transition to adoption
- Lesson 8 The language of adoption
- Lesson 9 Contact
- Lesson 10 Managing a Contact service
- Lesson 11 The disruption and breakdown of adoption placements
- 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 The role of an adoption support counsellor
- Lesson 2 An adopter’s story
- Lesson 3 A birth mother’s story
- Lesson 4 Lecture: attachment and loss
- Lesson 5 A birth father’s story
- Lesson 6 An adult adoptee’s story
- Lesson 7 Adoption from a Chinese orphanage
- Lesson 8 Lecture: brain development and therapeutic parenting
- Lesson 9 Same sex couples and adoption
- Lesson 10 Lecture: therapeutic life story work
- Lesson 11 LIVE 2 hour interactive group session with two experienced adoption counsellors
Quizzes and assignments.
- 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
For your guidance, completion of the course contents, assessments and resources (and attending the Zoom session), takes approximately 30 hours – around 4-6 weeks alongside average work and personal commitments.