Certificate in Adoption Support Counselling
The Albany Centre in St Albans (Hertfordshire), in partnership with Barnardo’s, has designed and produced a national, specialist post-qualifying training programme for counsellors and psychotherapists to be appropriately trained to work with adoption. There are ripples from adoption and special guardianship not just for the adoptee (be they an adult or a child) but also for the wider birth family and the adoptive family; the effects of attachment/relinquishment trauma have far-reaching and lifelong implications. Therefore as a counsellor working with any client affected in some way by adoption or special guardianship, it is important to understand the context and the impact of these processes on individuals.
This course addresses those requirements.
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; on completion of the course, the graduate must be registered, either as an employee or as a freelancer, with an Ofsted Post Adoption Support agency.
For more information on Ofsted registration of Adoption Support Agencies, please click here
Please note, the law may change in the near future regarding counselling/psychotherapy for adults affected by adoption.
Here is a statement from BACP as to their understanding Click Here
Testimonials from course graduates:
…the personal stories are invaluable – they have stayed with me and will definitely inform my work…extremely informative as well as emotive…the range of presentations and learning materials was great and it felt flexible and accessible…brilliant content and very in depth…initially I wasn’t sure why I needed to understand the history of adoption, but as the course progressed, it became apparent how important this was…well balanced in terms of history & background and present day processes around adoption…wonderful course that takes you on a journey of the adoption process (highlighting) why as counsellors we need specialist training to support those affected by adoption…the two hour session at the end of the course was really engaging and useful – good to meet peers…packaged in a way that made it easy to follow…. very beneficial that I could work at my own pace and pause to take notes…a wide variation (of resources) which made fascinating reading, listening and watching
Information about the course:
- the course is for qualified counsellors and psychotherapists wishing to develop their skills and knowledge to support all those affected by adoption and special guardianship orders at every stage of the process
- the course has been running since March 2022
- the course and its materials/resources are available to the student for 1 year from the payment date
- following completion of 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 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.
- this course is delivered entirely online*
- 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
- all assignments are marked by experienced tutors within 24-48 hours
- the student must attend 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 3 months on average given other work and personal commitments.
Contact us to apply
Barnardo’s are unable to offer refunds.