Buddy Scheme Thanks to the goodwill and dedication of our fantastic adoption community, we are able to provide a Buddy Scheme to provide peer to peer support for adopters during the process. Our Buddy Scheme sees experienced adopters linking up with adopters at an earlier stage in the process to offer advice and support. Our Buddies have received professional training in this role and are continuously supported by Adoption Focus. From our Buddies Here's what some of our brilliant Buddies say about the role and why they chose to get involved in the scheme. Ginny After such a positive experience with Adoption Focus, I felt I really wanted to give something back. I joined the volunteers group which meets approximately every 3 months and help out at the spring and autumn parties. It was at the volunteers meeting that the subject of being a Buddy came up. The idea was to be a listening ear and mentor to new couples or individuals. Whether it be giving advice on procedures pre-approval, post-approval or introductions etc., a buddy can be with you the whole journey or at just the part when help is needed most. It’s very much an individualised thing and we, as Buddies go at your own pace, whether regular contact or just when its needed. We are very non-judgmental and understand some of the issues that you can go through. After first-hand experience, we may be able to offer strategies that have worked for us or sometimes all it takes is for someone to say that what you are going through is completely normal. It helps sometimes to understand why certain behaviour is happening and at other times it’s just nice to have a listening ear and reassurance that you are doing a good job! The adoption process - in brief Brendan The Buddy scheme is something I feel very passionate about. If it had been available when we were going through the adoption process, it is something that we certainly would have used. To have access to the experience and knowledge of someone who had been though the adoption process, is invaluable and can be a great source of comfort. As a Buddy, it is wonderful to be able to help others and be able to ‘give something back’. We had a really good adoption journey and to be able to assist others on their journey is wonderful. For those receiving the service, it is a great opportunity to access untapped resources which can hopefully be of great benefit at all stages of the adoption process. Can I adopt? Jonathan Being an adoption buddy enables me to provide something in return for the support that we have received ourselves over the years. Our adoption journey has not been an easy or straightforward one and we have needed support ourselves along the way. This has come from a variety of sources. As an adoptive parent, traditional advice on parenting techniques from friends and relatives, although well meaning, is often either ineffective or not appropriate for an adopted child who may well have suffered trauma as a result of their previous experiences. Behaviours can often be puzzling and solutions can be counter-intuitive. Having a buddy or mentor who has ‘been there’ is a helpful first line of support who can understand how you may be feeling and who may be able to offer suggestions. Our adoption support Accessing our Buddy Scheme If you are at the beginning of your adoption journey and might benefit from peer to peer support, please get in touch. Equally if you’re an experienced adopter and feel you could share your insight around the adoption assessment process, introductions, post placement/order or adoption support services, we’d love to hear from you. For more information about our Buddy Scheme, please contact us.