As part of our adoption support we offer a variety of training sessions and workshops designed to ensure that our adopters have the best help possible.

Friends and Family Workshop

This session is specifically designed for friends, family and any other significant people within an adopter’s or prospective adopter’s support network. The half day workshop will raise their awareness and understanding of the adoption process, the needs of adopted children and how they can offer the most effective help and support to their friends or relatives on their way to becoming adoptive parents.

Very informative, answered lots of questions and good to meet other families with similar concerns. Really glad we attended!

Sibling Workshop

This workshop explores sibling placements, helping you to consider meeting the needs of more than one child. The session also focuses on key issues to consider for siblings, placing this within the context of adoption, and highlighting strategies for managing anticipated difficulties.

We really got a lot out of the workshop and now feel even more determined to adopt a sibling group

Therapeutic Play Workshop

This workshop offers prospective adopters and adoptive parents a ‘Theraplay’ taster in a relaxed and fun setting, introducing the concept of therapeutic play to help build continual attachment between adopters and their child. The workshop looks at both directive ‘Theraplay’ and non-directive ‘Filial Play’. Overall the aim of the session is to help adoptive parents understand how therapeutic play can enhance attachment, trust, self-esteem and playfulness, empowering them to use the techniques within daily routines.

Everything was well covered in this workshop with the team on hand to answer specific questions… Would be great to bring other family members and friends!

Understanding Children's Behaviour Workshop

This therapeutic workshop offers adoptive parents the opportunity to explore what behaviours their children are presenting with in a safe and empathic environment. The aim is to learn more about why they may present with certain challenging behaviours. The workshop covers early brain development and the attachment cycle, children’s developmental stages and the impact of trauma and abuse in early childhood.

The workshop addresses the important ‘vicious cycle of the acting out child’ and explores ways of helping adopted children build on their developmental gaps. It also offers strategies to support specific behaviours and provides each attendee with a helpful tool kit of parenting strategies to take home.

We also offer a workshop designed for parents of children aged 11 onwards who require some additional support in understanding teenage behaviour.

Really well thought out workshop. Very happy I attended and have some useful information to take home. A must for future adopters!


Adoption Focus has level 1 and 2 trained Theraplay workers who can undertake a Theraplay Assessment, guiding the child and parent through playful, fun games, developmentally challenging activities, and tender nurturing activities.

The process starts with information gathering to ensure the worker has a good understanding of both the child and adults’ needs and history. When Theraplay work is recommended, a Markschak Interaction Method (MIM) assessment is undertaken with the child/ren and each parent, to analyse attachment and relationship dynamics before working with the family to build and strengthen relationships.

Regular reviews and feedback to the adoption support agency funding this service, ensure we are working together to provide the most effective support for the family.


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Therapeutic Life Story Work

Adoption Focus follows Richard Rose’s three stage model for Therapeutic Life Story Work, designed to support children and young people to access information about their past so that they can internalise what this means for them in their present.

Therapeutic Life Story Work adopts a strengths-based approach, using psychodynamic principles to help children and young people develop a coherent narrative about their experiences and who they are.

Therapeutic Life Story Work involves the child or young person’s carer throughout the intervention, focusing on mutual understandings, strengthening attachment and enabling the therapeutic journey to continue beyond the intervention.

Adoption Focus Life Story workers have completed a Diploma in Therapeutic Life Story Work and receive regular supervision. The service includes an assessment of the child’s presentation and functioning at the point of referral, with regular reviews and a final report including recommendations and measurable outcomes for the child

We can tailor the service to meet the specific needs of a child or family. Some children or young people need the same techniques and skills as Therapeutic Life Story Work, but to meet a more specific need, rather than exploring their whole life story and birth family history. Examples of this work include preparing children for adoption or exploring why they could not live with their birth family and came to be adopted.


Talking and Telling - *New Workshop*

This workshop is aimed at families who would like some guidance around how to start those conversations with their adopted child/children and offers useful tips around games, stories and other practical resources that can help.


Other Life Story Work Services

Children are sometimes placed with their adoptive family, but haven’t received a Life Story Book or the information to support their parents in talking to them about their life story and birth family is either inadequate or inappropriate to use. Adoption Focus are able to complete Life Story Books, update existing Life Story Books or offer a consultation service to support others to do so.

Life Story Work Drop-In Session

Tailored to meet the needs of each family, we offer one-to-one support with an experienced worker to enable adopters to talk about confidential and personal issues. Advice about appropriate tools, techniques and strategies are available during the two hour session. If further support is helpful, adopters may be offered more drop-in sessions or given information about making a referral to our Adoption Support service.

Second Time Adopters

This workshop aims to support experienced adopters build upon their existing knowledge of adoption. We will facilitate discussions around the rewards, challenges and reality of adopting for a second time, as well as providing adopters with ideas and practical tools to begin to prepare their child for the arrival of a new sibling.

Presentations To Schools

Adoption Focus can deliver a presentation in school which aims to support adopted children and help them to cope with various situations. We provide an overview of attachment styles and how this translates into the classroom, as well as raising awareness of the needs of adopted children who may experience difficulties within school. We enable staff to understand the neuroscience related to adoption and how this impacts on a child’s emotional well-being, to help promote a positive relationship between adoptive parents and all teaching staff.

Existing Children in the Family Workshop

Adoption Focus offers a workshop to prospective adopters who have existing children (birth, adopted, step-children) in the family. The aim of this workshop is to help prospective adopters to understand how their children will be involved in the adoption process. It also offers them useful tools and strategies to help prepare the existing child and has a young person’s personal experience of when her siblings joined the family.

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