For some, support in the world of adoption and permanency planning can be difficult to find, but the Adoption Council of Ontario's Permanency and Adoption Support Services (PASS) team is striving to change the script!
For the past four years, the ACO has offered the therapeutic group program Changing the Script: Relationship is the Key © (CTS) to adoptive and permanency planning parents living in and around the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). This important program has helped families better understand children’s needs, feelings and behaviours, as well as form strong, enduring friendships with other parents going through the program. Beginning in September 2017, the number of CTS groups available to adoptive and permanency planning caregivers will be expanded with the inclusion of offerings by consultants of the Jean Tweed Centre and Bridgeway Family Homes.
This past month, Manager of PASS, Judy Archer, was pleased to present training in the delivery of the CTS model to four mental health professionals: Sonali Sagare and Liz Dean of the Jean Tweed Centre, and Amanda Rawn and Patricia Atchison of Bridgeway Family Homes.
When I came to the group, I was lost and thought that I would never be the parent I always wanted to be. With the support of the group, I have become that parent, and now have a group of peers to turn to in good times and bad times.
A 10-week reflective, therapeutic support group, CTS brings foster parents, adoptive parents and permanency planning caregivers together with therapists and consultants who specialize in the areas of grief, loss and trauma for the purpose of helping caregivers gain important insights into contributors to their children’s challenging behaviours. As noted by one former participant of the CTS program, “the kids come to us with bags we have not packed”.
Within the context of a safe, supportive group milieu, parents learn tools and strategies that will enable them to understand and respond more effectively to their children, thereby strengthening the parent-child relationship. Working closely with therapists, consultants and other parents, group members learn that relationship is truly the key to their child’s healing. Of equal importance, parents benefit from the support of the other group members, often forging lifelong friendships with some of the parents they meet in the program.
An integral program of PASS, the Changing the Script: Relationship is the Key © program has been made possible due to the generous funding from the Circle for Children Foundation.
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