Kids Need Families and Families Need Support

Adoption Myth #5

"Older children can't be or don't want to be adopted."

Upcoming Events

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September 2020

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Adoption Matters: Online Education Series

Would you like to build your knowledge with tools, tips and strategies to help you in your adoption and parenting journey?

Adoption Matters' Online Education Series is an exciting, new way of learning more about adoption and permanency journeys and how best to support children, youth, adults and families on them.


The Importance of Permanency for our Children & Youth

Dates:

The Importance of Permanency for our Children & Youth with Sylvia Gibbons & Aviva Zukerman Schure

Recommended audience: all audiences welcome

Goals: During this 90-minute webinar, we will explore the critical importance of lasting permanency to our children and youth. This webinar begins by providing an understanding of what permanency means and what permanency journeys are all about. It explores the outcomes for youth that "age out" of the child welfare system without finding lasting permanency. We then discuss the differences between surviving and thriving. The second part of the webinar focusses on what adoption and permanency can offer to children and youth and what permanency families and "humans" look like. Throughout the webinar we incorporate the perspectives of children and youth on permanency journeys and feature their thoughts, voices and art about permanency and adoption. Finally, the webinar provides information on next steps for those who are interested in becoming a family/human for children and youth, as well as for professionals who want to learn more about permanency and adoption journeys and how to work with all those on them.

Note: This webinar serves as Part 1 of the Never Too Late program's Orientation for prospective families/humans.

Objectives:

  • Learn about and understand what "permanency" means
  • Gain a better understand of what permanency journeys are all about from a youth's perspective
  • Learn about the outcomes for youth "aging out" of the foster care system without permanency
  • Explore the differences between surviving vs thriving in life & why permanency is critically important
  • Learn what permanency can offer to children and youth
  • Explore what permanency families and "humans" look like
  • Listen and reflect on kids/youth thoughts and perspectives – what permanency means and feels like to them 
  • Learn how to find out more about being a family/human for kids who need lasting permanency 
  • For professionals, learn how to find out more about permanency and adoption journeys and how to work with those on them

Internet & Social Media Considerations for Adoptive Families 

Dates:

Internet Safety & Adoption with Cindy Stewat, Child & Youth Worker & ACO PACT Trainer

Recommended audience: adoptive, kinship, customary care families

Goals: This Webinar will provide an overview about social media, how kids use it and some of the effects of it on our children. It will also discuss how parents can help their families navigate social media, including during these times of physical distancing. It will outline some of the risk factors involved and why our kids might be vulnerable to some of these risks. It will explain some of the platforms used and what parents need to be aware of. Suggestions for parents on how to teach your children about platforms and using devises and apps safely will also be discussed.

Objectives:

  • Understand what social media is, how kids use it and its impact on our children and teens
  • Be aware of some of the risks involved and why our kids and teens might be vulnerable to some of these risks
  • Gain knowledge of Social media platforms
  • Understand how to help our children navigate social media, including during this time of physical distancing
  • Know where to find up-to date information to increase your knowledge

ACEs & Developmental Trauma Part 1: The Science & Why it Matters

Dates:

ACEs & Developmental Trauma Part 1: The Science & Why it Matters with Kathy Soden & Sylvia Gibbons, Adoption Council of Ontario PACT Team & DTAA Members

Recommended audience: pre-adoptive families, adoptive, kinship and customary care families, adult adoptees and the professionals who support those on adoption and permanency journeys

Objectives:

  • provide an overview of:
    • the Adverse Childhood Experiences study and its findings, 
    • the brain science related to childhood trauma and adversity, and 
    • what developmental trauma is all about
  • explain why it's important to understand these topics through the lens of adoption and permanency journeys
  • introduce a discussion about the prevention and healing of developmental trauma which will be expanded upon in Part 2
  • discuss the brain's resilience and opportunities for strengthening neural pathways
  • introduce Ontario's Developmental Trauma Action Alliance and its goals
  • provide relevant resources and further learning opportunities

ACEs & Developmental Trauma Part 2: Healing Through
Adoption & Permanency Journeys

Dates:

ACEs & Developmental Trauma Part 2: Healing Through Adoption & Permanency Journeys with Kathy Soden & Sylvia Gibbons, Adoption Council of Ontario PACT Team & DTAA Members and Dianne Mathes, Executive Director of the Adoption Council of Ontario

Recommended audience: pre-adoptive families, adoptive, kinship and customary care families, adult adoptees and the professionals who support those on adoption and permanency journeys

Objectives:

  • focus on the understanding of developmental trauma through the lens and core issues of adoption and permanency journeys
  • emphasize the importance of truly understanding children, youth and adults and their "internal working models", so that parenting, child welfare work and therapeutic interventions can be set up for success
  • expand on the introductory discussion of prevention and healing from part 1 and address what can help children, youth and adults who have been impacted by developmental trauma from the perspective of:
    • pre-adoptive families
    • adoptive, kinship & customary care families
    • adult adoptees
    • professionals 
  • address the importance of understanding developmental trauma and the lens of adoption by all of the systems (child welfare, education, health - physical and mental, family law, justice, etc) that work with people and families on adoption and permanency journeys
  • provide relevant resources and further learning opportunities

Adoption & Adulthood: The Journey Continues

Dates:

Adoption & The Adult Adoptee with Dianne Mathes R.S.W. Adult Adoptee, Therapist, ED Adoption Council of Ontario

Recommeded Audience: 

  • Adoptees, parents, partners and the community who wants to connect with and support.

Goals: During this 2-hour webinar, Dianne explores the lifelong journey of the adoptee. This webinar focuses on understanding the history, experience and core issues that exist and impact the adult adoptee and how they may “play” at various stages of life stages and phases. The adult adopted person is often hindered in addressing and thus resolving these issues for a combination of reasons. A key focus is what adults who are adopted need to move from coping, longing and surviving to solidly knowing who they are and how to thrive in that knowing and being in the world.

Objectives:

  • Learn about and understand the lens of adoption and what it means
  • Integrate an understanding for yourself of how that lens was shaped for you by history and cultural beliefs
  • Learn what is missing and how missing pieces of your story can leave you at “don’t know points” in your life and journey
  • Explore the core issues in adoption and the duality that they can create in life phases
  • Learn the thoughts, feelings, experiences and perceptions that can occur and the importance of having them recognized, acknowledged and cared for
  • Understand how the issues of loss, grief and abandonment can emerge at stages and phases of life
  • Explore how the issues of shame and control play in your life and may be hidden even from you
  • Learn about the steps and stages of healing from adoption trauma and its role in your life


Tasks to be Mastered to Facilitate Healing from a History of Grief, Loss and Trauma

Dates:

Tasks to be Mastered to Facilitate Healing from a History of Grief, Loss and Trauma Part 1 with Judy Archer, MSW, RSW

Recommended Audience: 

  • Prospective caregivers, adoptive parents, foster parents & professionals

Upon placement, children face two daunting emotional issues: forming an attachment to new caregivers while simultaneously grieving separation, loss and more often than not, reactivation of any trauma from the past. In this webinar, prospective caregivers, adoptive parents, foster parents and the professionals who work work with them will gain important knowledge, skills and insights about the indicators of healing in the child post-placement and what they can do in their respective roles and relationships pre and post-placement to facilitate the healing process.

Goals: To gain knowledge, skills and insights needed to facilitate a child’s healing from grief, loss and trauma

Objectives: By the end of the webinar participants will be able to...

  • Describe the grieving process including the nature, stages and symptoms of grief
  • Identify at least 3 child-specific factors that will influence a child’s reactions to grief and loss
  • Explain at least 5 contributors to unresolved grief and loss in the child post-placement
  • Delineate the 6 variables that set the grieving process for the child-in-care and the child who joins a family through adoption and permanency planning apart from other types of loss
  • Outline the 9 Principles of Practice for parenting or working with the grieving child
  • Define trauma and provide at least 3 examples of the types of traumatic experiences that are common to many children-in-care
  • Elucidate 4 indicators of healing from a history of grief, loss and trauma with explanations of the specific tools, resources and strategies that can be used in their respective roles and relationships with a child to facilitate the child’s mastery of each interrelated task
  • Demonstrate knowledge of specific resources relevant to working with children pre- and post-placement
  • Outline the 9 Principles of Practice for parenting or working with the grieving child
  • Define trauma and provide at least 3 examples of the types of traumatic experiences that are common to many children-in-care
  • Elucidate 4 indicators of healing from a history of grief, loss and trauma with explanations of the specific tools, resources and strategies that can be used in their respective roles and relationships with a child to facilitate the child’s mastery of each interrelated task
  • Demonstrate knowledge of specific resources relevant to working with children pre- and post-placement

FASD

Dates:

Recommended Audience:

  • Prospective and adoptive families and the professionals who work with them 

New FASD with Judy Archer, MSW, RSW 

*This is an introductory session for people who are just learning about FASD.

Our new webinar on prenatal exposure to alcohol and drugs with Judy Archer, Adoption Counsellor and Consultant, will provide a comprehensive introduction to information about prenatal exposure to alcohol and drugs that is critical for adoptive parents to consider when parenting or planning to parent a child by adoption.

Goals: Raise awareness about the lifelong impact of FASD as well as tools, strategies and resources for optimizing the child’s adaptive functioning.

Objectives: By the end of the webinar, participants will be able to:

  • Put FASD into context by explaining the extent of alcohol consumption in Canada
  • Pinpoint contributors to and symptoms of FASD: primary and secondary
  • Summarize the new diagnostic guidelines for FASD
  • Explain lifelong implications and realities of living with a brain-based disability
  • List strengths of children with FASD
  • Describe contributors to adaptive functioning in children with FASD
  • Identify formal and informal supports available to parents of children with a history of prenatal exposure to FASD

Transitional Planning - Contributing to Successful Adoptions and Permanency

Dates:

Recommended Audience:

  • Prospective and adoptive families, foster parents and the professionals who work with them 

Transitional Planning with Judy Archer, MSW, RSW

For all parties to the adoption process—the child, the birth parents, the prospective caregivers, and the foster parents—particularly if they have been caring for the child for any length of time, adoption and permanency planning are profound, life-altering events. In this webinar, you will not only learn the goal and objectives for pre-placement visits, but concrete tools and strategies to facilitate the child’s successful transition to his/her new family.

Goal:  To raise awareness about the rationale for and elements of a transitional plan when moving children from one family to another.

Objectives:  By the end of this webcast, participants will:

  • Gain insight into the impact of separation, loss and transitional planning on children-in-care
  • Learn the 9-principles of practice that guide transitional planning
  • Identify the 7-goals of pre-placement visits
  • Discuss as many as 16 strategies, tools and techniques to facilitate a child’s successful transition
  • Identify resources that can be accessed to heighten their understanding about transitional planning and the pre-placement process even further
  • Discuss the value of being well-informed about transitional planning and the pre-placement process

Identity and Belonging

Dates:

Identity and Beloning with Dianne Mathes R.S.W. Adult Adoptee, Therapist, ED Adoption Council of Ontario

Recommeded Audience: 

  • Adoptees, parents, teachers, partners and the community who wants to connect with and support the adopted child.

Goals: During this one hour webinar, Dianne uses original art and images to describe the life long journey of the adoptee from birth through the stages of development and into the experiences of the adults, including search and reunion. This webinar focuses on how adoption trauma may affect many aspects of an adoptee’s way of perceiving themselves and others, and the unique challenges which, if recognized, named and understood, can provide repair and healing. This webinar is intended to provide adoptees with support in naming and claiming some of their lens as well as for parents, teachers, partners and the community who wants to connect with and support the adopted child, youth or adult by learning about their unique lens and way of being.

Objectives:

  • See the “view” through the lens of adoption for many adoptees
  • Understand the experience from the core foundation, the sensory world of the infant
  • Learn the unique thoughts, feelings, experiences and perceptions that can be part of this unique journey in life
  • Learn how the world of the adoptee is both dual and multi layered and the many ways that adoptees may use to navigate these realities
  • Learn how this core experience informs identity and a sense of belonging at each stage of development
  • Learn how grief is different and what the differences mean in connections with self and others
  • Learn how adoption trauma is different and how and why children, youth and adults may respond differently and have unique and different needs
  • Learn how attunement to these unique experiences is important and what is needed beyond attunement

Search and Reunion

Dates:

Recommended Audience:

  • Adult adoptees, first/birth families, adoptive families and the professionals who support them

Search and Reunion with with Dianne Mathes R.S.W. Adult Adoptee, Therapist, ED Adoption Council of Ontario

Goal: During this one hour webinar, Dianne explores the search and reunion phase in the life long journey of the adoptee. This webinar focuses on practical information about what reunion is and how to consider and embark upon a search. By exploring some of the key experiences within the adoption experience, our Search and Reunion webinar explores how questions, lack of mirroring and reflection as well as the lack of information about the story and circumstances of placement can be pieced together and the core issues within the lens of adoption addressed. Key to this webinar is a focus on how unresolved loss, grief and abandonment can be “triggered” and the normal and sometimes intense feelings this can create for both adoptees and their original and adoptive families.

Objectives:  By the end of this webcast, participants will:

  • See the “view” of search and reunion through the lens of adoption
  • Explore and learn about approaches to searching
  • Understand the types of reunion and how best to make decisions about what is right for you
  • Learn the thoughts, feelings, experiences and perceptions that can occur are normal, and how they are connected to the experience of adoption
  • Learn that the intense feelings and longings can evoke intense needs such as Genetic Attraction
  • Understand how the issues of loss, grief and abandonment can emerge with search and reunion
  • Learn how search and reunion can provide a way to understand the missing pieces and facts that often exist within the adoption and placement experience
  • Learn why and how support is important and what support is most helpful
  • Learn ways to tell and talk about the need to search and why reunion is important to others in your life who may not know
  • Learn about how to navigate reunion relationships with care and compassion for everyone

Older Child Adoption: Journey Into The Unknown

Dates:

  • Available On-Demand - please see below

Recommended Audience:

  • Prospective and adoptive families and the professionals who work with them 

Older Child Adoption: Parent Centred/Child Focused Adoption with Elaine Ash, MSW, RSW, mental health therapist, and her adult daughter, Ashley, who was placed with Elaine six years prior.

Elaine and Ashley provide candid yet heartwarming insights into the unique challenges, feelings, beliefs and corresponding needs of older children who join their families by adoption.  The focus of this webcast is on the initial stages of placement. Not only do they discuss “gentle tools”, strategies and resources that can be used to facilitate a child’s adjustment and successful integration into a new family unit, but they highlight what parents can do for themselves and other family members (i.e., previously adopted children) when embarking on the lifelong journey to becoming a permanent family.

Goal:  To raise awareness about the common adjustments and corresponding needs of the older child and adoptive family members in the aftermath of an adoption placement/post-placement

Objectives:  By the end of this webcast, participants will be able to do the following:

  • Define “older child”
  • Enumerate qualities needed to assume a parent-centred/child-focused approach to adoption
  • Identify the common feelings, challenges, beliefs and needs of older children who join their families through adoption and permanency planning
  • Provide examples of common challenges, feelings and needs of adoptive parents and previously adopted children post-placement
  • Outline the primary role and responsibilities of adoptive and permanency planning parents post-placement
  • List gentle tools, strategies and resources that can be used to enhance the adjustment of the child to be adopted and other family members post-placement
  • Discuss the importance of being well-informed about the topic, parent-centered/child-focused approach to parenting a child by adoption, pre- and/or post-placement

Making Openness Work for Kids and Families

Dates:

  • Available On-Demand - please see below.
  • View the PowerPoint Presentation here.

Recommended Audience:

  • Prospective and adoptive families, foster families and the professionals who work with them 

Openness in Adoption with Pat Convery, RSW

Goal: To give an overview of Openness in Adoption from the perspective of benefits and challenges for all members of the family – birth family member, adopted child and adoptive parents. Additionally, to provide some tools and strategies for professionals and families to consider in making initial openness plans and navigating through challenges.

Objectives

  • Discuss the importance of being well-informed about openness in adoption, pre and/or post-placement
  • Review the benefits and challenges of maintaining birth family connections after adoption
  • Provide an understanding of basic principles and elements to consider in making decisions about the level of openness that will be appropriate for a family
  • Give concrete tips and strategies to help in making openness plans before placement and navigating challenges that arise along the way

Parenting Children Who Have Experienced Trauma

Dates:

  • Available On-Demand - please see below.

Recommended Audience:

  • Prospective and adoptive families, foster families and the professionals who work with them 

Parenting Children Who Have Experienced Trauma with Karen Moore, MA, ECE, RSW

Karen provides an introduction to trauma and its impact on child and adult development, using an adoption-specific lens. Whether you are a prospective adoptive parents, an adoptive and permanency planning caregiver, or a professional, you will learn why it is critically important to learn as much as you can about this important topic, regardless of the child’s age at placement.

Goal:  To raise awareness about the impact of trauma on child development and adult development, and the corresponding needs of infants and children who join their families by adoption and permanency planning.

Objectives:  By the end of this webcast, participants will:

  • Explain the meaning of “trauma” and what it means from an adoption or permanency planning perspective
  • Describe at least three symptoms or long-term emotional “reactions” that may be indicative of a trauma history
  • Identify the impact of trauma on child and adult development
  • Explain the correlation between loss and trauma
  • Provide examples of trauma experienced by waiting children and children who have joined their families by adoption
  • Identify examples of knowledge and skills needed by adoptive and permanency planning parents to successfully parent a child by adoption and permanency planning
  • Explain how “relationship-based parenting” and “therapeutic parenting” contribute to healing for a child with a history of trauma
  • List resources that can be accessed to heighten one’s understanding about trauma and adoption
  • Discuss the importance of being well-informed about the topic, parenting children with a history of trauma, pre and/or post-placement

New! On-Demand Sessions Available

Sessions:

These sessions will be available from April 1st until August 30th. All additional resources are available in the description boxes.

Once you are finished the presentation please fill out our online survey.


New! Audio Recordings

A Conversation About Learning & School During COVID with Lori DeWitte, an Elemntary School Principal

 

  • Original date: May 11th, 2020
  • Speakers: Lori DeWitte
  • Moderator: Sylvia Gibbons, ACO PACT Parent Liaison
  • Summary: Lori is a Principal, Educator and adoptive parent. She shares tips for schooling kids on adoption and permanency journeys during Covid-19.

 

Panel Discussion: Parenting Teens on Adoption & Permanency Journeys

  • Original date: April 30th, 2020 
  • Speakers: Laura Banks, Karen Moore, Jean Skelton & Cindy Stewart
  • Moderator: Sylvia Gibbons, ACO PACT Parent Liaison 
  • Summary: You're invited to a panel discussion with four of our PACT trainers on the joys and challenges of parenting teens on adoption and permanency journeys. We will also cover some of the additional considerations involved in parenting teens during this time of COVID 19 and physical distancing.

 

Developmental Trauma & COVID-19: A Virtual DTAA Panel Discussion

  • Original date: May 13th, 2020 
  • Speakers: Leticia Gracia, Dr. Charlie Menendez, Susan O’Quinn & Sylvia Gibbons
  • Moderator: Kathy Soden, ACO PACT Manager & DTAA Chair
  • Summary: Please join a DTAA panel for a live discussion about developmental trauma and COVID-19. Together we'd like to explore and learn more about the impact of COVID-19 on people with developmental trauma, talk about what can help and provide some helpful tips and resources.

Once you are finished listening to the presentation please fill out our online survey.


Technical Requirements: 

Please use a laptop or desktop computer with an internet speed of at least 10mbps. Use of iPads, tablets, and mobile phones is not recommended as some media may not be supported

Perform an Adobe Connect Diagnostic Test to ensure your computer and network connections are properly configured to provide you with the best possible Adobe Connect meeting experience.