Kids Need Families and Families Need Support

Adoption Myth #5

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

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Finding a Professional:

Finding an adoption-competent* and trauma-informed professional to work with your family when needed is very important. It can also be a challenging task.

Below is a list of Ontario professionals, organized by geographical region, who have completed the ACO's eight-day comprehensive training program, ACT: an Adoption and Permanency Curriculum for Child Welfare and Mental Health Professionals. Taking the ACT training in and of itself does not guarantee a professional is adoption competent and ACO is not certifying the professionals listed below as such. However, the ACT training is an intensive training program that provides an excellent framework for professional working with all members of the adoption constellation.

Determining if a professional is the right fit for your family needs to take into account a number of important factors including the following:

  • the counsellor's credentials, education, and experience working with children or families, or both, in adoption, permanency planning, child welfare, children's mental health and/or the specific special needs that your child brings to your family
  • whether the counsellor is registered with a professional body
  • given the rapid advancement of research in the areas of adoption, special needs and brain development, to name but a few, the extent of the counsellor's commitment to ongoing professional development 
  • practical issues such as the therapist's accessibility (i.e., Do they have an office in your community? Make home visits? Offer appointment times that are compatible with your schedule?). Have a wait list? What are their fees for service? 

In addition, you may wish to consider feedback/recommendations of other families, and ultimately your sense of whether you and the therapist under consideration can work well together.

Here is a link to an excellent resource, Selecting and Working with a Therapist Skilled in Adoption, prepared by the US Child Welfare Information Gateway to assist you in this endeavour: https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubPDFs/f_therapist.pdf. The publication outlines very good guidance and questions to ask of a professional you are considering working with.

Ultimately selecting the right professional to work with your family is a personal decision.

Find a Professional

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