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Event Tag: life story work

A Framework for Therapeutic Life Story Work in Adoption: Building Safety into Difficult Conversations

Who this is for

Adoption practitioners and managers (Voluntary Adoption Agencies, Regional Adoption Agencies, Local Authorities, and independent social workers), children’s social care services, children and family social workers, foster carers, kinship carers and other professionals working with children and families.


Details

This bespoke training session designed for adoption practitioners, is led by esteemed expert Katie Wrench, a Therapeutic Social Worker and Psychotherapist specializing in adoption dynamics.

In this dynamic workshop, you will dive deep into the intricacies of Therapeutic Life Story Work within the context of adoption. Together with Katie Wrench, you will explore strategies for navigating challenging conversations inherent in adoption journeys, with a primary focus on creating safety and trust throughout the process.

Drawing from years of experience and expertise, Katie will guide participants through a comprehensive framework for conducting Therapeutic Life Story Work, equipping attendees with practical tools and techniques to effectively engage with adoptive families and individuals.

Whether you’re a seasoned professional looking to refine your skills or a newcomer eager to learn from the best, this session offers a unique opportunity to expand your knowledge and enhance your practice.


Learning outcomes

  • Gain insights into the principles and practices of Therapeutic Life Story Work in adoption
  • Explore strategies for building safety and trust in difficult conversations
  • Learn practical tools and techniques for conducting effective therapeutic interventions
  • Benefit from the wealth of experience and expertise shared by Katie Wrench, a renowned practitioner in the field
  • Network with fellow adoption practitioners and professionals

About the trainer

Katie Wrench

Katie Wrench is an experienced therapeutic social worker who until 2020 was managing a local authority Therapeutic Social Work Team where she worked for 18 years. She is now Head of Clinical Services at www.bussmodel.org.  She is also a qualified art psychotherapist, trainer and supervisor who lives and works in West Yorkshire.  Katie is dual registered with the Health Care Professions Council and Social Work England.

Katie has co-authored a highly accessible book about life story work that is full of tried and tested activities and creative ideas for professionals, adoptive parents and foster carers who may have little time and few resources, but who need to carry out life story work that works for children – Life Story Work with Children who are Fostered or Adopted: Creative Ideas and Activities (Wrench & Naylor, 2013, Jessica Kingsley Publishers). Her second publication is Helping Vulnerable Children & Adolescents To Stay Safe. Creative Ideas and Activities for Building Protective Behaviours (2016), with a third book published in June 2018, Creative Assessments with Vulnerable Children and Families. Her latest writing is due for publication in June 2024 and is entitled Skills and Knowledge for Life Story Work with Children and Adolescents.


Instructions

A member of staff will be in touch with attendees one week prior to the event to share a pre-event delegate pack.

If you have any questions regarding this webinar, please contact us at info@cvaa.org.uk. We will aim to answer your query within two working days.

CVAA accept online payments only. In case you do not have instant access to your company card, we suggest using your personal card instead to book a training event and claim it back with your agency in your expenses. Requesting an invoice to pay for our standard practice events is not possible.

Undertaking Life Story Work with Teenagers: the Need for Dedicated Approach

Who this is for

Adoption practitioners and managers (Voluntary Adoption Agencies, Regional Adoption Agencies, Local Authorities, and independent social workers), children’s social care services, children and family social workers, foster carers, kinship carers, designated teachers, and other professionals working with children and families.


Details

In many cases life story work is undertaken at the point to permanence and there are varying standards across the services. 

During this practice webinar, you will hear from senior adoption practitioners at Family Care Adoption Services considering how young people not living with their birth families can benefit from Life Story work, and how the work can improve a young person’s sense of identity and promote a positive sense of worth.

“Well presented Course and source of information that the Presenters were clearly passionate about, which is very inspiring.” – attendee, 2021

Family Care Adoption Services are very excited at the prospect of a young person and significant people in their life, including siblings and birth families, being able to contribute to their life story. This means giving  young people a living chronology of their life story, family history and ultimately a true sense of their identity.

Through discussion of the Life Story process, a range of effective communication methods will be explored. Practical suggestions and ideas for working directly with young people will be discussed, which can help individuals’ piece together and develop a coherent understanding of their own histories and provide truthful answers to the many questions they have about their lives.

Consideration will be given to how to share information about difficult topics and support carers and/or adoptive parents gain confidence in discussing these issues.

“There was a lot of attendees from different profession backgrounds and with personal experience. Good to share ideas and also speak with practioners on the other side of what my role is who complete life story work later down the line.” – attendee, 2021


Learning outcomes

  • consider how young people not living with their birth families can benefit from Life Story Work
  • learn how the work can improve a young person’s sense of identity and promote a positive sense of worth
  • a range of effective communication methods will be explored
  • practical suggestions and ideas for working directly with young people
  • share information about difficult topics

About the trainer

Sarah Johnston is a Social Work practitioner and the Project Co-Ordinator of the Life Story Project at Family Care Adoption Services.  The project carries out Life Story work with care experienced young people aged 11-22 alongside their parents/carers. Life Story books are created with each young person, incorporating their personal thoughts, reflections, memories and artwork.  Sarah has over 6 years’ experience of carrying out Life Story work with fostered and adopted teenagers, and facilitating workshops on this subject.


Instructions

A member of staff will be in touch with attendees one week prior to the event to share a pre-event delegate pack.

If you have any questions regarding this webinar, please contact us at info@cvaa.org.uk. We will aim to answer your query within two working days.

CVAA accept online payments only. In case you do not have instant access to your company card, we suggest using your personal card instead to book a training event and claim it back with your agency in your expenses. Requesting an invoice to pay for our standard practice events is not possible.

Counting Dads in: Understanding and Supporting Birth Fathers

Who this is for

Adoption Practitioners, Managers, Social Workers (Voluntary Adoption Agencies, Regional Adoption Agencies and Local Authorities), Children’s Social Workers, Support Workers and Independent Professionals.


Details

This evidence seminar draws on findings from new research on fathers and recurrent care proceedings, carried out by Dr Georgia Philip as part of a research team from the University of East Anglia and Lancaster University. Together with Debra Brady, a senior adoption practitioner at Adopt Thames Valley, we will also explore practice issues when working with birth fathers and consider what best practice could look like when supporting them.

“I thought it was very thought provoking training and helped me to think about my own practice and how I work with birth fathers.” – Attendee, September 2021

The seminar will involve sharing and discussing evidence on the scale and pattern of birth fathers’ involvement in care proceedings, and important insights about the life histories of fathers who experience child removal. It will also present key messages for developing gender sensitive practice to get alongside birth fathers and fully explore how they may be supported to retain a stake in fatherhood which benefits children.

“[I liked the…] fact information was evidence based. I liked case examples that were used. I enjoyed hearing what was identified as being helpful engaging and working with birth parents. [I liked…] networking and sharing resources to signpost birth fathers onto.” – Attendee, September 2021
There will be opportunities to reflect on and share examples from practice as part of interrogating and engaging with the research.
“I enjoyed the course and would recommend to colleagues.” – Attendee, September 2021

Learning outcomes

  • to gain an appreciation of the bigger picture of birth fathers’ involvement in first and subsequent care proceedings
  • to gain an appreciation of the early life histories and cumulative vulnerabilities of birth fathers who have experienced child removal
  • to consider the opportunities and priorities for developing practice to support birth fathers

About the trainers

Dr Georgia Philip is a Lecturer in Social Work, in the School of Social Work at the University of East Anglia, and her role involves both teaching and research. She joined the School as a postdoctoral researcher in November 2011, after completing her PhD on fathering after separation. She subsequently worked on a study on decision making for children in care and since 2014 worked as a lead researcher on two Nuffield funded projects – the first on men’s experiences of the child protection system (Counting Fathers In) and the second on the scale, pattern and dynamics of fathers in recurrent care proceedings (Up Against It). Georgia is currently working on an evaluation of the Caring Dads programme in Blackburn with Darwen, and on developing training and support for working with fathers who experienced repeat care proceedings.

Debra Brady has been working in social care for 47 years starting in 1975. Debra has worked in residential care with adolescents  in Buckinghamshire and for the London Borough Of Islington. She qualified in 1989 and moved to become a field social worker in Bucks initially in child protection and then in all other areas of children`s services. Debra has worked in Adoption since 1994 and from 2001 became a post Adoption worker and then in 2012 moved to her current post in Oxfordshire as a Birth relative support worker and letterbox co-ordinator. Debra has also been lucky enough to have a placement with PAC and complete their therapeutic counselling course. Debra has also been a member of Adoption panels.


Instructions

A member of staff will be in touch with attendees one week prior to the event to share a pre-event delegate pack.

If you have any questions regarding this webinar, please contact us at info@cvaa.org.uk. We will aim to answer your query within two working days.

CVAA accept online payments only. In case you do not have instant access to your company card, we suggest using your personal card instead to book a training event and claim it back with your agency in your expenses. Requesting an invoice to pay for our standard practice events is not possible.

Life Story Work: Considering Best Practice and Learning from the Lived Experience

Who this is for

Adoption Practitioners, Managers, Social Workers (Voluntary Adoption Agencies, Regional Adoption Agencies and Local Authorities), Children’s Social Workers, Support Workers and Independent Professionals.


Details

A child’s life story considering best practice and learning from lived experiences, will allow adoption professionals to explore their knowledge on how to support children with life story work throughout their life. It will explore child appropriate language on how to speak about difficult topics including, domestic abuse, neglect, physical abuse and other topics that may be challenging.

This will follow the child’s journey from the conclusion from care proceedings to the final adoption order.

The training session will aim to explore a child’s journey through adoption with support from the Child and Family Workers within the Cumbrian children’s adopt team. We will be exploring the importance of relationship building with children, birth family, foster carers and adopters, while discussing life story tools to support communication and openness within families.

During the training we will share best practice and also look at tools used within the Cumbrian team and how this has supported children, foster families and adoptive families during the adoption process.


Learning outcomes

  • Exploring and sharing best practice in how we work with children with their birth family, within their foster family and then supporting them moving onto their adoptive family
  • Exploring how we support children to understand their life story within their foster home, along with supporting adopters to understand their child’s life story and how to support them to share this with their children
  • Sharing practical tools that families have found useful
  • Explore examples of the work we have completed
  • Looking and reflection on feedback Cumbria County Council have had from adopters, children and foster carers

About the trainers

Kayleigh Ward is a Child and Family Worker who currently resides with the children’s adoption team within Cumbria. Kayleigh has over 5 years’ experience working with children within child protection to adoption. She also has recently completed an advance certificate in therapeutic life story work to further her development to continue to support children. Kayleigh has completed over 80 life story books and has supported over 10 children to move on from foster care to adoption, along with supporting their birth families and adoptive families to understand the child’s life story so far.

Kim Conyers is a Social Worker who currently resides with the childrens’ adoption team within Cumbria. Kim has over 6 years of supporting children within support and protection and adoption. Kim is currently completing her level 2 in BUSS training. Kim has a wealth of knowledge on supporting adoptive families and continues within the team to share her lived experiences and knowledge.


Instructions

A member of staff will be in touch with attendees one week prior to the event to share a pre-event delegate pack. If you have any questions regarding this webinar, please contact us at info@cvaa.org.uk. We will aim to answer your query within two working days.

CVAA accept online payments only. In case you do not have instant access to your company card, we suggest using your personal card instead to book a training event and claim it back with your agency in your expenses. Requesting an invoice to pay for our standard practice events is not possible.

Transracial Placements and Ethnic Identity: How to get it right!

Who this is for

Adoption practitioners, Managers (Voluntary Adoption Agencies, Regional Adoption Agencies and Local Authorities) and Independent Professionals.


Details

What is known about children who are placed with parents who do not reflect their racial or ethnic heritage?  How do they fare long term?

What can social workers help parents do to manage their child’s needs in a way that promotes their heritage and their esteem and how can they ensure that the social work assessment is robust?

The ethnic identity development plays a crucial role in adolescence and emerging adulthood and may be more complex for adoptees who do not share their ethnic identity with their adoptive families. Together with Professor Rosa Rosnati we will explore the findings of her latest research study on Ethnic Identity, Bicultural Identity Integration, and Psychological Well-Being Among Transracial Adoptees. 

We will share some of the main findings stemming from the international empirical studies on these topics and we will outline some guidelines form parents and for social workers and psychologists working in the field of adoption.

We will then bring it all together in the practice part of this evidence seminar which will be facilitated by Jan Way MBE, social worker and adoptive parent. IAC- The Centre for Adoption has a long history of assessing applicants where there is a transethnic/transracial component. This part of the seminar will draw upon their experience, alongside research and input from an adoptee and an adoptive parent who have direct experience of transracial adoption.


About the trainers

Professor Rosa Rosnati, Ph.D., is a Full Professor of Social Psychology in the Faculty of Political and Social Sciences; a member of the executive board of the Family Studies and Research University Center; the Director of the biennial Master Course on Adoption and Foster Care in partnership with Istituto degli Innocenti in Florence; a member of the National Observatory on Childhood and Adolescence, 2020-22 (appointed by Minister of Family); and the ICAR7 Chair. Her prevalent research interests mainly explore family relationships; in particular, she has paid great attention to adoptive families with internationally adopted children with a specific focus on ethnic identity, Bicultural Identity Integration, discrimination by peers and intergroup and intragroup contact in adoptive families. On these topics she has authored and co-authored papers in peer reviewed indexed scientific journals and books.

Jan Way MBE has been a social worker since 1975, working in a range of settings including hospitals, local authorities, and adoption agencies. For the last 30 years she has worked in the adoption field, specialising in intercountry adoption, and working as a senior executive for a national adoption agency and charity. In 2019 she was awarded an MBE for her work in intercountry adoption. She now acts as a practice advisor and research lead for the agency. Jan is also an adopted person and an adoptive mother, having adopted a daughter from South America. In addition to her daughter, who is now 33, she has two grown up birth daughters.


Instructions

A member of staff will be in touch with attendees one week prior to the event to share a pre-event delegate pack.

If you have any questions regarding this webinar, please contact us at info@cvaa.org.uk. We will aim to answer your query within two working days.

CVAA accept online payments only. In case you do not have instant access to your company card, we suggest using your personal card instead to book a training event and claim it back with your agency in your expenses. Requesting an invoice to pay for our standard practice events is not possible.