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Event Tag: sense of self

Working with Adopted Teenagers, Developmental Trauma and a Sense of Self: what Research and Lived Experience tells Us

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.


In this training session we will hear from Dr Zoe Webb, a clinical psychologist with whom we explore how to best support adoptive families to understand developmental trauma and mental health needs of young people. We will consider different strategies to help adoptive parents to differentiate between behaviour linked to trauma and ‘expected’ types of behaviour linked to their level of development.

“All the speakers were great. Mel seemed very approachable and was open about her own misgivings and how her own practice had developed. Aaron and Dani were fabulous! Such insightful, well articulated, engaging and friendly young people. All the speakers made the webinar an absolute pleasure to attend.” – Attendee, June 2021

We will then hear from senior practitioners at Scottish Adoption and learn from the lived experience and reflections facilitated by their young ambassadors on the issues as they see it, that are at play during adolescence. We will discuss the need to explore their identity, the need to separate from their adoptive parents and their need to see their birth family.

“[I liked…] the expertise and experience of the facilitators on this particular topic, and the contribution of the people who were adopted. Their generosity in sharing their experiences was very powerful and made the webinar even more meaningful.” – Attendee, June 2021

During this training you will be able to network with fellow practitioners from other agencies, share best practice and glean new ideas.

Learning outcomes

  • Explore strategies to support adoptive parents in understanding developmental trauma and mental health needs of young people, including differentiating between behavior linked to trauma and ‘expected’ behavior linked to development level.
  • Understand the experiences and reflections of young ambassadors facilitated by senior practitioners at Scottish Adoption on issues at play during adolescence, such as exploring identity, separating from adoptive parents, and the need to see birth family.
  • Network with fellow practitioners from other agencies, share best practices, and gain new ideas.
  • Gain insight into the perspectives of adoptive families and how to better support them in navigating the unique challenges of raising children who have experienced developmental trauma

About the trainers

Melanie Thomson 

Melanie Thomson is the Children’s Worker at Scottish Adoption. In addition to proving post adoption support to children and their families, Melanie facilitates a number of different groups for adopted children and young people. Melanie strongly believes in the power of group work within post adoption support and alongside her team of Adoption Ambassadors, manages the @TeenTalk social media channel where the aim is create an online adoption community for children and young people and educate the wider world via their lived experience.

Dr Zoe Webb

Dr Zoe Webb, BSc, PhD, DClinPsy, is a qualified child and adolescent clinical psychologist with over ten years experience of working with young people & their families. Having worked previously within Child and Adolescent Mental Health services in the NHS, she has been in full-time independent practice since 2015. Zoe works therapeutically with both young people and adults, individually, dyadically or systemically on a range of mental health & well-being difficulties (inc. anxiety, depression, anger, self-harm etc..) with a specialist interest in developmental trauma & attachment difficulties. She is trained in the core therapeutic models used within clinical psychology practice (inc. CBT, systemic, and narrative) and has completed additional training in Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP; certified practitioner), Theraplay (to level 2), the Dynamic Maturational Model of attachment, The Meaning of the Child, Child Attachment & Play Assessment (CAPA), and EMDR (level 1 & child).


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 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.