When adoptive parents open their hearts and homes to children not born to them, they're sometimes faced with unexpected challenges.
An excellent new adoptive parent training program called “Pathways to Permanence 2: Parenting Children who have Experienced Trauma & Loss,” hopes to make these challenges easier to understand and cope with.
The Adoption Council of Ontario is running the “Pathways” training program in the Dryden area for the first time this spring.
The nine-session program runs over three weekends in April and May (on Fridays from 6-9 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m.-4 p.m.)
The “Pathways” program is free for participants thanks to funding from the Ontario government.
Meals and child-care also are included.
The training provides education and support for adoptive parents, enabling them to connect with others who are experiencing similar challenges.
The goal is to return home with an increase in both competence and confidence in their ability to parent their adopted child.
In the final session parents are guided to build an ongoing parent support group in their community.
The ACO has run more than 20 “Pathways” programs over the past year across the province with great success.
Adoptive families who have taken the “Pathways” training say that they feel less isolated and are so grateful to know that there are other families out there who understand what they are going through.
Though some pre-adoption training is provided to families in Ontario, additional, specialized training is needed to assist families with some of the difficult issues that arise because of their child's adverse early life experiences.
“Our children and youth need a special kind of parenting,” says Pat Convery, executive director of the Adoption Council of Ontario.
The “Pathways” training program provides tools, support, and, most importantly, hope to adoptive families.
The curriculum was developed by The Kinship Center in California, along with a curriculum for professionals who work with adoptive families called ACT.
The ACO to date has offered the “Pathways” training to more than 400 parents and the ACT training to some 100 professionals in Ontario.
Only 20 spaces are available in the Dryden “Pathways” group, so couples or individuals are invited to register as soon as possible.
For more information, contact the ACO at 1-877-ADOPT 20 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org