Kinship Center to Publish Series for Families and Professionals

In May, the Kinship Center Education Institute will introduce a series of articles written by experienced Kinship Center experts on topics of interest to parents, to professionals in child welfare and mental health, and to the general public. Reflecting Kinship Center’s clinical practices, the articles focus on creating and supporting family strengths.

The new series – Education Institute White Paper Series: Educating, Innovating, Empowering - will launch with initial articles on timely topics in the forefront of practice today, such as trauma, specialized parenting strategies, adoption support in rural counties, and others. Articles are short, compelling and full of practical information on helping children thrive in strong, healthy families.

Here are some excerpts from an article Seeking Meaningful Therapy, about the importance of therapy for traumatized children that includes the family and that is provided by an adoption-competent therapist. The article was written by a Kinship Center professional who is also the parent of children with exceptional special needs.

I sit in the therapist’s waiting room, surrounded by parenting magazines. The covers promise fun-filled rainy day activities, crowd-pleasing cupcakes, and surefire ways to beat the homework blues. It is painfully clear that these magazines are not meant for me or my family.  I am the adoptive mother of a child who experienced early trauma. My daughter is every bit as beautiful as the squeaky clean cherubs on these glossy pages, but where are the articles for our family?  Where are the cover stories that speak to the storm of loss that rages in my child’s soul, to her insatiable appetite for both food and validation, and to the hours of headache and heartache brought on by each page of homework as she struggles to re-learn what she learned the day before… and the day before that?

….I’ve asked to sit in on her sessions, only to be told that it may interfere with the establishment of trust in her therapist. What about her trust in me? I’ve asked for some specifics of what they’ve discussed. Apparently that’s confidential.  Confidential? She is a child.  I am her mother –  the mother she so desperately needs. I’m not asking for every detail of their conversation;  I’m asking for the tools I need to parent her in the very best way I can. How am I to comfort her, nurture her, sit with her in her pain and support her through it when I am shut out here with these magazines every Thursday from 4:00 to 4:50?

…As foster and adoptive parents, we are told repeatedly that it is crucial for our children to go to therapy. It can, indeed, be an incredibly helpful tool…if it is guided by an adoption-competent therapist in a model which includes the parents. The attachment-savvy therapist understands that the parents are the healing agents and the parent-child relationship is the priority.

…The therapist is a kind, competent man. He has a warm smile, a kid-friendly office, and the respect of his colleagues and clients. Without specialized training in the complexities of adoption and attachment, however, he may be no better suited to our family than the magazines in his waiting room.

Watch for Education Institute White Paper Series: Educating, Innovating, Empowering appearing soon on Kinship Center’s website and elsewhere.

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