The Adopting Together approach to transition uses a model devised by The Family Place which focuses on supporting the child to make use of their main carer/attachment figure. In the first instance this would be you as the foster carer and as introductions progress the model explores how this can move to the adopter. This is done through a structured process of sessions which sees the adults mediating the emotions for the child, rather than the child managing them alone.
As the foster carer, you will be invited to attend six play-based sessions with the child and a designated transition worker. These sessions combine different approaches including Theraplay, Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy and narrative work, and provide a sequence of play-based activities. The first three sessions begin with you as the foster carer and the child, after which the adopter is invited to join. Following the child’s placement you as the foster carer will withdraw and the remaining sessions will take place with just the child and the adopter.
The joint sessions during introductions aim to provide a message to the child (through interactive games and play) that care can move from one attachment figure to another. The messages contained within this centres on “we are going to show (the adopter) all the special games we play and the ways you (the child) need to be looked after”. Alongside this, familiar sequences of games and rituals can have a powerful impact on the child.
The transition worker will be in touch with you prior to the sessions starting to discuss the planned activities, the set-up of the sessions and the practical arrangements.