With adoption you have to attend mandatory training as part of the adoption process. It may seem odd to some but from what we have seen and heard so far, it prepares adopters with necessary facts and information about the children in the care system and how adopting helps those who are in need of their forever family.
The training can differ in length and content dependant on the Local Authority (LA) or adoption agency you choose. For instance our Stage 1 training is one day, with Stage 2 being on 2 consecutive days. However we are aware of some LA's having the training split over 4 consecutive days or split into smaller training days. We assume it's very much dependant on the agency/authority.
We didn't need to be there until 10:00am however as we're not ones to be rushed, we made sure we left in plenty of time to avoid any traffic. We wanted to set ourselves up for the day and to be there in plenty of time, not rushing in 20 minutes into the training which wouldn't be a great start at all. We were with three other couples so the group was rather small which was great as we were able to speak openly and discuss adoption with the others and it allowed us to engage in a lot of conversation. It was clear we had all done lots of research on adoption before this point which was encouraging.
We spoke about Parental Responsibility and the rights of the birth parents before a care order was made by the LA to remove the child from the parents. We also spoke through the process from when the child is taken away and placed into care. It was extremely interesting to hear but a stark reminder that these children have experienced an incredibly high level of trauma from just this experience alone. We both recognise what we are doing is life changing for the child and us.
The day itself was broken up into various parts including considering all parties involved in the adoption and considerations for each. A lot of time was spent focussing on the types of abuse and neglect the children have experienced in their life and how they would feel about adoption. One thing was certainly clear - the children have to give up everything and all they know to change their life. A hard fact to comprehend but one which means so much.
By the end of the day our heads were full and bursting with an intense amount of information and knowledge - some of which we had read or heard of already and other topics had been explored in more detail.
Our next lot of training will be in Stage 2 which will not be for several months now but it means we have fully started the adoption process (Eeek!) and we can get underway with some focussed reading about particular topics we will need to research before our Stage 2 Assessment.