When: October 2024
 Duration: 12 days, plus 1 assessment, Wednesdays, approximately two a month and one weekend
 Dates: 10am to 5pm each day
 Where: In person at IATE Islington, London


Course Aim:

This training course will equip qualified therapists with key knowledge and skills in undertaking therapeutic work with adoptive families, and help you become eligible to provide adoption support therapy funded by Adoption Support Fund monies. Adoption is often associated with mostly positives: how can it be anything other than good when a child needs a family and is welcomed into a permanent home? However, due to the child’s experiences prior to their adoption (attachment breaks and other developmental traumas), adoptive family life can be challenging. The parent and child often struggle with the fall-out from the child’s trauma and their critical life story questions, to which the parent brings their own history and triggers. A suitably trained therapist can be a significant support to adoptive families who are facing these trauma, life story and parenting challenges.


You need to be a qualified and registered therapist (e.g. BACP, UKCP, ACP) who has a good knowledge of child development, attachment and trauma, and who has worked with children/ adolescents for a minimum of 2 years. An interview (online) will follow your application. Closing date for written applications: 1 December 2023.


The course is staffed by experienced adoption support therapists, counsellors, social workers and adoptive parents who have worked in the field for many years.

Course Director: Franca Brenninkmeyer

Franca worked at PAC-UK (formerly ‘Post-Adoption Centre’) from 1996 to 2021 in various capacities, initially as a counsellor for adults (adults adopted as children and birth parents) and then in PAC-UK’s Child and family Service as a counsellor, a trainer and head of service.  She has BA,MA/MSc degrees in Child psychology/Pedagogy and Counselling Psychology from Belgium and the UK respectively and is a member of the BPS. Franca was instrumental in developing PAC-UK’s assessments and (intensive) therapeutic work for adoptive families.  She has frequently presented on adoption, attachment and trauma related topics in the field of adoption and other forms of permanent placements; some of her presentations took place in the USA, Spain, Indonesia and Japan. Franca has contributed to publications on complex trauma, adoption support practice and the importance of early intervention. 


Course participants will be able to

1) formulate an initial, adoption informed assessment and intervention plan

2) use some specific adoption informed assessment skills

3) provide an adoption informed therapeutic intervention for parents, children and families

4) liaise effectively with the network around the child/the family

5) get on provider lists of local authorities, secure funding, manage evaluations and report writing

6) forge relationships with other course participants in support of future practice/exercise


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