Building a Foundation for Parenting Children from Hard Places

Families Are Forever and the Barker Adoption Foundation have teamed up to provide essential training based on Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI), a therapeutic model that trains parents to provide effective support and treatment for children who come from a place most likely very different from your own. You’ll gain knowledge that many who have gone before you have discovered about welcoming a child from a ‘hard place’ into your home and family. We’ll also strengthen your family’s foundation so that as a parent, you have the tools and knowledge needed to best meet your child’s needs.

FAF PHASE ONE

These classes total 18 hours of adoptive family training which meet the Hague requirements.

Class 101

Preparing for the Journey of Adoption

In this class, we’ll explore Dr. Karyn Purvis’s 7 Insights and 7 Gifts that you can give to your adoptive child. We draw heavily from Dr. Purvis’s and her colleague, Dr. David Cross’s work throughout this program and their words will inspire you for the journey ahead. This video introduces the challenges of adoption and the ways you can empower your child to trust and heal.

2 Hours

Class 102

Introduction to Trust-Based Relational Intervention™

This class lays the foundation for most of the Trust-Based Relational Intervention™ (TBRI) teachings of this entire program. Much of the information that we’ll examine will be drawn from this material.

2 Hours

Class 103

Children’s Needs and Intercountry Adoption

In this class, we’ll go a little more in-depth into intercountry adoption processes. No matter what country you’ve chosen to adopt from it’s probably quite different from your own place and family of origin! We’ll respond to common questions from parents—including what your child is most likely experiencing in their foster home or institutional living situation, cultural differences and similarities as well as the laws and adoption processes from a country new to you in many ways. We’ll use this course as a foundation and then fill you in on many more specifics as your adoption journey continues.

3 Hours

Class 104

Understanding Children’s Development

The mystery of how your child becomes the small person you will meet some day begins with their developing brain and body—how does this development affect their emotional and behavioral make up? In this course, we’ll learn from the Karyn Purvis Institute of Child Development’s “Children from Hard Places and the Brain.” This video covers topics such as institutionalization and development and challenges parents to think about what it means to come from a hard place. This teaching will start your exploration of what we hope will be a life-long desire to learn just ‘how and why’ children are who they are and how we as parents can be an enormous part of their healing. We’ll cover how the brain develops, the impact of trauma and institutionalization and how you can help change your child’s brain development through attachment.

2.25 Hours

Class 105

Common Medical Conditions

You’ve most likely said ‘yes’ to a child with a potential medical condition. In this course, you’ll be challenged to think about your understanding of special needs and learn more about how to consider whether or not you are prepared to adopt a child with a medical challenge. We’ll cover some common medical conditions and we’ll do our best to provide answers to how you’ll parent a child with special needs. You’ll also hear from families who are parenting a child with a special need and how their life has changed. We’ll leave you with some resources to explore as you consider how to make these very important decisions.

2.5 Hours

Class 106

Understanding Attachment

In this class, we will look at what healthy attachment looks like and how your attachment style as a parent can ease your relationship with a new child. Understanding attachment is an important part of every relationship—this video will give you the insights needed to start your own voyage of personal discovery as well as give you practical tools for purposeful connection with your child.

2 Hours

Class 107

Developing Attachment

The more you know about how to engage your child in the ‘attachment dance’ the more healing you’ll be able to bring and the more peace there will be in your home. This course offers some tools for engaging with a child from a hard place. We’ll also learn about incorporating mindfulness about where your child has come from, where he or she is developmentally, and how to gauge your interaction for healing.

2.25 Hours

Class 108

Transracial Adoption: Building Cultural Awareness

If your child is coming from a country where everyone looks different than what you see when you look in the mirror, then there will be ‘blending’ needed. Yes, we are all the same on the inside, but learning to acknowledge, celebrate, and understand cultural differences will be a life-long journey for your family. Take some steps with this course in deepening your sensitivity and opening your heart for those who are different from you. In this course, we’ll also explore transracial adoption from the point of view of both adoptive parents and transracial adoptees.

2 Hours

Learning to Connect with Your Child

This second pre-adoptive phase offers 8 interactive courses created to take parents deeper into the subjects of bonding and attachment and the practical ‘how-tos’ of parenting a child from a hard place using Trust-Based Relational Intervention™ (TBRI).  These classes – while both practical and idea-rich – will add valuable insights into the personalities and temperaments of each individual in your home. Through this series of articles, videos, and assessments, you’ll learn how to further connect and engage with your child. We’ll explore obstacles and challenges and the tools needed to develop a healthy, secure bond. In this series, you will also delve further into your own background and learn how you can heal & grow into even better and more prepared parents.

FAF PHASE TWO

The 8 classes in this phase total 20 hours.

Class 201

The Importance of Playful Engagement

In this class, we’ll discuss how to confront challenging moments through playful interaction and provide practical tools for daily encouragement for children with a background of trauma. This section also explores ways to make play fun for yourself and your child and why play can often be difficult for adults.

2.0 Hours

Class 202

Healing and Healthy Touch

Everyone needs physical affection, but it can be difficult to know where to start when touch, or healthy touch, has been absent. This course offers practical tools for how to be affectionate with a child from a hard place as well as how to recognize and bring healing to sexualized behavior and understand healthy touch.

2 Hours

Class 203

Exploring the Sensory World

This lesson explores the ways in which we experience the world through the 5 senses and different coping mechanisms for sensory overload. In this segment, we’ll also discuss the importance of respect for our own, as well as our children’s bodies.

2 Hours

Class 204

Healing Through Attachment

Through an attachment assessment and detailed narratives, you’ll learn about the 4 types of adult attachment styles and discover your own attachment inclination. Gaining insight into individual strengths and challenges becomes a valuable tool in enhancing attachment to your own child and family.

3 Hours

Class 205

Your Story: Healing & Attachment

Central to this class is the wisdom we’ll draw from Michael Orlans and Terry Levy and their book Healing Parents: Helping Wounded Children Learn to Love and Trust.  Resources and valuable insights are provided to help parents develop their child’s trust and create healthy self-worth in every relationship.

4 Hours

Class 206

Nurturing Secure Connections

In this class, we’ll explore the possibility that everything your child does stems from his or her natural desire to learn, explore, and grow, to launch and return to a loving embrace.

2 Hours

Class 207

Parenting From a Secure Base

The longing to ‘belong’ is central to every heart – the child you are welcoming into your family is no different. The practical, grace-filled examples of the TBRI Empowering, Connecting, and Correcting Principles will become the bedrock of the foundation you are building as you parent your child.

3 Hours

Class 208

Wrapping Up & Getting Real

In this class, we’ll remind you of cocooning and forming lasting bonds, what sort of transitional challenges could be ahead, give you some ideas for honoring your child’s origins, and maybe even pique your curiosity about how we want to support you and stay connected as your family grows.

2 Hours

Additional Training Electives

These single-topic stand-alone classes are designed to take a deeper dive into topics that many families want to learn more about, or need some extra assistance with.

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Class 301

New Kids in the House: Siblings and Family Integration

Adoption impacts each individual in the family differently. Adding a new family member, and all of the likes, dislikes, passions, and personality that come along with them, can throw the groove off of even the most flexible of families.

1.5 Hours • $45
Enroll in Class 301

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Class 302

When Your Adopted Child Comes With a Past, Not a Pacifier

Bonding with a teenager or an older child who has spent time in a home, a foster home, and/or an institution unprepared to meet their needs comes with its own set of challenges. Welcoming an older child into a forever family or a child that’s beginning to question their adoption can require a whole new list of best practices for parents.

2 Hours • $60
Enroll in Class 302

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Class 303.1

Empowering, Connecting, Correcting – I

This course provides the practical examples and role-playing needed for parents to learn how to empower a child to physically and emotionally attune to a loving caregiver. You’ll come away with the tools and encouragement needed to connect with your child in a meaningful, healthy way, while also learning strategies to help a child course-correct when things get hard.

2 Hours • $60
Enroll in Class 303.1

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Class 303.2

Empowering, Connecting, Correcting – II

This course continues the practical examples and role-playing needed for parents to learn how to empower a child to physically and emotionally attune to a loving caregiver.

2 Hours • $60
Enroll in Class 303.2

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Class 304

Facilitating Behavioral Change

Discover the science behind the behaviors of vulnerable children. Dr. Purvis provides dozens of examples of strategies to deal with the behaviors of children from hard places—all while showing a different side of her usual college professor self! It’s a joy to watch Dr. Purvis bring order, security, and contentment into tough situations with children.

2 Hours • $60
Enroll in Class 304

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Class 305

Family Mission Statement

A wise person once said, “if you aim at nothing you’ll hit it every time!” In this interactive for-the-whole-family class, you’ll have the chance to hear from each other, brainstorm, be creative, and build on what makes your family special. Together, you’ll find a purpose each family member understands and an overall direction that you can head toward together. By the end, you’ll have created a working Family Mission statement together!

2 Hours • $60
Enroll in Class 305

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Class 306

Racial Makeup of Families & Identity of Adopted Children

Families adopting children with ethnicities different from their own face unique challenges in family life, community, and culture. Your child’s experience will be different from your own—and there must be space for them to express those experiences and feelings. This course will help families discover ways to honor their child’s birth culture as well as the community that they’ve brought their child “home” to join.

2 Hours • $60
Enroll in Class 306

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Class 307

Safety and Children with Sexualized Behaviors

Sometimes children from hard places have had almost unspeakable experiences that loving parents can’t even imagine. To bring healing, we must fiercely and unashamedly come alongside our children. In this course we’ll address topics of safety for every family member, how the symptoms of sexual abuse often present in children of all ages, and steps toward health for the wounded child.

1.5 Hours • $45
Enroll in Class 307

Class 311

Talking to Kids about Race and Racism

Family should be the place where children feel precious and beloved. It’s also the place where their identity is nurtured and strengthened. When everyone in the family doesn’t ‘match’ we have the unique opportunity of learning and growing together and then championing the differences. What you say, and often more importantly, what you don’t say as parents will be foundational to the identity your child takes into their teens, young adulthood, and the rest of their life. This course will help you guide the thinking, reading, and conversation for your whole family.

3 Hours • $90
Enroll in Class 311