Foundations for Parenting Children from Hard Places

Families Are Forever and Holt International 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.

These foundational classes total 7 hours of pre-adoptive training.

Class FAF 10

Preparing for FAF Foundations

Foundations classes are intended to provide adoptive families with core training concepts from Families Are Forever (FAF).  In this short class, you’ll be introduced to Trust-Based Relational Intervention® (TBRI) and FAF’s education platform.

30 Minutes

Class FAF 20

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.

1.5 Hours

Class FAF 30

Building the Framework

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 Hours

Class FAF 40

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 FAF 50

Wrapping Up

In this final course of the Foundations series, we’ll explore Dr. Karyn Purvis’s 7 Insights and 7 Gifts that you can give to your adoptive child. Throughout FAF, we draw heavily from Dr. Purvis’s and her colleague, Dr. David Cross’s work and their words will challenge and 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.

1 Hour

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


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 308

Developmental Milestones

Although every child’s development is unique, children who come to us from challenging backgrounds take ‘unique’ to a whole new level. As parents we want to empower these children holistically – to facilitate growth in mind, body and spirit – so they can reach their full potential. This course will provide a deeper understanding of child development, examining potential emotional triggers that will help you better meet your child’s needs as they grow.

2.5 Hours • $75
Enroll in Class 308

Class 309

Exploring the Realities of Transracial Adoption

AGCI is partnering with Be The Bridge in the important conversation surrounding the topic of transracial adoption. Be The Bridge is a faith-based organization that believes in truth-telling, humility, respect, confession, grace, and justice. The vision of Be The Bridge is for people and organizations to gain awareness and respond to the racial brokenness and systemic injustice in the world and that people are no longer conditioned by a racialized society but grounded in the truth where all are equipped to flourish. This course will allow you to step into an intentional study of race, adoption and culture.

6 Hours • $90
Enroll in Class 309

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

Class 312

Developing an Adoption Profile

For a Domestic Adoption, creating an adoption profile that highlights how and why your family is prepared to bring an adoptive child into your home is an important step. In this class, we’ll examine the best practices and examples of adoption profiles that you can use to create your own profile.

1 Hour • $35
Enroll in Class 312