Post adoption support services

Adoptive Families

We provide a range of services for adoptive families living in Cheshire West and Chester, including:

  • Twice yearly newsletters
  • Adoption events
  • Consultation events
  • Financial support
  • Support groups for both adopters and their children provided by Local Authority adoption social workers and SafeBase Parenting Programmes
  • Post adoption support service provided by After Adoption – an independent agency offering services to all parties involved in adoption.
  • Schedule 2 Counselling – people adopted before 12th November 1975 are required to be provided with counselling if they want to access their adoption records
  • Assistance in relation to contact between an adoptive child and a birth parent, sibling, guardian or related person of the adoptive child
  • Provision of therapeutic services, i.e. Theraplay
  • Training/workshops
  • Mediation where disruption of an adoptive placement has occurred or is in danger of occurring
  • Counselling, advice and information
  • Access to SafeBase Parenting Programme
  • Grandparents / support network Training events
  • From May 2015 assessment and application to the National Adoption Support Fund will be made on behalf of an adoptive child requiring therapeutic intervention.

Support Groups

Cheshire West and Chester Council run a number of support groups for specific age ranges:

Under 5’s Support Group for children under 5 and their parents.  An opportunity for adoptive parents to meet other adoptive parents to in an informal environment where staff are available for advice.

STARS Group – for 5 to 11 year olds. Safe, Trust, Adopted, Respect, Support Group

Aims and objectives of STARS Group:

For children;

  • Meet other children who are adopted and build positive relationships
  • Help children develop social skills, problem solving skills and encourage following directions
  • Develop sensory integration through range of activities and experiences.
  • Improve self-regulation and to practice self control.
  • Promote a positive identity and enhance self esteem through positive experiences.

For parents:

  • Provide opportunity for adoptive parents to meet together.
  • To provide written materials and resources around attachment play activities.

The model:

Some of the activities in the group will be underpinned by Theraplay and the model of structure, engagement, nurture and challenge.  Theraplay is based on attachment theory. The activities are a vehicle to promote and strengthening relationships between parent and child.

The children’s group runs parallel to the parent group. In the parent group there is a worker present to share a variety of materials and explain the purpose of the activities and what the children are participating in.  There is an introductory joint game before they leave into a nearby room and return, developing rituals for beginning and ending of the session.

Teenage Young People’s Group – (TAG) – for 12 years plus

Aims and objectives of TAG:

For children;

  • Meet other young people who are adopted and build positive relationships.
  • Help young people to develop social skills, problem solving skills and encourage following directions.
  • Improve self-regulation and to practice self control.
  • Promote a positive identity and enhance self esteem through positive interaction.
  • Positive relationships-interact with other young people in a positive and productive way.
  • To create an environment to support young people to speak about issues around adoption(fears and anxieties)
  • Deliver group work exercises to promote confidence and self esteem.

For parents;

  • Provide opportunity for adoptive parents to meet together.
  • Provide opportunity for adoptive parents to share and reflect on experiences.
  • To build a positive two way relationship with adoption support workers.
  • Seek information from adoption support workers about services and agencies that can help family life.
  • Provide an opportunity for parents to speak with social care staff and discuss any concerns they may have.

For more information on our support groups contact the Adoption Support Team on 01606 275679.



The new programme to support adoptive families in England

AdOpt is based on scientifically proven parenting methods that has been commissioned by the Department of Education (DfE) and developed by Professor Phil Fisher (University of Oregon and Oregon Social Learning Centre) in collaboration with staff from the UK National Implementation Service  and the DfE. The programme aims to provide effective tools to support children’s healthy development, promote positive behaviour and secure attachment and get parents and children off to a good start. The informal (and fun!) 16 week programme is based on attachment theory, social learning theory and brain science to address topics specifically relevant for adoptive families. The group meets for 90 minutes once a week.

The AdOpt Programme by supporting families with issues that are specific to adopted children. And as adopters are aware adoption is a unique and special family relationship.

In consultation with adoptive parents and professionals in the adoption field, this group based programme is designed to specifically support adoptive families with children aged 3 to 8 years old (or families with children placed for adoption).

AdOpt is currently being piloted in 9 local authorities across the UK including Cheshire West and Chester Adoption Support Team. Adoptive parents who participate in the piloting of the AdOpt programme will have the opportunity to shape the future development of the programme by telling us what works through weekly sessions and programme feedback.

If you would like to take part in the next programme or for further information about AdOpt then please contact either: Sarah Butcher: 01606 288713 or Sue Prince: 0778 668 6898


SafeBase Parenting Programme

SafeBase is for adoptive families and other permanent carers, including families with older children and teenagers.

The SafeBase Parenting Programme aims to strengthen relationships between parents and their children.  SafeBase helps build permanence for children to feel safe and secure.

The Programme has three parts:

  1. Family Observation:

    This is a filmed observation which will take place at an arranged venue which is followed up by a feedback session providing a valuable insight into any difficulties your child may have.

  2. A 4 day Parenting Programme:

    This involves both education and practical techniques to help you feel more competent and effective as a parent. It will help reduce family stress levels and bring fun and laughter into your home. Parents who have been on the programme comment that it has helped them to interact with their children more effectively.

  3. On-going Parent Support Groups:

    We provide regular support groups which are a chance for adoptive parents to meet up and refresh their learning from the programme.


We currently have staff who are able to deliver Theraplay techniques with families.

What is theraplay?

Theraplay is based on the belief that the relationships between parent and child can be enhanced through play. Because attachment generally occurs at a very young age the play activities are adaptations of the activities a parent would usually do with their young child, generally geared towards their emotional level. The theory is that the child needs to regress to an earlier stage of development and experience attachment behaviour at an earlier age. The goal is to promote self-esteem, trust and engagement, encouraging families to develop responsiveness and structure vital to a child’s development.

The activities in Theraplay are aimed at being fun, physical and interactive. The activities are intentionally simple, for example the child may be asked to play games. In Theraplay, the worker takes the lead, and parents/carers observe and also get involved directly in Theraplay. Children’s responses to Theraplay initially vary; some children enjoy it and others are resistant. This is natural as Theraplay may be challenging a way of coping they have come to rely on. Most children respond positively if they get the clear message from parents/carers that this is a positive, desirable experience.

Adopted Adults

We provide an opportunity for you to talk to someone about adoption and how it has affected you, including:

  • Information and advice about adoption related issues
  • A full counselling service for people who have been adopted who are over 18 years old and who wish to see their birth records
  • A limited intermediary service for those wishing to contact their birth family
  • Preparation and support for any upcoming reunion
  • Information on other organisations that can offer support

This service is commissioned by Cheshire West and Chester Council from After Adoption.

Birth Parents

If you are a birth mother or father separated from your child by adoption, we can offer the following:

  • Support with contact arrangements, including a confidential post box service CWAC

Other services detailed below are provided on behalf of Cheshire West and Chester Council, by After Adoption

  • Information and advice about adoption related issues
  • Independent support during the adoption process
  • A limited intermediary service for birth parents wishing to make contact with adopted adults
  • Preparation and support for an upcoming reunion
  • Information on other organisations who can offer support
  • Birth Parent Support Group


Birth Ties provides independent support to birth parents and relatives who face loosing a child to adoption or who will no longer be parenting their child.

Contact details:

Birth Ties
60 Duke Steet
Liverpool, L1 5AA

ActionLine : 0800 840 2020