Adoption STAR is known for its incredible adoption education program. Founded by an educator, Adoption STAR specializes in providing pre and post adoption educational opportunities. In addition, those exploring a domestic adoption will fall in love with the educational opportunities provided for them as well.
The A-OK Educational Classes are specific to those considering the adoption of a child or children waiting in the United States foster care system. Attendees receive comprehensive adoption preparation tailored to the complex needs of foster youth. A-OK classes take place over the course of two weekend sessions part (A and B) for a total of 23 classroom hours.
The A-OK Education Classes are is unique to our agency. A-OK Families are equipped with tools to parent children with challenges the following areas: behavioral issues, mental health concerns and physical or cognitive impairments related to placement in foster care. Families will be better prepared to: navigate connections with birth family members, build a support system for their child and family, understand the affect of trauma on child development, help children establish their identity and culture, understand the matching and transition process, learn the importance of self care, and build lasting connections with new and experienced adoptive families. The A-OK Education Classes emphasize the importance of unconditional commitment in allowing children to achieve stability to reach their full potential.
Class One: Welcome and Orientation
Class Two: Who are the A-OK Children?
This class provides an introduction to the youth who are waiting to be adopted including: special needs, reasons for placement in foster care, the typical experience of a foster child, role of the custodial agency, and explanation of common terms such as termination or surrender of parental rights. Families are informed of the timeline of the A-OK program from training to finalization and the home study process is explained.
Class Three: Family Strengths and Needs
Participants learn about the needs and strengths of waiting youth, their own family and how to build on strengths to meet needs.
Class Four: Grief and Loss
Explores impact of separation and loss on development and well-being of children. Families identify how their own experience of loss will help them meet the needs of their children.
Class Five: Adoption is a Lifelong Commitment
Once matched; a family’s commitment to their adopted child should be unconditional, just as if the child came into their family by birth.
Class Six: Attachment and Stages of Development
This workshop is designed for pre-adoptive parents to understand developmental learning for an adoptive child. In addition, the workshop addresses issues of adoption in general, the impact of gaps in caring interventions as a child. The workshop also looks at some common behaviors connected to attachment disorder and interventions to help strengthen attachment.
Class 7: Family Culture, Family Origin and Impact of Adoption
Discover the affect of adoption on the family and what the child and parents bring to the relationship. Families consider how their own family of origin and current family shapes their parenting styles and ability to meet the needs of a foster youth.
Class 8: Imaginary Journey
Participants experience empathy for the loss, fear and uncertainty of a child who is separated from their birth family and brought into a new home.
Class 9: Birth Families
Families are informed of the importance of a child’s connections to people in their lives and how to honor these connections.
Class 10: Trauma and Crisis Intervention
This workshop helps families understand Trauma, potential behavioral manifestations as well as how being trauma informed and trauma sensitive can be important in parenting a child who is adopted at an older age beyond infancy.
Class 11: Child Identity and Culture
Attendees will gain a better understanding of how a child’s culture and ethnic background impacts their identity and self-esteem.
Class 12: Child Interest
Participants will learn about the typical physical and mental health needs of foster youth and their families of origin that will be helpful in filling out their Grid of child risk factors that they are willing and able to consider.
Class 13: Managing Behaviors
Families will be equipped with attachment and trauma-informed tools to help youth heal by addressing root causes of behaviors.
Class 14: Disruption and Match Process
Families are introduced to common causes of disruptions/dissolutions and given strategies to prevent them.
Class 15: Resources
Participants will consider the personal and agency resources available to help them manage stress an anxiety in their families built through adoption.
Class 16: Transition Process
Families learn what to expect during adoption matching, visitation, placement and finalization.
Class 17: Panel
A small group of adoptive families and their children will share their adoption journey with pre-adoptive families in a question and answer format.