What to expect on a prep course

(16 Posts)
Ahhhcrap Wed 30-Jan-13 20:49:54

As it says really..

We have our first prep course, an afternoon, then 2 full days and another evening.

What should we expect? I'm terrified tbh smile

Hi Ahhh, good luck for your prep course. We just finished ours. It was fab. Try not to worry. You may well get a programme of what to expect before you start.

I can't say what will be in your course but for ours we covered:
Loss, how we felt about not having a birth child/another birth child
(Although this was actually a half day workshop before the prep course began but mostly it was the same people).

The course featured things like:
How a baby's brain develops
How children internalise things said to them
How children develop
Why children become 'looked after'
How birth parents feel about their children's adoption
Attachment
Letterbox and other forms of contact

We had the privilage to meet two fabulous adoptive parents and would have met children who had been adopted but they were unable to make it through the snow.

There was more but I guess that is enough for now. The other participants and the social workers were all lovely.

Ahhhcrap Thu 31-Jan-13 21:27:13

Thank you Italian

Happiestinwellybobs Fri 01-Feb-13 08:44:56

Ours was great. First day was tough going - whether they're all the same I don't know, but we were given worst case scenarios of attachment issues - enough to make us wonder whether everyone would come back for day 2!! They all did by the way. After that (when the SW's have realised that we were all serious!) we met other adoptive parents, FCs, discussed loss, attachment, identity etc.

All done in a really easy manner - PowerPoint presentations, group discussion - no need to be nervous at all. Good luck!

AngelsWithSilverWings Fri 01-Feb-13 12:23:21

Italian has covered everything already but I just wanted to add that for me it was the first time I had met people who had gone through the same stuff I had. It was a revelation!

I am still very good friends with three other couples who were on our course and we continue to support each other ( when we are not getting drunk together grin)

You will be observed while on the course. I was amazed when we went for our exit interview that they had made notes about our contributions to discussions. They had even monitored our body language!

Happiestinwellybobs Fri 01-Feb-13 12:54:24

Yes Angels I hadn't realised that (thank goodness) until towards the end of Day 2, one of the SW's came over, and said to DH and I that we were doing really well. Think I got brownie points for helping them fix their Powerpoint presentation blush.

So would say just be yourself - everyone is in the same position. Some people were very nervous, one to the point of not being able to speak at first, but she came out of her shell enormously, as realised that we were all supporting one another.

VerityPushpram Fri 01-Feb-13 14:07:13

I don't really have anything to add, except that we watched a couple of videos as well (mostly on adoption experiences I think). We got a lot out of the course, and it wasn't as hard as I'd been dreading, there were a lot of positives as well as negatives. To be honest, I thought it would be a lot more emotional, but only one woman cried, and only for a couple of minutes (blush)

OOOh Angels I had quite forgotten they might have been monitoring us! I think it is good to just bear in mind! I wonder Angels if it modified your behaviour etc!

AngelsWithSilverWings Fri 01-Feb-13 21:37:22

No it didn't - because I didn't realise until we had our exit interview. ( this is the meeting we had a few months after the prep course had finished)

At the meeting they told us that they agreed with our desire to adopt one or two children under 5 and that they were happy to support us in our application.

Their decision was based on their observations of us during the course.

One couple on our course were advised not to proceed but they successfully appealed and have gone on to adopt two children.

FamiliesShareGerms Sat 02-Feb-13 12:19:44

In addition to what others have said, don't worry if you come out of the course wondering if you can possibly deal with parenting an adoptive child. It most cases, they will pose the worst case scenario, because it really makes you think about whether you understand the realities of modern adoption.

Hope you enjoy it - and do think about swapping contact details with other prep group people, they can be an invaluable source of support over the coming months (and years!)

Ladyofthehouse Sat 02-Feb-13 13:24:36

Hi,

I agree with all of the above. We also found that the social workers often use it to 'pick' who they will assess. Ours was the social worker that ran the course and she told us afterwards that she picked us because of how honest we were and so she thought we would be straightforward! Which was good for us as she was great!

The course was really useful for us, but some of it did go into stating the obvious i.e. kids are expensive, you will get tired and won't be able to go on holiday at the drop of a hat anymore!

We have kept in touch with one couple from the course. The only thing we found with exchanging details with everyone was there was a lot of group emails going round comparing what stage people were at and then people were panicking so our social worker advised us in the end to try and stay out of the group communication - and I'm glad we did as it almost felt competitive!

AngelsWithSilverWings Sat 02-Feb-13 15:26:07

Oh yes that did happen a bit with our group! Lots of phone calls comparing status etc.

We were quite relaxed about everything so didn't get upset when everyone else was allocated a SW and given the date to start their home study /form f before we were.

We were the last of our group to be approved by quite a few months as we were considered lower priority because we wanted to adopt a younger child ( or two under 5).

The others in our group were looking for older children so were prioritised ahead of us.

But guess who were the first to be matched and the first to welcome our new addition? grin

We were given the emails addresses of rest of group but no one has yet emailed. Don't want to get competative but do want to stay in touch. Wondering what to suggest? I would say pub night but as we already have a DD and babysitters are like gold dust, i am not sure that is advisable. I wondered about coffee morning in a nice cafe one Saturday and just see who might be up for that??? What did others do about making the first contact after the group ended?

AngelsWithSilverWings Sat 02-Feb-13 17:23:54

We had a pizza evening at my house. Much alcohol was consumed! It was all very relaxed.

The next time we met at an Indian restaurant and after that a few of the group didn't come and a core group of 4 couples stuck together for regular nights. We still meet up regularly now.

Sometimes we get together with the kids too ,sometimes just the mums meet up. We've also had a group camping trip and are planning another.

It's been almost 8 years since our course!

Wow Angels you can give me some advice on how to get it off to good footing! I asked what to say to family (we chatted about over dinner). Once I explained what the prep group was DD (aged 8) said 'Say 'Hello, I hope you get a child."

OK any other suggestions???

Ahhhcrap Sat 02-Feb-13 21:48:25

Thanks so much for the advice..

I get really anxious if I don't know what to expect so knowing more really helps smile

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