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July/August 2024Vol. 25, No. 6Helping Adoptive Families Build a Therapeutic Web

The National Center for Enhanced Post-Adoption Support published a new resource to help adoptive families address the challenges of early childhood trauma and compromised attachments. "Building a Therapeutic Web: Creating Connections for Growth" emphasizes the pivotal role of relationships in providing safety, stability, and vital connections necessary for healing and growth.

The therapeutic web of relationships supports three main areas:

  • Safety: Secure, trusting relationships can significantly mitigate the adverse effects of early trauma. By fostering a sense of safety, children can begin to heal and develop healthier attachments.
  • Stability: Stability is not just about a consistent home environment but also about the presence of reliable and supportive people in the child’s life. The resource details how to build and maintain these essential relationships.
  • Connection. Families are encouraged to construct a "therapeutic web" comprising primary relationships (family and close friends), community ties (schools, neighborhoods, and extracurricular groups), and professional connections (therapists, social workers, and health-care providers).

The guide provides practical advice on engaging with community resources, finding professional support, and strengthening family bonds:

  • Brainstorm with family members and postpermanency staffers about who may provide support.
  • Leverage local programs and support groups to build a robust community network.
  • Use therapeutic services and professional guidance to address specific trauma-related issues.

A short video is also available, providing an accessible overview of the resource that highlights the practical applications discussed in the guide.

By integrating these strategies, adoption professionals can help adoptive families create a nurturing environment that supports the child’s emotional and psychological growth, leading to a healthier and more stable family dynamic.

Access the full resource and the video on the National Center for Enhanced Post-Adoption Support website.