Adopt4Life Media Brief - Ministry of Children and Youth Services Funds Adopt4Life's Expanded Parent2Parent Support Network

Adopt4Life is Ontario's voice for adoptive parents.

We believe that all adoptive parents have a right to advocacy, support, and guidance throughout their lifelong journey.

To get started, adoptive families can visit www.adopt4life.com/parent2parent

TORONTO, Nov. 2, 2016 /CNW/ - Adopt4Life, Ontario's Adoptive Parents Association, is excited to partner with the Ministry of Children and Youth Services in their announcement of the newly expanded Parent2Parent Support Network for adoptive families in Ontario.

The Parent2Parent Support Network aims to:

  • Increase the number of Ontario families pursuing adoption, helping them to address their children's and family's needs once matched and continuing throughout their lifelong journey;
  • Increase knowledge in parents and professionals of the key issues in adoption, thereby reducing the isolation adoptive families often feel and strengthening permanency;
  • Empower parents and families to feel confident in their ability to meet their children's needs.

Experienced adoptive parents will collaborate with newer adoptive families, coaching them in their development of necessary parenting skills, and introducing them to local resources and mentoring available in their area.

Research from international, national, and local sources suggests that adoptive parents often feel isolated and may have difficulty connecting with other families who understand their experiences. Ontario's adoptive families often desire face-to-face contact with other adoptive families. Connections with other adoptive families normalize the adoption experience and provide valuable insights to help children. As a result, families feel empowered and can thrive.

Parent2Parent Support by Experienced Parent Liaisons

A growing network of Provincial and Regional Parent Liaisons across Ontario provide parent- to-parent support; identify local therapeutic, respite and other resources for parents; create and enhance parent support groups; and pair families for ongoing support through a buddy and mentor program. Parent2Parent supports are delivered through accessible online and social communities, as well as private, face-to-face support groups and individual meetings.

Provincial Parent Liaisons initially welcome all new parents to the Parent2Parent Network. Regional Parent Liaisons then provide peer support to those families, including kinship and customary care families, empowering parents to advocate for themselves. Regional Parent Liaisons will initially be available in Ottawa and Kitchener-Waterloo, then are expected to expand across Ontario. Supports provided will include awareness and advocacy within a family's school system and community, including connecting families with local resources such as doctors, therapists, and mental health professionals who understand the unique needs of adopted children. All Parent Liaisons also work collaboratively to connect parents with additional resources and adoption education programs from the Adoption Council of Ontario, Ministry of Children & Youth Services, as well as local Ontario Children's Aid Societies.

Pairing families through buddy and mentor programs encourages families to help each other, connecting those with similar needs and shared experiences. Buddies and mentors will further knowledge exchange regarding the supports, services, therapies, and parenting strategies available to successfully navigate the challenges adoptive families may be facing. For families in crisis, this can help in preventing adoption disruption.

Additional Resources

Adopt4Life Blog post: We Are Stronger Together

Ministry of Children and Youth Services News Release: (https://news.ontario.ca/mcys/en/2016/10/new-supports-for-families-who-adopt.html?utm_source=ondemand&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=p)

Quotes

"We are very pleased to be supporting Adopt4Life's great work. Through our partnership, Adopt4Life will be expanding the Parent2Parent Support Network, ensuring more families have access to parent resources and peer support. This enhancement will make a vital difference for families long after the adoption has been finalized so they can meet their children's needs and continue to thrive."

Michael Coteau
Minister of Children and Youth Services

"It's often said that it takes a village to raise a child; I believe that in adoption, we need more than a village. We need a province to come together in support of families. I am proud to be partnering with the Ministry of Children and Youth Services to expand Adopt4Life's Parent2Parent Support Network, engaging adoptive parents across Ontario with vital post- adoption supports that foster strong, secure attachments and permanency for children and families. We will continue to work collaboratively to connect adoptive parents with resources and education, deepening our collaboration with partner organizations including the Adoption Council of Ontario as well as regional Ontario Children's Aid Societies."

Julie Despaties
Executive Director, Adopt4Life

SOURCE Adopt4Life

Image with caption: "Adopt4Life - Ontario's Adoptive Parents Association (CNW Group/Adopt4Life)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20161102_C5581_PHOTO_EN_809690.jpg

For further information: Press Contact: Julie Despaties, Adopt4Life, 888.274.6222 x.101, julie@adopt4life.com

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