Enhancing Adoptive Parenting - A parenting programme for use with new adopters of challenging children

Written by Alan Rushton and Helen Upright
Price: £19.95
Publisher: BAAF
Publication date: 2012
ISBN: 978 1 907585 42 5
Enhancing Adoptive Parenting - A parenting programme for use with new adopters

About this training programme

Adoption can provide safety, healing and a family for life for looked after children, and an immense sense of fulfilment for adoptive parents. But it can also be a stressful and complex task. Many adopted children exhibit challenging behaviours, linked to their early experiences, which can be difficult for adopters to understand or to manage. In these situations, targeted support and training can make a huge difference to placement outcomes.

Enhancing Adoptive Parenting is a parenting programme for use by adoption support workers, intended to provide practical and relevant advice to adopters struggling with challenging behaviour in their children. Based on a “real world” randomised controlled trial (RCT) which recorded increased parenting confidence in adopters, it is an authoritative, dependable resource on how best to help adopters help their children.

Designed to be carried out by adoption support workers on a one-to-one basis in the adopters’ own home, this ten-session course offers great flexibility for practitioners. Handouts, presented on a CD-ROM, provide homework for participating adopters during the course. A range of optional extra sessions allow the material to be closely tailored to the behaviour of any particular child.

The programme covers:

  • understanding attachment and how children develop new relationships;
  • using positive attention to change behaviour;
  • the use of praise and rewards;
  • clear commands and boundaries;
  • the use of ignoring;
  • effective discipline and logical consequences;
  • problem solving with children.

Optional extra sessions cover a range of behaviours, including wetting and soiling, sexualised behaviour, managing difficulties in sibling and peer relationships; fears and anxieties; and eating and sleeping problems.

Enhancing Adoptive Parenting is a highly useful resource for all practitioners concerned with supporting adoptive placements, enhancing parental skills and reducing challenging child behaviour.

The authors

Alan Rushton is a Visiting Professor at the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London. Helen Upright is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist for the Cambridgeshire Fostering and Adoption Clinical Psychology Service.


Additional Information

Includes CD-ROM of handouts.


For the practitioner, each session is clearly structured and presented to ease the facilitation of the programme and enhance the learning achieved. The Triumph of Enhancing Adoptive Parenting lies not only in its recognition of the challenges faced but also its focus on drawing out the adopter's own experiences, encouraging an empathetic response from the adopter. Through this the programme has the ability to create a sense that it is 'tailor made' for the individual adopter. Practice: Social Work in Action