Children Awaiting Parents will be hosting a 12 week support group for children and teens that are freed for adoption in foster care. Children Awaiting Parents is inviting caseworkers to refer any children between the ages of 12-21 who might benefit from this group. Based on the level of interest, we hope to have one group located in Rochester, NY and one in Syracuse, NY. The groups will be open to anyone who is able to be transported to these locations.
The purpose of the waiting child support group is to prepare foster children for adoption while developing supportive relationships with other waiting peers. The group will address the hurt and loss in the children’s past that has resulted from languishing in the foster care system and provide lifelong tools and resources to help them cope. Friendships and trusting relationships among the support group will be encouraged through a discussion of adoption topics, and team building activities. The goal is to improve the youth’s ability to form connections with a pre-adoptive family and begin to better understand their feelings about their past.
The group will allow children to understand that what they are feeling is common, they are not alone, and they are able to talk about their feelings in a safe environment. The children will have the opportunity to discuss topics including the process of adoption, birth families, foster parents, and aging out while learning to apply applicable CBT and DBT skills. Participating in the group is voluntary. Children can be at varying levels of adoption preparedness and have mixed or unclear feelings about adoption.
The waiting child support group will be run by Kristy Aquilla and Melanie Schmidt. If you have any questions or for a copy of the child referral form, please feel free to contact them at (585) 232-5110.