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Class Descriptions
Pre-Adoption Series
Parenting Topics
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The State of Wisconsin requires that pre-adoptive parents complete 18 hours of adoption education prior to having a child placed in their home.  The State also specifies a core curriculum of topics that must be included.  If you take the entire 6-class series listed below, you will cover all the topics required by the State and complete the required 18 hours of training.

If you plan to take some classes but not others, please check with your adoption agency about other ways to meet the training requirements.  If you or your agency has any questions, please email me at lori@redthreadlearning.com.

Class DescriptionThis class correlates to WI curriculum #...
Promoting Attachment
Attachment -- the bond between a child and parent -- is crucial to a child's mental and emotional development.  The losses experienced in adoption can make it difficult for a child to attach to a new family.  In this seminar we discuss:
   - What attachment is, and why it is important
   - Why adopted children are at risk for problems with attachment
   - How to facilitate attachment
   - Behaviors that may be a sign of attachment problems
   - When to seek help.
IV. - Understanding of attachment issues
Grief & Loss in Adoptive Families
Amidst the joys of bringing a new child home, it is easy to overlook that adoption also brings losses for both child and parents.  In this seminar we discuss:

   - Losses that children & adults experience in adoption
   - Typical ways in which people grieve
   - How grief presents itself at various stages of child development
   - Tips on providing age-appropriate support for your child
III. - Understanding of grief & loss for adoptive family
I.H. - Communicate with children at different stages, tell difficult history, use a lifebook
Transracial Parenting
This class helps parents reflect on how a child's culture and heritage affects the entire adoptive family.  We talk about what it means to be a transracial family, and we share strategies as to how we can creat a supportive environment for our children.  This class is appropriate for all families adopting--or considering adopting--children of a different ethnic background, whether through international adoption or transracial domestic placement.V. - Understanding of support and resources for adoptive placement
VI. - Understanding of cultural sensitivity in adoption
Nature & Nurture
All children are shaped by a combination of nature (genetic makeup) and nurture (how they grew and developed both before and after birth).  In this seminar we discuss multiple factors that influence who our children are before we bring them home.  This includes looking at the impact of genetics, pre-natal influences such as drug or alcohol use, effects of malnourishment, neglect, and abuse.  We discuss behaviors that children may show shortly after coming home, and touch on potential longer-term issues that children may face as a result of their early experiences.II. - Understanding of issues for the child
VII. - Understanding of effects of abuse & neglect in adoption
IX. - Understanding of children coming from institutionalized care settings
Talking With Children About Adoption
In this class we address ways to talk with kids about adoption, how to present it as a normal, positive way to build a family, and how to keep the discussion open as your child grows.  Topics like how to use a lifebook to share your child's story, and ways of presenting potentially sensitive information, will also be covered.  Families in waiting are invited to attend along with parents who already have children home.I.A. - Concept of permanence in adoption
I.B. - Accept role of birth family
I.D. - Prepare birth children for impending adoption
I.H. - Communicate with children at different stages, tell difficult history, use lifebook
I.I. - Use adoption language appropriately
X. - Educational issues in adoption
Positive Parenting
This class provides parents with tools to help them smoothly navigate the introduction of a new child in to the family.  We talk about why most children misbehave and creative ways to avoid misbehavior.  We identify positive parenting skills that meet the developmental needs of children, and we talk about ways to effectively communicate with your children and your partner.I.C. - Impact adoption has on parents' relationship with each other
I.E. - Additional parenting issues for adopted children vs. birth children
I.F. - Parenting skills & strategies to manage challenging behavior
I.G. - Signs of family stress & coping strategies
VIII. - Legal issues related to adoption

Please note that Wisconsin's first core competency is split across two different classes:  Positive Parenting and Talking with Children About Adoption.

To see when these classes will be offered next, check out our Class Schedule.  If you have any other questions about the class content, feel free to contact me.