Ben is back with the second of his blogs, this time on his experience of the Online Preparation Group.
Preparation Group – Bonds Over Fears.
One of the most rewarding experiences of my time so far at Scottish Adoption has been co-facilitating a preparation for adoption group. This is an opportunity for prospective parents to explore processes, development, attachment, expectations, and improve understanding of what adoption really means. This opportunity really opened my eyes as I went into this group with an expectation that the focus would be on the learning and practicalities of the adoption process. What I came out with was a deeper understanding of the journey that prospective adoptive parents will go through and a shared collective spirit of support we all had for one another.
Initially I found the prospect of facilitating a group through an online platform to be daunting. I visualised looking at a computer screen with sixteen faces looking back at me and considered how achievable this could be without us all being physically in a room together. As this was early into my placement at Scottish Adoption it would be my first time speaking to a large group of people at the same time. I felt reassured that many of the feelings I was experiencing early into my placement would run parallel and potentially resonate alongside the prospective adopters experience of them themselves being in the early stages of their own journey into adoption. I considered how this could connect everyone together in the group as many would be carrying many of the same fears, uncertainties hopes and excitements as I was and thus creating a collective experience for all. As the groups progressed it became clear that the prospect of overcoming fears together would create a connection and shared resilience that would set the foundations of turning hopes and expectations into a reality.
A real inclusive attitude to the preparation group is realised through working in partnership with prospective parents, online resources and activities are shared through an online space were feedback, thoughts and opinions are encouraged between each group session. This creates an environment of shared learning and opens the floor for everyone to explore and voice their own ideas, values and understanding of the themes and concepts throughout each week.
Central to setting an environment that provided a space that nurtured bonds and connection were the fantastic and highly experienced facilitators that I worked alongside. They both brought humour and positivity that shone through the online platform and made something that could have been a disconnected experience radiate with life.
This has been a running theme through my time here at Scottish Adoption, the unconditional support and good humour that stems into every aspect of work goes far to make something that could be a lot more daunting just that bit easier. Key to this is celebrating different personalities, bringing out the strengths of all those involved and by doing so highlighting what each of us can offer one another.
Over the weeks I could feel my own confidence grow as well, as well as my skills and knowledge, and this has formed many of the foundations of my understanding of adoption and the journeys of those people involved and has ultimately set me in good stead for my work here at Scottish Adoption and my future career within social work.