Young people's support groups
It is also important that we see our young people without an agenda for anything else other than to have fun and connect with each other. Sometimes it is the first time young people are coming together with a group of other adopted young people and they often tell us how amazing and scary this can be. It also gives your parents a chance to talk to other parents who have adopted which can be a very supportive space. For us, the bonus is we get to know how we can support our families even more from all the amazing ideas our young people tell us.
To do this, we launched Young People’s Support Groups in May 2019 which are in 3 areas of our region:
- Warwick area covering central, south and East Warwickshire,
- there is one to come soon in the North covering Coventry, North Warwickshire and Solihull,
- the 3rd is in the South covering Worcestershire and Herefordshire.
We meet up 3 times a year for fun, games, activities and food with lots of laughter and occasional tears in between. Sometimes we have topics which we will discuss as suggested by our young people and some big thoughts can come out, nothing is ever too big to hear. This group is for 10-18 year old young people who are adopted.
Quotes from our young people during some of our past groups:
…… “Don’t keep adoption a secret as it makes it weird, and don’t be angry if we want to know about birth family.”
“Adopters need to be kind caring and sympathetic, if we are having difficulties at school understand us and help.” (13)
“Parents need to be good at listening, be patient; I drive my parents crazy.” (11)
“Don't expect to be called mum and dad straightaway.” (13)
“Don't be homophobic, sexist or racist.” (13)
“A good adoptive parent helps you to understand your history.” (13)
“Adopted people's lives can be positive.” (13)
“Sometimes as an adopted person you realise you have to let go of your past.” (13)
“Good parents are kind, they don't always give you what you want, they are not too nice like they can't give you pizza every day because you want it.” (13)
“Parents shouldn't ask too many questions if you are not ready to say, my parents are not like that but I see it with my friend, her parents won't just leave her alone. They need to be respectful of your space. They need to have a good balance of boundaries and chocolate!” (11)
“Don't be a slave to your child. Help them to make new friends.” (13)