Sarah Naish discusses how her training as a social worker and standard parenting strategies did not equip her to deal with parenting her five adopted children who had suffered trauma. She therefore set about implementing a therapeutic parenting approach which she has since taught to other foster carers and adoptive parents around the country to great success. Her article has been adapted from her new book, The A-Z of Therapeutic Parenting, which covers 60 common problems parents face, from acting aggressively to difficulties with sleep, with advice on what might trigger these issues, and how to respond.
I am a therapeutic parent and I make no apologies for this. I am doing what my children need me to do to help them become functioning members of society, to be able to show kindness, build relationships and become effective parents themselves one day.
I first started fostering in 1987. Things were a little different then and foster carers were not very well supported. Moving three children from fostering to adoption inspired me to begin a career in social work. In 1992 I qualified as a social worker and began working with children and families, as well as fostering and adoption. Continue reading