Life in the Trenches:

FOSTER & ADOPTION STRESS MANAGEMENT

Help families address the unique stressors of the foster and adoption journey and the supports that help foster/adoption families thrive in this 6-session series designed for support groups.

About: This 6-session Family Life Education series is based on 7 stressors unique to foster and adoption families. These stressors include trauma, attachment, parenting, family system, service system, culture, community, and the church (Hook et al., 2019). In sessions 1 and 2, participants are first taught the basics of the ABC-X model of Family Stress. This model teaches families about how to identify and manage stressors. Then in session 3 thru 6, participants apply the ABC-X model as they discuss the unique stressors of the foster/adoption journey. Participants will also discuss the supports that helped their families thrive in the midst of chaos.

Audience: This series is intended for Christian-based foster and adoption support groups.

Duration: The 6-sessions are intended for one-session per week, for a 6-week series. Each session is 30-45 minutes in length. We recommend groups meet for 1 to 1.5 hours. The remaining time should be spent listening to updates from support groups, as well as prayer/praise requests.

About these resources: In 2020, this series was taught to a Christian-based foster and adoption support group. We provide PDFs of the original curriculum plans for each session, our personalized slides for presentation, and our personalized slides for handouts. You are welcome to use these resources or to develop new resources based on these materials. We recommend each discussion leader read the book Replanted by Jennifer Hook.

How to use these resources: We recommend that discussion leaders teach Session 1 followed by Session 2. The remaining sessions can be taught in any order by topic.

Modifications: If you are able to teach the series in 9 or 10 weeks, we recommend talking about one stressors each week. In the original 6-week series we double-up on several stressors per week. Giving a week to each topic will provide more time for participants to discuss each stressors and related supports.

Citation: If you use our materials, please cite using the following reference: Melton, K. & McAninch, N. (2020). Life in the Trenches: Foster & Adoption Family Stress Management. Waco, TX: Baylor University.  

Session Overview

Session 1 : Challenges & Stressors

In this session, participants will learn words and terms that help identify different types of stressors. Identifying stressors can help manage challenges and avoid crises during the foster/adoption journey.

Resources: Curriculum, Presentation, Handout

Session 2: Resources & Perceptions

In this session, participants will learn to identify different types of resources and perceptions that can help them manage the challenges and avoid crises during the foster/adoption journey.

Resources: Curriculum, Presentation, Handout

Session 3: Trauma & Attachment

In this session, participants will identify the stressors and supports related to child’s trauma and insecure attachment.

Resources: Curriculum, Presentation, Handout

Session 4: Parenting & the Family System

In this session, participants will identify the stressors and supports related to parenting vulnerable children and the disruptions that come from welcoming new children into the family.

Resources: Curriculum, Presentation, Handout

Session 5: Service System

In this session, participants will identify the stressors and supports related to dealing with foster/adoption agencies, CPS, court systems, lawyers, etc.

Resources: Curriculum, Presentation, Handout

Session 6: Culture, Community, & the Church

In this session, participants will identify the stressors and supports related to dealing with their culture, community, and church. Often times, these are the places that families expect to find the most support during their journey. But sometimes these places provide the deepest hurts to foster/adoption families.

Resources: Curriculum, Presentation, Handout

Testimonials

“I had a stressful event the day after attending the first session. Having just talked about the stress model really helped me understand better what was happening and how to deal with it in a healthier way.”

Support Group Member

“It was really helpful to talk through the daily stressors of the foster and adoption journey with people who understood what it’s like. I realized support groups just like these are helpful when things become stressful.”

Support Group Member

Let’s build great families together.

This resource and others from Intentional Family are made available through the generous donations and grants by people like you. Consider supporting our research and educational endeavors.

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: