Story contributed by: Fiona Cameron, Team Leader of PARC and Leanne Wiles, Team Leader of PASQ
Post Adoption Support during COVID-19
The Post Adoption Resource Centre (PARC) and Post Adoption Support Queensland (PASQ) help people affected by adoption in NSW and QLD. With a wealth of experience in post adoption and remote service delivery, both teams were well prepared to meet an increase in services during COVID-19.
PARC and PASQ are small and agile teams made up of social workers, psychologists, qualified counsellors and advanced and senior practitioners. They help adopted people (usually adults and some children), mothers and fathers who’ve lost their children through adoption , adoptive parents, siblings, partners and other family members.
Fiona Cameron, Team Leader of PARC said: “Our clients seek counselling for grief, loss and trauma, issues with identity, attachment and relationships. They seek assistance to find and connect with family members lost through adoption and managing those relationships if they form, or managing rejection.”
“Services increased during the pandemic, due to client’s restricted movement and introspection. Some have used this time to seek and connect with family lost through adoption. Others have sought support to manage feelings of isolation, disorientation and disconnection from family,” added Fiona.
Understanding our clients
PARC and PASQ’s clients frequently express the relief they feel in ‘being understood.
Leanne Wiles, Team Leader of PASQ said: “Many of our clients have experienced complex trauma as part of their adoption experience. We provide trauma-informed services and a variety of ways for clients to access support. Our teams create a safe space for clients, by respecting their privacy, building trust, helping them maintain control and to feel empowered.”
During the COVID-19 pandemic, both teams have expanded their remote services to increase their reach to regional NSW and QLD communities.
“Our small online ‘Armchair Sessions’ for specific groups such as adopted people and mothers is being well received, as well as our Facebook Frequently Asked Questions series.,” said Fiona..
Advocating for best practice
PARC and PASQ’s services are highly regarded in the post adoption community, with both teams highly committed to educating and advocating about the impacts and significance of adoption.
Fiona said: “We partner with numerous adoption related organisations, attend inter-agency and stakeholder meetings, develop resources like information sheets, DVD’s and booklets. We’ve also presented at national meetings and conferences including the Association of Children’s Welfare Agencies in 2018 and the Australasian Post Adoption Meeting in 2019.”
“We have a strong media presence and regularly submit to inquiries and reviews on adoption with national bodies and the Australian Government,” Fiona added.
A long history
The PARC team are excited to be celebrating their 30- year anniversary in 2021 and long history of helping those impacted by adoption.
In 2019, the PASQ team celebrated their 10- year anniversary by publishing: Hope & Healing: Ten years of Post Adoption Support Queensland book, capturing lived experiences of adoption.
Collectively, PARC and PASQ supported almost 1,300 clients last year.
Head to the PASQ or PARC pages for more information. Or click here to access free downloadable post adoption resources.