31 May 2015
The Law in respect of Counselling for Adoption Issues
In 2010 there was a law passed that means that only counsellors registered as an Adoption Support Agency and with Ofsted are able to offer specialist adoption counselling. This is an extract from a relevant page on the Counselling Directory website :
Approved Adoption Counselling
In December 2010, the law changed so that only counsellors and psychotherapists registered as an adoption support agency (ASA) with Ofsted are able to offer specialist adoption services. These amendments to the Adoption and Children's Act of 2002 were designed to ensure that the one in four UK individuals affected by adoption in some way, are provided with support and services from practitioners who hold the proper qualifications and experience. The introduction of this legislation now means that any counsellor working with a client for whom any aspect of adoption is the main focus, must be registered with Ofsted and subject to regular inspections.
It may be that some individuals are seeking counselling for issues they feel may be related to adoption (such as low-self esteem) but where adoption is not the key issue. In cases such as these where the entire counselling experience is not likely to revolve solely around the adoption itself, it is fine to seek help from a professional who is not an Approved Adoption Counsellor.
I am able to work with other issues that may be part of what is going on such as addictions or low self-esteem, but it is illegal for me to take on a client specifically with the purpose of working with the adoption issue itself.
In my experience many counsellors are not aware of this legislation so please do ask anybody that you enquire with whether they are registered specifically with Ofsted and as an adoption support agency. If you would like specific, adoption counselling I would contact your local council Adoption Unit practice manager and ask if they can refer you to anybody suitably registered.
I have happily worked with people affected by adoption issues but there has always been another presenting factor such as gambling, a personality disorder, trauma or relationship problems which has been the cause for seeking counselling.