Adoptive Families Together

Adoptive Families Together [AFT] is a supportive, membership network of adoptive parents who share combined experiences and information to strengthen their families and adoptions. Parents enter adoption with personal visions of what becoming a family by adoption would be like. Many of us have been challenged by adoption concerns such as identity, loss and separation. We know love is not enough.

We know that education, information, advocacy and the support of other families who have been there enhance the success of our families after our children have been placed. AFT families have adopted children domestically and internationally, infants and older children, kin and children with special needs. We welcome adopted persons, guardians, birth and foster parents, professionals working in the field of adoption and, of course, all adoptive families.

Information Menu

Education & Training
Parent Groups
Group Schedule
Online Discussion Group
AFT Materials
Membership
Contact AFT

Education & Training

Winter - Spring 2013 Educational Trainings
AFT is thrilled to present some exciting educational workshops on topics related to adoption issues for adopted children and their families. Registration is required to attend. Please contact Lori Baeumler at (617) 587-1522 or lbaeumler@mspcc.org for more information and to register.

Fall 2013 - Spring 2014 Trainings

Fall 2013 - Spring 2014 Trainings Registration Form

W.I.S.E. Up Workshops
W.I.S.E. Up is an award-winning curriculum developed by the Center for Adoption and Support designed to teach children ages 6-12 how to respond to questions about their adoption experience. Workshops provide a framework to respond in a variety of ways using group discussion and role playing. While children are meeting, parents come together to be trained on the W.I.S.E. Up curriculum in order to support their children using newly learned strategies.

Cost is $20 per child unless otherwise stated. Pre-registration is required and registration is limited.  Please mail a completed registration form and check payable to "MSPCC".  For more information contact Lori Baeumler at (617) 587-1522 or lbaeumler@mspcc.org.

Upcoming W.I.S.E. Up Workshops
How To Weather the Storm and Empower your adopted Teen
Date: Saturday, January 25, 2014
Time: 10 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
Cost: Free, but must pre-register

“W.I.S.E. UP” - Workshop for Grade School Students aged 6-12 years old and their parents
Date: Saturday, February 1, 2014
Time: 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Cost: $25.00 per family (Includes 1 workbook, additional workbooks will be available for purchase at the workshop)

"Transracial Adoption" - Panel for adults and adult adoptees with a connection to adoption/foster care
Date: Saturday, April 13, 2014
Time: 2 p.m. - 4 p.m.
Cost: Free, but must pre-register

"Impact of Social Media on Adoption" - Workshop for adults and adult adoptees with a connection to adoption/foster care
Date: Saturday, May 10, 2014
Time: 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Cost: Free, but must pre-register

Click here for the Fall 2013 - Spring 2014 trainings registration form

Parent Groups

Our network of monthly parent groups are hosted and facilitated by AFT Parent Coordinators. These parent-run, confidential groups are primarily open discussions during which parents can share their personal concerns and needs around adoptive parenting. On occasion, we invite speakers with expertise on issues relevant to our children and families to educate our group participants. Collectively, our parents represent the best source of knowledge, resources and insight into understanding and meeting the needs of their children. Through mutual sharing and support, parents build a network with other adoptive parents in their communities.

Groups are meeting monthly in communities in Massachusetts. To learn more about our Parent Support Groups, or to get dates and the location of a group in your area, please call us at (617) 587-1522 or click on the group schedule below:

2014 Winter Schedule

Online Discussion Group

Our moderated online group provides parents with a 24-hour support forum, focusing on children with challenging behaviors and complex needs.  Parents use the online group to seek information, share stories, gain and offer support.  The group's knowledgeable and experienced parents are especially helpful to newly forming families.  If you are interested in joining, email aftlist-subscribe@yahoogroups.com to subscribe.

AFT Materials

AFT provides many resources, including our newsletter, book, pamphlets, a selection of recommended reading, web links to local and national adoption-related organizations, and post-adoption services in Massachusetts.  We publish the following:

Books

  • Thanks to the generosity of AFT members and friends, the 3rd edition of our resource book, In Their Own Words...Reflections on Parenting Children with Mental Health Issues: The Effect on Families is available.  This edition is updated and revised to be a resource for families nationally.  Massachusetts resource listings are available as an insert.  All members receive a copy of this book with their new member packages.  If you are interested in purchasing additional copies, please contact us at (617) 587-1522 or emailing us.

Pamphlet Series
A complete set of pamphlets is free when you subscribe as a member. Members may purchase additional copies and non-members can order pamphlets at a cost of $4.00 each by calling us at (617) 587-1522 or emailing us.

  • The Anniversary Collection - A selection of prose and poetry by AFT members previously published in our newsletters.
  • Choosing a Therapist - Although one of the most important decisions a parent will make, this process is often confusing and intimidating for those of us unfamiliar with the world of mental health.  Here is an easy to read guide to inform and assist you.
  • Restraint and Seclusion - What defines restraint and seclusion?  How do these actions affect our children both emotionally and physically?  This pamphlet includes methods of proactively questioning your child care provider to reduce and eliminate restraint and/or seclusion from your child's treatment plan.
  • When The Going Gets Tough - What constitutes a crisis?  How will I know and what should I do?  Pam Pamphlet includes criteria, pro-active language, and a suggested plan of action.
  • Reading and 'Riting and 'Rithmetic...Children with Loss Issues, Complex Families and Their School Experience - Children often feel different when traditional school assignments ask for personal information they may not have or feel comfortable sharing.
  • School Days...What Adoptive Parents Would Like Teachers to Know - This pamphlet relates learning objectives to assignments and gives concrete suggestions that will expand assignments to include all children.
  • Difference Matters - Articles about racial differences, racism, bullying, and suggested strategies to help children learn to be safe.
  • Parent to Parent...AFT Adoptive Parents Share their Lessons Learned - As parents of children who have been adopted, we have a big job to do.  Here is a collection of tried and true suggestions and tips from AFT parents.

Newsletters

AFT members will be mailed MSPCC's informative newsletter.

Alternatives to the Traditional Family Tree Assignments

AFT developed a series of worksheets to use instead of traditional family trees. These alternatives are more reflective of the complex family structures of children in every classroom.
Click here to download the Alternatives to Family Tree handout

Membership

AFT member benefits include:

  • MSPCC's informative newsletter.
  • A copy of In Their Own Words, a resource for parents and professionals.
  • The "AFT Presents" educational pamphlet series.

Joining a network of parents and professionals committed to supporting and educating each other and the larger communities about our children.

To become a member, fill out the New Membership Form and send it to:

MSPCC/AFT
99 Summer Street, 6th Floor
Boston, MA 02110

Or contact Lori Baeumler at (617) 587-1522 or lbaeumler@mspcc.org.

Contact AFT

For questions or more information about AFT, please contact Lori Baeumler at (617) 587-1522 or lbaeumler@mspcc.org.

 

Copyright 2014 Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children