Many couples seek non-traditional means to have or add to their family such as adoption, foster care, and foster care to adopt. It is natural for couples to assume that bringing a child into the family will be a season filled with such abundant love that bumps along the way will not be very impactful. The reality is that adding any new family member launches them into a transitional period and a new level of dynamics in the home.
Adoptive and foster parents can benefit from professional counseling in the early stages of consideration as well as during their transition as parents. PREPARE/ENRICH has primarily been used by facilitators offering premarital counseling and marital therapy, but there have been a growing number of social workers and adoption case workers who have integrated the assessment into their pre-adoption interview process. Genesis Counseling Center has a number of counselors trained in PREPARE/ENRICH for adoptive or fostering parents. This process will assist couples to become aware of expectations and to consider how their relationship may change before they bring a child into their home. See Parenting Transition for additional information and resources.
Goals of Using PREPARE/ENRICH with Adopting and Fostering Couples
- Identify Healthy Couples – While no relationship is perfect, it is important to place adopted children in homes with healthy role models and stable relationships. PREPARE/ENRICH provides a wealth of information on each individual, their relationship, and their background.
- Prepare Couples – The pre-adoption/foster care content is specifically designed to identify unrealistic expectations about adopting and fostering children and to create opportunities for healthy dialogue as couples prepare to bring a child or children into their family system.
- Save Time – The PREPARE/ENRICH inventory gathers, organizes, and analyzes a great deal of data in an efficient and proven manner. The average adult completes the inventory in approximately 30-45 minutes. Once both partners are finished, their facilitator can access their results immediately.
- Gather Objective Information – The items and scales in the inventory are statistically valid and reliable. Percentage scores are based on comparisons with a norm group of over 50,000 couples. In other words, facilitators can trust the results they receive.
- Identify Relationship Strengths and Issues – The inventory is often a very positive experience for couples as it is designed to identify relationship strengths. Since both partners answer the same questions independent of one another, the facilitator can also pick up on discrepancies or differences of opinion which might not emerge in a typical interview process. It also highlights areas for growth in the relationship.
Three special areas help couples explore adoption expectations, considerations, and parenting as they review their results with a qualified facilitator. To learn more, schedule an assessment appointment with one of Genesis’ qualified PREPARE/ENRICH facilitators.
Compiled by Tracey R. Crawley, LMFT
PREPARE/ENRICH facilitator and trainer