Flexible and Comprehensive Training

Ampersand Families provides pre-adoption training on a flexible calendar to meet the scheduling needs of families, some weekends, weekday evenings and weekday afternoons. The in-person sessions are usually a small groups of four to ten people. Training also includes about 4 hours of only training and attendance at a parent roundtable. Ampersand Families’ pre-adoption training meets, and exceeds, the minimum training requirements to adopt in Minnesota.

Parts of Pre-Adopt Training:

  • About four hours of online training
  • 4 in-person units that are each 3.5 hours
  • Attendance at one parent roundtable

*All in-person trainings are held at Ampersand Families’ office: 2515 Wabash Avenue Suite 150, St. Paul MN 55114

Training Content

Because our mission is adoption of older youth, the examples and content in our pre-adoption training generally relate to parenting situations and the characteristics of teens. Content covered in our pre-adoption training includes:

  • An exploration of how typical human development and the human brain are affected by developmental trauma and neglect, and what it means to be a “trauma-informed” parent.
  • The predominant role of grief and loss, including ambiguous loss in older child adoption.
  • Overview of the most common diagnoses and behavioral challenges displayed by older youth who have experienced trauma.
  • Learning about adoption first-hand from adoptive parents and adopted/waiting youth.
  • What it means to be a culturally-competent family and why all adoptive placements are cross-cultural.
  • The critical role of birth families in successful older youth adoption.
  • Overview of the adolescent brain, and implications for parenting teens.
  • Creating emotional, physical and home safety.
  • Human sexuality and sexual safety.
  • Being an advocate for your child in mental health, educational and juvenile justice systems.
  • Expectations and resiliency of prospective parents.
  • The critical need to build/sustain an effective support network.

What if you or your family have done training with another agency?

If a family wants to complete their adoption process at Ampersand Families, and has recently completed training at another Minnesota agency, Ampersand Families will review the training received and determine what areas, if any, still need to be covered to meet the agency’s training expectations.

Ready to sign up for pre-adoption training?


Why choose Ampersand Families?

 I work at Ampersand because it’s a place where passionate people do excellent work. Ampersand is a place that’s truly mission-driven, that works hard on behalf of kids and families, and that invests in the people that are doing the work.  

Kate Mejicano, Permanency Specialist

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