Christy ReppeWhat helps a child develop into a secure adult? For the past year,  our Post Adoption Resource Center has been exploring this question  with foster and adoptive families through a model called Trust Based Relational Intervention (TBRI®). TBRI® explores how early life experiences affect brain development, relationships and attachment, as well as how we can approach healing for our children from hard places. Jennifer Kastner, one of our Post Adoption Resource Specialists and I had the privilege of training in the model at Texas Christian University in the fall of 2012 and 2013, and have been busy bringing it back to western and northern Wisconsin ever since.

Very simply, TBRI® brings attention back to relationships. Some parents come away from the training seeing for the first time the expectations they may have brought into adoption, and how those expectations have put a strain on their relationship with their child when it did not match up with reality. Others walk away acknowledging their own wounds from childhood attachment relationships for the first time. I believe it is safe to say that all of the attendees have become more mindful parents. TBRI® is a gentle reminder to all of us that although correction will always be necessary with our children, the connection we share with them is utmost value. The realizations brought out of this training have been deeply impactful for many families. Below are a few quotes from attendees of our Trust Based Parenting workshops.

“What an AMAZING class! The very very best training I have received in my 3+ years as a treatment foster parent! Keep up the great work!”

“Every foster and adoptive parent should be required to attend this training.”

“It was the best seminar I have been to.”

“After attending and putting this information into use, our house changed so much with all of our children. The most touching thing is…I’m getting hugs from our oldest. This never once happened in all the 6 years of him being here.”

Catholic Charities is passionate about the adoptive families we serve continuing in a path toward healing. We continue to explore more venues and formats through which we can get this information out to the families of western and northern Wisconsin. Watch for information on an ongoing discussion group, parent-child classes and more! TBRI® is not only for adoptive families. We have been invited to present for treatment foster care agencies, charter schools and counties. If you would like more information about the TBRI® model and the training we offer, please feel free to contact me at May God bless your most precious relationships.

Christy Reppe
Post Adoption Coordinator