Adopt Birmingham becomes a DDP Partner Organisation


We are pleased to share that Adopt Birmingham is the second statutory service in the UK to be awarded the status of DDP Partner Organisation by DDP Connects UK.

Dyadic Developmental Practice (DDP) is a therapeutic approach that can be used organisationally and directly with children and families to promote attachment security and strengthen relationships and connections.

Partner Organisations are UK statutory services, recognised and validated by DDP Connects UK, as working closely with DDP Trainers and Consultants to implement a DDP-informed practice model at all levels of the service.

“DDP gives workers the confidence to lean into some of the uncomfortable issues adoption raises particularly around attachment loss and the impact of trauma.”

Our Workers have been trained and supported through ongoing DDP consultation to use a range of DDP principles and ways of being in all aspects of their work.

The DDP attitude is evident within the work we do with children and families, and we have been working to embed this attitude within team meetings, supervision and in working and relating with other parts of the organisation.

Working with a DDP-informed approach equips parents to understand and stay connected with their children, especially when times are difficult due to their experience of trauma.

In awarding Adopt Birmingham Partner status, DDP Connects UK gave the following feedback, which we hope our workers are proud of…

“We are all very impressed with the depth of work that the Adoption Service has undertaken over several years to embed DDP principles across the work you do and your ongoing commitment to developing and maintaining services that are trauma-informed, attachment-focused, and relationship-based. The application and action plan are really comprehensive, and evidence the excellent and thoughtful work done to get you to this stage.”

Our journey with DDP has also been recognised in our most recent Ofsted inspection of Adoption (January 2023) which said…

“The majority of staff are trained to at least dyadic developmental psychotherapy (DDP) level 1. Staff are overwhelmingly positive about the regular DDP consultations they attend. They say they were helpful in anchoring the service through change and providing staff with a regulating, reflective space, which supported them with the impact of challenging circumstances and complex work. The consultations were described as helpful in keeping the trained staff connected with the theory’s principles and in supporting them to consolidate skills and translate principles into practice in their roles”

We asked our service for their reflections on the impact of DDP and how DDP practice and principles make a difference to our work with adopters, families, and colleagues. The following observations were shared…

DDP supports our relationships with adopters and deepens understanding of their experiences.
“I use the attitude of PACE with the families I work with, showing empathy and acceptance for their situations…has helped me to build good relationships with the families…”

“Accepting we don’t hold all the answers and can’t fix the family systems in place…however we can walk alongside families and help them feel contained” “Taking a step back, listening, not rushing to try and find a solution to a difficulty has been a big learning area for me…”

DDP increases our understanding of trauma and the impact of this on the child and family.
“DDP practice and principles have helped me to understand adopters and children and the underlying reasons for why they might present/behave in the way that they do, particularly when there might be avoidance or conflict…”

“I think it has helped me to slow down, connect and provide an understanding of children with developmental trauma and the impact for this on the children we work with…”

DDP principles have become woven through the adoption journey.
“It has greatly improved my interview, assessment and therapeutic intervention skills whereby I can apply many of the DDP principles – in direct work with children to prepare them for a new sibling joining the family via adoption…Support children to talk when their face challenging times in their adoption placement.

“I work with a PACE approach and try to consider this when looking at a match between adopters and a child. It’s important to consider parenting styles and how these may need to change for a child, and do the adopters have the capacity for this change…”

DDP is well rooted, embedded and reflected within aspects of the service.
“There is an underpinning of relationship practice which is underpinned by a service wide understanding and use of PACE. The language used with adopters reflects an embracing of DDP principles and the importance of curiosity, the two-hands of parenting, shared intention, and repair where there has been rupture”

This supports adoptive parents to respond to the needs of their children and develop security.
“Supporting parents with responding to children using PACE…helping them to explore the events surrounding the child’s journey into care and how this is impacting on their current behaviour…”

“Enabling a greater understanding of the approaches to support their children/young people and how they may be impacted by trauma…”

…and supports a more cohesive and connected system around the family.
“DDP practice has helped to ensure that the team around the child are also maintaining a therapeutic response and this approach can help to avoid / manage any conflict of interest / competing demands by different services /professional roles…”

The Partner status will be reviewed in one years’ time, and we are excited about what the future holds for DDP across the service.