A bold new project that will help transform the lives of vulnerable children has launched in England today.

TESSA (Therapeutic Education and Support Services in Adoption) is an Adoption UK support service that empowers adoptive parents to raise their children in a therapeutic way. It gives parents the understanding, skills and support they need to help their children begin to recover from early childhood trauma.

Families who access the service are linked with a fully trained parent partner (an experienced adopter), for invaluable peer support. All families will also benefit from a consultation with a clinical psychologist. The psychologists and parent partners will run fortnightly reflective groups, with a focus on self care.

TESSA is preventative and transformative, helping parents address their children’s needs before problems escalate, and focusing on healthier family relationships over the long term, rather than treating crises.

Adoption West is one of the regional adoption agencies offering TESSA to its families. The service has gone live there today.

Dr Sue Armstrong Brown, CEO of Adoption UK, said: “We owe it to families who are parenting some of our most vulnerable children to set them up to succeed. TESSA opens up better support to more adoptive families. This week is National Adoption Week, during which future adoptive parents are urged to come forward. There are thousands of children waiting to be adopted, in need of safe and loving homes. But we know that adoption can be challenging as well as rewarding, and adopters need guaranteed support. TESSA, which combines peer support and professional expertise in an innovative way, will help both current and future adopters build strong and successful families.”