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Talking Talent launches adoption coaching programmes for parents and line managers

Talking Talent launches adoption coaching programmes for parents and line managers

Talking Talent, a UK company specialising in executive coaching for maternity and paternity leave and for senior women in business, is launching an innovative adoption coaching programme to support employees going through the adoption process. The programme is being run by executive coach and adoptive parent Sue Wellman and it focuses on issues such as how to communicate adoption plans to your boss, colleagues and suppliers, work handovers, managing and the practical and emotional changes involved in becoming a working parent. It is aimed at both employees and their line managers.

Having recently become an adopter, Sue Wellman understands how intense the process can be as well as the challenges and frustrations that can occur and the potential impact this could have on work commitments and the emotional state of prospective adopters.

Talking Talent’s programme is being launched at the same time government is planning a & lsquo;radical and rapid’ reform of the UK adoption system to make it easier for people to adopt. As more people are likely to adopt over the next few years, the coaching is designed to help them prepare for leave whilst ensuring a minimal impact on their employer.

In April 2003, adoptive parents were granted statutory rights to adoption leave. Mirroring maternity leave, adoptive parents who have worked for their employer for least 26 weeks are entitled to up to 52 weeks’ adoption leave.

However, whereas women taking maternity leave tell their bosses they are pregnant in their 15th week of pregnancy, effectively giving months of notice, adoptive parents inform their employers they plan to take adoption leave seven days after they have been matched with a child. This could mean a very sudden departure from the workplace and a big gap in the business if the process is not managed well. 

Sue Wellman comments, “Adoptive parents have the same rights as women taking maternity leave and face many of the same challenges – how to hand over their work, ensure a seamless transition out of the workplace and pick up again where they left off. Just as the use of maternity coaching is becoming more widespread in companies as a way of supporting women, there is an equal need for companies to think about the same provision for people adopting. Arguably, there is an even greater need – adoption is a long journey which is generally full of ups and downs and frustrations – people need a lot of support throughout the process as there are many challenges along the way.”

Chris Parke, CEO of Talking Talent commented, “The government’s long overdue reform of the UK adoption system will enable many more people to realise their adoption plans and businesses need to be ready to manage a rise in the number of adoptive parents wanting to take leave and the impact it will have.”

“Coaching is an ideal tool to support employees through the process as adoption tends to be complex, lengthy and emotional. And, adoption leave can come at very short notice so businesses need to be as prepared as they possibly can be for a sudden departure. If companies are aware of any employees that plan to adopt, we would urge them to engage them in open and regular dialogue so they can be up to date about their plans. This means they can provide the right level of support, such as coaching, flexible working arrangements for any appointments needed by their employee but also put in place contingency plan to cover their leave – however, sudden.”


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