Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Workshops to Support Adolescents Adopted from China

by Tracey Smith-Diggs
On January18, 2014, Wellness W.R.K.S. L.L.C. by referral of Elizabeth Venart director and founder of The Resiliency Center LLC, started our series of workshops for adopted Chinese tween girls and their parents. Working with this population and their families has always been a passion of mine. Over 81,000 Chinese children, almost all of them girls, have been adopted and placed in the United States during the last two decades. Adolescent girls in general, often experience risk factors and challenges such as peer pressure, low self-esteem and preoccupation with body image however; adopted teens are also faced with issues such as bonding, attachment, identity and race. In doing the research, I have found that a high level of wellness helps these girls to improve school performance, develop life skills, practice positive behaviors and improve their interactions with their family and friends. In the workshops presented we are excited to explore issues of the self; self-esteem, self-care, self-identity, self-respect, self- image, self-confidence and self-love. Wellness Wrks LLC infuses four areas into workshops; Recreational Therapy, Wellness Education, 40 Developmental Assets and Restorative Principle Practices. Our holistic model aims to help teens by using the creative and healing arts to address: educational, emotional, social, physical, spiritual, environmental, and character development. 
The workshops are highly interactive, simulating the senses, mind, body and spirit toward healing. There are four workshops for the teens, two workshops for the parents, one workshop for both parents and their children, and one culminating event. The experiences presented are culturally competent and trauma sensitive. The experiences promote a “Safe Space” atmosphere where participants can explore their own issues of self-care, self-esteem, emotional maturity, personal growth, character development, social skills and resiliency. This can assist in enabling the girls to become better sisters, daughters, friends, and community members. The recreation and leisure activities help to put the girls at ease, encouraging creative learning and discussions that address individual challenges. The workshops promote self-expression through music, art, movement, crafts and social games, to name a few. A strong emphasis is placed on cultural awareness. Cultural artifacts are often shared with the group. Active participation is encouraged with self-evaluation, peer feedback and affirmations. We strongly encourage the girls to practice skills and techniques presented in the home, church, school and in the community. The workshops are designed for empowerment, social-emotional skill building, and character development. Wellness Wrks LLC is committed to increasing caring environments, well-being, and healing for children, youth, families and communities. It all starts with a Girl.


** All the workshops are designed to be interactive stimulating the senses, and awakening the mind, body and spirit to new awareness. Introduction and information provided for most of the Healing Arts not actual service. Participation is strongly encouraged. Participation in techniques and exercises are at participants will. The techniques and exercises are not intended to replace medical care. Wellness Wrks LLC and associates disclaim any liability or loss in connection with presented techniques, exercises, or advice herein. All participants will be required to sign a Physical Activity Liability form Be Well!
Additional Services

Individual Coaching and Transformation sessions, Parenting Education, Professional Employee Development trainings and agency referrals available upon request.

Bibliography-China, United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania, International Institute for Restorative Practices, Bethlehem Pa. 18016, Smith-Diggs, Tracey A., Wellness Wrks, LLC Phila. Pa. 19118
Supporting Links: Linkedin – Tracey A. Smith**** Facebook – Wellness W.R.K.S. LLC, – Recreational Therapy                                     ( Restorative Practices (  - 40 Developmental Assets

1 comment:

  1. Families Caring for Children Inc., provides services for children and their families throughout Pa. Tracey thru FCC is providing workshops "Well Adapted" for adopted youth and their parents. Presently, Tracey is providing a group on self-esteem/self-identity for adopted Chinese girls. There ages are from 10-12yrs old. This is our Family Circle question - What are some creative ways parents can encourage increased self-esteem and support positive self-identity in tween girls?