A Child’s Song was developed to meet the needs of fostering, adoptive and permanent families who are struggling with unique parenting challenges. Without a clear understanding of how trauma and caregiver losses impact a child, parents will implement strategies that, although well intentioned, may actually do more harm than good to the child and to the relationship. A Child’s Song is committed to supporting families to become the expert on their child and develop the tools to become therapeutic parents.
Andrea Chatwin founded A Child's Song in 2011 after noticing the incredible need for support amongst the adoption and permanency community. For years leading up to this Andrea was working as Mental Health Clinician and navigating the journey of parenting through adoption. The combination of her professional and personal experiences led to a strong desire to research and learn the most effective ways to meet the needs of children with trauma and attachment losses. Andrea found herself on the receiving end of phone calls and emails from parents and professionals searching for answers to complex behaviors and relational problems that often left families torn apart. When travelling to people's living rooms and dining tables after hours became too much, she decided it was time to dedicate her time fully to providing the support these families needed. The early stages of A Child's Song began with parent child counselling in a small office with limited availability and today has grown into a team of professionals offering a wide range of services and supports.
A Child's Song continues to offer services that are founded on the same principles as those we began with many years ago. We believe that with the right information, skills and strategies parents can provide the healing experiences a child or youth needs to form strong connections and develop optimally. We also believe in the power of therapy and mentorship to help children, youth and adults heal from early experiences of trauma and loss that continue to impact their current life experiences. Our services have also expanded to include counselling, consultation and education for the professionals that support families who are impacted by trauma and attachment losses.
‘Hearing, understanding and joining in to sing a child’s song is the ultimate form of connection between parent and child.’
~ Andrea Chatwin
A Child’s Song took its name from an ancient African Proverb. There is a tribe in Africa where the birth date of a child is counted not from when they are born, nor from when they are conceived but from the day that the child is a thought in its mother’s mind. And when a woman decides that she will have a child, she goes off and sits under a tree, by herself, and listens until she can hear the song of the child who wants to come. After she’s heard the song of this child, she comes back to the man who will be the child’s father and teaches it to him.
When the mother is pregnant, the mother teaches that child’s song to the midwives and the old women of the village, so that when the child is born, the old women and the people around her sing the child’s song to welcome it. As the child grows up, the other villagers are taught the child’s song. If the child falls, or hurts its knee, someone picks it up and sings the song. Or perhaps the child does something wonderful, or goes through the rites of puberty. As a way of honouring this person, the people of the village sing his or her song. It goes this way through their life. In marriage, the songs are sung, together. And finally, when this child is lying in bed, ready to die, all the villagers know his or her song, and they sing for the last time –the song to that person.