top of page


Feedback from families I have worked with.



Feedback from Adoptive parents of young person C

We feel that C and us is developing a deeper understanding and knowledge of his life story through the fortnightly sessions led by Arina Ellis. C has explored his birth family and his adopted family via a variety of tools such as : creating birth family tree/adoptive family tree , craft materials , timeline , by using coloured houses, family figures, milestones, a road map.  This is leading to a deeper understanding and acceptance of his life history and is beginning to help him form a more positive and healthy self-identity. We so appreciated Arina taking the time to go to the placing Local Authority to read all of the files and to take extensive notes.  This really had an impact on C’s engagement as he was so aware of the 'reality' of the information being shared. We have all benefited from Arina's clear and helpful explanations which are helping us to understand some of the issues related to C’s developmental and relational trauma and how these impacts on him (and us).  We have all been touched by Arina's handling of sensitive information, ensuring that facts were explained clearly, factually, without bias and all parties involved treated with respect. We have also felt Arina has built us up as a family unit during this process. Arina is very affirming of C’s and his skills and personality and also of his hopes and dreams.  Arina has built a very positive relationship with C which began almost immediately, and he looks forward to the sessions and is always a willing participant asking and answering questions and taking part in all of the activities with interest. 

Arina has gone to great lengths to engage C (and us) in these sessions which consist of a roll of wallpaper which all our notes and sessions are recorded on.  Arina is super creative and always brings several large bags full of exciting materials which are always thoughtfully chosen/prepared and have been great visual aids to explain parts of C’s life story and have been very powerful at times.

Feedback from young person C:

Arina has been a massive help to me. She has helped me to accept difficult things and helped me to understand myself better. All the life story work has been amazing. Thank you very much.


Feedback from Adoptive parents M 


The TLSW intervention was extremely helpful for both daughters. Arina was able to work at the girls pace and level which is very slow and on certain days very difficult.

She was able to feedback to us as parents in a thoughtful and constructive way with lots of ideas and games etc for support to try and move them in their behaviours.

The fact she could travel to our home meant the girls were more relaxed and able to demonstrate their true personalities.


 Arina advised and moved us forward as a family stuck in dealing with the girls anxieties and was so helpful advising us to get Psychiatric assessments for both girls.


Arina went above and beyond in contacting the girls Local Authorities to get more information on the girls birth family background to assist in understanding the girls behaviours


Excellent communication as Arina always responded very quickly to every query


Arina adapted the sessions and work to accommodate the girls changing needs and presentations.

She works very hard to understand how to get alongside the child and understand their issues. 100% at the right pace and level for each daughter.  The fact the sessions were in our home meant the girls engaged when they could and showed their true behaviours.  Arina could link the sessions to their familiar interests and surroundings.


Yes when they could make their feelings known but also Arina is skilled in being able to read children's behaviour and moods in a non threatening way.

She made sure she tried to improve their self esteem with regular praise of those things each child is good at.


Arina is a gifted therapist with a huge amount of skill  and knowledge in dealing with complicated children and their parents .

She is direct and tactful and very understanding.

We are very grateful to have been able to complete life story work in her safe hands.



Feedback from Adoptive parents SM

The work that Arina has done with us over the past 6 months has been extremely interesting, helpful and carried out in a very caring way not just to my daughters but also to the whole family. Knowing more about their background, the inter generation abuse and overall history of their birth mum has enabled us all, not just S and M to gain a better understanding of why they were put up for adoption.  Most importantly for us as parents was the time prior to this that helped us to understand what to expect and to prepare us for any behaviour challenges that may be as a result about finding out what happened prior to be part of our family.

As a family we have learnt about our stress levels, family trees, in particular for S and M  the ages of their birth family members and siblings as well as from our family.


We would ask questions about their previous families knowing that other social workers had found it extremely difficult to obtain the answers.  Arina, however managed somehow to work her magic and obtain vital information such as what happened to their eldest brother and can we have letterbox contact with the siblings that she has managed to track down.

My youngest daughter right at the start of these sessions asked if her birth Mum was ok.  Arina explained that she would find out and sure enough she not only has found out but is in contact with her.

Arina prepares the parents beforehand.  She listens to their concerns, explains and discusses parenting styles, the needs of the children and how we can help them and ourselves during the process e.g. she discusses with us various coping mechanisms.

Arina always arrives with a smile on her face.  Before and after every session she asks us how we are feeling, if there are any other questions and confirms when next we are meeting up.

We have learnt so much from Arina.  She is a very caring and thoughtful person who is always willing to answer any questions either via email or in person should we have any.  She has supported us in so many ways over and above the remit of this work. More importantly she listens to what my children ask and if she doesn’t know the answer she will tell them so and report back on any progress at the next session always keeping them informed.


Feedback from Adoptive parent A

Incredibly helpful therapeutic intervention. Within two weeks of starting the therapeutic life story work, A’s aggressive behaviour improved.  It was almost like she needed to be listened to and heard, not by her mum but by an impartial party, in a structured and safe way.

A now understands why her birth parents couldn’t look after her as they wouldn’t be able to keep her safe, feed her, take her to school etc.

 We did a family tree with craft materials provided by Arina. A participated really well and drew her birth mum giving birth to her!


Communication between Arina and myself was excellent.


During the sessions Arina would explain what was happening and what we are trying to achieve and how A  may be feeling.


Arina went above and beyond to provide interactive, bright, innovative, creative materials in order to engage A and build up a relationship.


The intervention was delivered in a very structured, professional way. A’s needs were considered throughout and if she wasn’t feeling well/tired, Arina would adjust the session accordingly.


The sessions were delivered suitable for A’s age group and understanding.


Arina was very natural and easy to talk to. She provided a myriad of materials for A to work with. It was always interesting to find out what was in her ‘magic bag of tricks’ (her craft materials) that we were going to work with that session.  The items were colourful, imaginative, and innovative. Arina would come up with different ways for A to express herself and explain her history.

Arina used culturally appropriate dolls to represent A  and her birth family.


I was really impressed at how the life story work really helped A understand her birth family, her foster family, and her adoptive family.


Arina also took time to meet with A paternal grandmother to find out more information and initiate a face-to-face meeting with A in the future.

Arina’s investigation skills and ability to find out information are incredibly good. She has paved the way for me to follow up on face-to-face contact with A’s paternal grandmother and for letterbox contact with her half-sisters. Amazing work and A will miss her.

bottom of page