Meet Helen Oakwater

International trainer, speaker, coach, author and adoptive parent.

I'm Helen and I'm the founder of FAB parents. I adopted a sibling group (aged 5, 4 and 2) in the early 1990s from the UK Care System. My approach is pragmatic and real. I have lived with children who lie, steal, self-harm and were expelled from schools, amongst many other things.

I have worn many different hats in the adoption and fostering world, including:

  • Running a local (Adoption UK) support group for adopters for a decade
  • Membership of the Government Adoption Task Force
  • Trustee for the charity Adoption UK for 6 years
  • Delivered training on Trauma Triggered Behaviour to thousands of parents and professionals in the UK, Australia and New Zealand
  • Conference speaker and lobbyist

Outside of work I'm an avid traveller and adventurer and can often be seen on any of the 4 corners of the world, trying something new and sharing my knowledge.

I'm also a highly qualified and experienced Executive and Personal Coach, mBIT and NLP Trainer, working with clients from various backgrounds to help them create a compelling future and dissolve past traumas.

My first book Bubble Wrapped Children: How Social networking is transforming the face of 21st-century adoption published in 2012, took the issue of how Facebook is enabling birth families to reconnect to their children (who had been removed by the courts) onto the front page of The Times newspaper and national press.

My second book Want to Adopt: How to prepare yourself to parent a child from the care system is now available to buy worldwide and has reached #4 on Amazon's Bestseller's List.

About FAB Parents

This website, the articles, training, tools, concepts, ideas, philosophy and mentoring are what I wish I'd had during all the different stages of my adoption journey; from pre-placement assessment through to my kids leaving home.

Even though it is primarily for foster and adoptive parents whose children experienced maltreatment and neglect in infancy: the content will be useful for anyone who touches the life of a traumatised child; including Teachers, Social Workers, Health Visitors, Decision Makers, Medics, Family Members, The Media, Judges and adults who experienced abuse, neglect or maltreatment during their own childhood.

You want and need to know that the material on this website is credible, effective and based on sound theory, research and practice. You should know the qualifications and track record of contributors. These are listed for the individual contributors. (Unless otherwise stated it is Helen Oakwater).

Understanding is the key. By exploring this website you will:

  • Learn more about the impact of maltreatment and neglect on children.
  • Find tools to comprehend, recognise and treat trauma.
  • Discover ways to manage your own stated and thinking.
  • Re-examine your motivation, expectations and beliefs. 
  • Acquire fresh parenting strategies and tactics. 
  • Realise that even though there is no 'single answer', the framework for thinking offered by FAB Parents will leave you feeling empowered, encouraged and help you create a unique road map for parenting your child from where you are now, to adulthood and beyond.