Tessa Teens ‘This is Me’ photography exhibition


Belfast Exposed, Donegall Street, Belfast

28 November – 2 December, 11am – 5pm.

‘A family life for everyone’

Family  Routes provides a range of support and counselling services to those affected by adoption and fertility issues. It is an independent charity with five distinct services, including TESSA.

TESSA exists to listen, support, enable and understand.



Interactive workshop to create a greater understanding of children's behaviour, Sept & Oct 2024.

Love and Rage

Four-week programme for parents of adopted children struggling to handle emotions, autumn 2024.

A programme to help parents build communication and conflict resolution skills with teens, starts Jan 2025.

Connect with other families and enjoy a fun day out before the return to school, Saturday 17th August.

Teens Celebration

TESSA Teens project celebration day on Saturday 7th Sept 11am-3pm.


TESSA stands for Therapeutic, Education and Support Services in Adoption.

We are a project aimed at supporting families across Northern Ireland who have at least one child between the ages of two and eighteen years old, who has been adopted. We are funded by the National Lottery Community Fund, as part of their Reaching Out Support Families initiative.

TESSA is a Family Routes project.

TESSA is currently funded by the National Lottery Community Fund.

Couple having counselling

Accessing our Services

You can self refer or you can be referred by your post-adoption team via our contact details.
To self refer, please complete the Referral Form and Equality Monitoring Form below, or visit our Services page for more details.

QR Code TESSA referrral form
QR Code TESSA equality monitoring form

At TESSA we believe...

  • Relationships and connection are at the core of our work and through strengthening relationships we build resilience

  • Empathy, kindness and comfort makes us feel better

  • Feeling seen, heard and valued by parents, teachers and carers helps children feel safe and calm

  • Some ‘traditional’ parenting styles are not helpful in parenting a child who has experienced early trauma

  • You are the expert about your family and their needs. We will let you guide the way with our support.
Family Routes building

Reception at TESSA

Family Routes reception

We provide a range of therapies including counselling, therapeutic parenting and play, art and music therapy.

We also offer a 6-week programme for adopters on the impact of childhood trauma.
Love and Rage is delivered in-person and online and runs frequently throughout the year.

In the first instance we ask you to call us to explore what therapies are most suitable to your needs. We can also discuss the benefits of the accredited Love and Rage programme.

Please call: 028 9046 9211

Following the initial phone call we might ask you to complete a referral form, but this will be discussed on the call.