GROUPS: What is an "open group" vs. a "closed group"?

Closed Groups are for the same participants each time. The purpose of a Closed Group is to create an atmosphere of trust and safety among the participants so they can share freely and intimately about their thoughts, feelings, and struggles. A Closed Group is not open to new members unless all the existing members agree to admit a new member.  Closed Groups are usually limited to a certain number of sessions, like 5 weeks, 8 weeks, 12 weeks, or more.  

On the other hand, an Open Group may have different participants each time and is more educational and casual.  Open Groups may be time-limited or may be revolving for a long period of time over several months or years.  

GROUPS: How Long Do Groups Last?

Each group session will usually last 1-2 hours, depending on the type of group and how it is set up.  This should be determined prior to the start of the group so you will know ahead of time how long to plan for.

In terms of weeks, groups will vary.  Some are a one-time only group discussion,  while others meet on a weekly or monthly basis.  Depending on the type of group, a series may be as few as three sessions, or as many as twelve.

GROUPS: How Do I Know If I Will Feel Respected & Accepted In A Group?

America World is pleased to have an incredible group of kind and loving families in our circle, and so we hope and believe that all families will show respect and love for each other as we work together in support groups.

It is vital that all group members feel respected and accepted in a group.  The leader will set “ground rules” for this in the beginning, and monitor the group to ensure everyone feels safe to share.  If you ever feel uncomfortable in a group, please let your leader or an AWAA supervisor know.

GROUPS: Do I Have To Talk In A Group, Or Can I Just Listen?

We understand that it can take some time for people to feel comfortable enough to share, and that some people are naturally shier than others.  Given that, we are very glad for you just to sit in on a group to hear from others.

However, we hope that eventually each group member will share their experiences, thoughts, and feelings, because this will benefit everyone involved in multiple ways.

GROUPS: What Are Group Rules?

Much like the group rules promulgated by Karyn Purvis, our group rules are centered around helping each other and showing respect. 

GROUPS: How Much Does It Cost To Be in A Group, And How Do I Pay?

Some of our groups are free and others have costs that vary based on the topic, number of participants expected, and length of the series. The average fee is $25 per group session.  All fees will be disclosed in advance, and fees are to be paid in advance, at the time the session is scheduled.  

Online payment of fees is preferred in order to have quick confirmation of payment.  A small convenience fee for online payments will apply.  Payments may also be made by check; checks should be mailed to:

America World Adoption
6723 Whittier Ave, Suite, 202
McLean VA 22101

Payment must be received at least two weeks in advance of the session in order for attendance to be confirmed.

GROUPS: How Do We Communicate In A Group?

Some of our groups are held by phone conference while others are held through video-conference.  In either method, you call into, or log into, a specific and private area with a small group of other people.  This can be done from your own home or office on your phone, tablet, smart-phone, or computer.  

For video conference, you will have the option to “share your webcam” so that others may see you, which facilitates more personal interaction using facial expressions and body language.  Video-conference participants show up on your screen in “Brady Bunch” fashion, so you get the benefit of interacting verbally and visually with each other.

What Benefits Can I Expect?

Many people enjoy group participation because of the connectedness they feel with others who are dealing with similar experiences and issues.  They find wisdom and support from those who have “been there, done that,” as well as enjoy giving a helping hand to those who are earlier in the process.  Groups often take on a life of their own, with a dynamic and close group of individuals sharing their hearts and giving each other strength and encouragement.