The Adoption and Fostering Podcast
Episode 76 - Adopter Preparation

Episode 76 - Adopter Preparation

November 30, 2019

In this episode we were prompted to discuss the initial adoption preparation that is a statutory requirement in England and Wales. Its a course run over a few days normally undertaken prior to prospective adopters making an application or at the beginning of the process. We pulled together the results from a Twitter poll that we'd put up as well as some thoughts and reflections that the kind people of Twitter had posted (we've included them below). We draw on our experience of attending and delivering training as well as looking at the Regs. 

There's the usual infobanter from Scott and Al and we hope you find it interesting and would like to get in touch with comments or suggestions then please do direct message us at our twitter feed here or on our facebook page here.

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Mrs Reed Warbler

They encourage childcare experience but it’s usually with family or a gentle group at a local school or nursery. If possible, needs to be more opportunities with care experienced children and more input from adult adoptees. Though I appreciate this might not be safe or practical.

 

 

Suddenly Mummy

I can't answer it - too much hindsight! There's literally nothing can really prepare you for being a parent of any child tbh. Plus I know what I wanted to hear and what I closed my ears to. I think there are practical things missing, particularly around NHS numbers, UPI numbers and stuff like that. Plus a crash course on navigating health/education/SEND services might help, but would we take it all in? For me the nitty gritty realism needs to come at matching, and be on all sides.

 

Rackachino

As a Adoption Training Officer and an adopter delivering Stage 1 & 2 training I'm shocked by lack of info adopters had in their training! We start by saying 'this is not a tick box exercise we are preparing you for life with a child who has experienced developmental trauma'

 

adopter dude

I asked lots of practical questions and was met with, you'll find that out later, or vague answers. No adoptee voices, no care experienced voices, only one very honest adopter. Letterbox didn't cover what to do when they don't reply and your child is devastated.

There was no real mention of identity, no suggestion of face to face contact, no discussion around the ethics of adoption as a concept. The message was "it's hard but definitely the right thing to do".

I think as a prospective adopter you don’t know what you need, so you don’t know if you’re prepared or not. You go to the training because you have to, your goal is your child coming home. A lot of the training only makes sense once you’re living adoption.

@Mimmjp

I think as a prospective adopter you don’t know what you need, so you don’t know if you’re prepared or not. You go to the training because you have to, your goal is your child coming home. A lot of the training only makes sense once you’re living adoption.

I would have found hearing from more adopted people and adopters really helpful. Training at our agency has moved on now & it’s much better. We suggested adopters/adopted people help deliver training. Agency listened & now they include people ‘living it’, which is great!

 

Beastar

Yes actually in many ways excellent, really good, lots of help as we adopted older child encoraged to speak with adoptees. Missing was practical stuff & getting help, SAR requests,  contact rejection, schools! Birth family input etc

 

2maddogs

Too long ago to remember - 20 years ago!  2nd and 3rd time round there was no training.  Suppose it was assumed we’d know something as we were doing it again! In reality all I’ve learned has been since they arrived

 

Longjourney

We would have valued some more prep between approval and introductions, particularly about how to manage intros and early weeks/months. Pre-approval it all felt very theoretical. Once approved  I think adopters need to be given some practical skills and knowledge of TP.

 

Adoptee adopter

I’ve said yes but mainly due to lived experience personally and with an adoptive sibling who had a different reaction to me. The training and info received from the agency was not enough to understand attachment, trauma, identity, processes for PAS.

Another Mountain

I had 2 lots from 2 different LAs. Both were ok but lots missing - we had an older adoptee speak to us, at least an adoptee voice was involved but bore no resemblance to current circumstances due to her adoption taking place 55+ years ago, would have been helpful to have heard from younger adoptee, we had some stuff about direct contact - GPs & sibs but not much, letterbox stuff was pretty rubbish - attitude was most BPs wont respond anyway, but nothing on how to deal with that with a child, nothing on what to do if it does go well - ie do you  increase or progress to direct contact or...what? Some stuff over simplified/glossed over. Think adopters should be more involved in leading the training as can be more real, share lived experiences. Issues surrounding education not addressed at all. Lots of focus on adoption process - stage 1, stage 2, panels, cprs, matching, intros etc - would have preferred more on what it actually means to parent a traumatised child...I could go on!

Adoption.adventures

I think that we were prepared as much as you can prepare anyone for this journey, no training can cover it all, it’s about jumping in and learning for yourself. Find out what you don’t know when your child moves in. But there was always support for us post adoption

Fi 

I’m not sure anything can fully prepare you. But it was a start. What is really needed is good quality after training with childcare and at the right time

Katie something esq

We asked for more about genetic conditions and prenatal exposure and the guy they brought in for that talked about HIV.

Also there is NOTHING on typical infant and toddler development - just assumed everyone is adopting older kids.

 

Elaine Amy

What we went on was good in the sense that we had an understanding of the girls’ needs and what life would be like. But it was in no way good enough to prepare us for a lifetime of navigating systems outside the family. So overall, no, it wasn’t good enough.

Jenny Jones 

First one (15 yrs ago) was enjoyable, interesting but didn’t even touch on attachment/trauma. 

Second one (8 yrs ago) was really really bad, I was accused of being negative for mentioning some issues my older two had! We had 2 hours on child development in this one.

Simon Armstead

We had a good all round, realistic and honest preparation of what may lie ahead.

Our prep was fantastic, we could not have asked for more. It's the post adoption support where it falls down (in my opinion). Post adoption support needs updating, a complete overhaul and some progressive 21st century thinking. Now where shall we begin #AnswersOnAPostcardPlease

Ali Redford

Nothing can ever prepare you enough!

Donal traynor

In hindsight, no. We enjoyed it & learned from the process but looking back, we were not at all prepared for the relentlessness & had no training on navigating education & health systems.

 

Laura Cummins

Absolutely not. I read so many books, listened to podcasts, watched documentaries - absolutely nothing prepares you for the reality of having an angry little stranger in your home. Our 2 year old son has been home for 8 weeks and has experienced so much grief from losing foster carer which has manifested itself in violence and extremely difficult behaviour beyond anything we read about or expected. We were never taught about this at prep group.

 

Clair Davis

‘Twas fair but I don’t think u can really “get” adoption until u r in it.  Discrepancy between being required to show how sensitive and empathic u r and the rhino skin required for adopter’s life.

Pen

I’m no way. Attachment was a problem in very rare cases apparently. Nothing about therapeutic repArenting etc

Hand in Hand

I think there’s a limit to what they can teach you. However I think we were adequately prepared for the fact that this was going to be a huge challenge. The times that we felt stumped, it wasn’t about inadequate training, just a fact of life as a parent

David Hartley

Absolutely abysmal. We spent one half day if the five day course discussing the name of the child. The fucking name. As if that was critical. "I don't want an Algynon!" "I can't face getting a Kylie!"

 

Hushabyemountain

Wish we had known about therapeutic parenting and developmental trauma from the outset; not prepared for our needs being treated as unusual; unprepared for school and SEN; expected everyone we dealt with to have same knowledge as us from the adoption training ...!

 

Marnz

IMO too much time is spent on how much “stuff” we should tell people. At a recent meeting we discussed that the list is almost endless, we need to shift our focus to people, Their strengths/triggers etc “Education Is Not the Filling of a Pail, But the Lighting of a Fire" #mentor

 

 

Tamsin cottle 

I wish someone had said it’s ok not to feel ok. You may struggle and you may not enjoy this and wonder what the hell you have done. That’s ok talk to someone do not feel guilty or bad about yourself as a parent.s. adequate in that lots of info on attachment & trauma but we adopted two at once and were not prepared for how crazy and hard life would be with two at different development stages and with different survival strategies.

 

Adoption cake

Have been through the assessment process twice.  First time round we felt fully prepared on the day we met them, almost 8 yrs on some days I feel less prepared than ever. Life changes, you change, they change - it’s an ever changing experience.  Now often speaking to...I’d like to see reflective group practice included in prep; voice of the adoptee/adopter - not a 1/2 talk with photo albums, true realities; compulsory workshop for close family/supporters; inclusion of #FASD on every course & info on navigating all the systems to gain support!!

Conversations - Paul

Conversations - Paul

November 23, 2019

In this Episode we speak to Paul, with his, wife they became special guardians to two of their grandchildren. Paul shares the challenges that they've experienced coming to a point of taking the grandchildren into their care, working with professionals with limited understanding and the lack of ongoing support that they've found lacking. 

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It is a difficult story and some listeners may find the details upsetting so, as always, listen with caution. 

Music by

Together, We Can Make It by Neutrin05 | https://soundcloud.com/neutrin05

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Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported

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Episode 75 - An Interview with Joanne Alper

Episode 75 - An Interview with Joanne Alper

November 16, 2019

In this episode we speak to Joanne Alper from Adoption Plus about her new book 'Supporting Birth Parents whose Children have been Adopted'. It includes a range of contributions from different professionals and considers a range of issues that are present in many adopted parents minds as they as the care for their children and young people. It reflects on some of the challenges that families faces and some effective models of intervention. 

As always it's a engaging and interesting conversation on a subject that Joanne is passionate about. There's plenty to consider for professionals, parents and adopted adults. 

There's the usual infobanter from Scott and Al and some thoughts on upcoming episodes. 

We hope you find it interesting and would like to get in touch with comments or suggestions then please do direct message us at our twitter feed here or on our facebook page here.

Listen/subscribe on iTunes here

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Adoptee Conversations - Tanya

Adoptee Conversations - Tanya

November 9, 2019

This week we speak to Tanya, an adopted adult and adoption social worker. She shares parts of her story and her views and perspectives on different aspects of adoption and the current system. 

You can read more of Tanya's story on the PAC UK website here and follow her on Twitter here. 

The usual warning if you’ve any doubts get a friend to listen first.  

We hope you find it interesting and if you’re an adoptee and would like to share your perspective or experience then please do direct message us at our twitter feed here or on our facebook page here.

Listen/subscribe on iTunes here

Spotify here

Google here

 

 

Music by

Together, We Can Make It by Neutrin05 | https://soundcloud.com/neutrin05

Music promoted by https://www.free-stock-music.com

Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported

https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en_US

 

Podcast Special - Adoption Sunday with Emily Christou

Podcast Special - Adoption Sunday with Emily Christou

November 2, 2019

This week we speak to Emily Christou in relation to the Church's 'Adoption Sunday'. Emily works for the national charity Home for Good in relation to influencing policy change and raising awareness of specific issues. 

We discuss issues of faith, how they are perceived outside of the faith community as well as the legacy of some of the scandals that the church has been part of. Though we talk about the awareness raising function of the charity we do focus on some of the additional work that they have undertaken to develop national policy. Specifically the work on the All Party Parliamentary Group on Adoption and Permanency in relation to the value of the Adoption Support Fund as well as work on developing system knowledge of children of colour in the system and the specific challenges they face in looking for permanency and adoption. 

We hope you enjoy it and we'll be back on track with episodes and conversations next week. 

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Episode 74 - The Care Experienced Conference

Episode 74 - The Care Experienced Conference

October 26, 2019

This week we speak to Jamie Crabb and Rosie Canning representatives from the Care Experienced Conference. They give us some background in relation to the conference that was held earlier in the year, share some of the reasons behind it and being to discuss the recently released report that they have been sharing with a range of professionals and politicians. 

You can download the report here as well as find out more about the conference, we'd really recommend doing that as they are an important and interesting read. You can also find the Care Experience Conference Twitter Feed here to follow their progress and updates. They are using the reports to influence fostering practice as well as spark a conversation. 

We also have a little InfoBanter and there's a few thoughts on the storyline on the new film Joker. 

As always, thanks for listening and share the love.

Podcast Special - The Open Nest Conference. #PreservationOrSeverance

Podcast Special - The Open Nest Conference. #PreservationOrSeverance

October 19, 2019

This week's Episode is a snapshot from The Open Nest's conference #PreservationOrSeverance.

Al managed to gather some contributors to the day's events and asked them a few questions. Adopted adults Catt Peace, form the PATCHES Family Foundation and Clair (@howtobeadopted) shared a few thoughts on the events of the day and Open Nest Trustee Fran Proctor also outlined the hopes and aspirations for the day. Added to that Sarah Phillimore (@SVPhillimore) Family Court Barrister offered a different perspective on the day.

Scott and Al chat about the interviews and add a little infobanter. 

Episode 73 - An interview with Karen Bartholomew

Episode 73 - An interview with Karen Bartholomew

October 14, 2019

In this episode we speak to playwright Karen Bartholomew in relation to her production 'Giving up Marty' a play that considers the reality of adoption reunion from a range of perspectives. Karen is adopted herself but this isn't her story but she hopes to offer an antidote to the fictionalised and sanitised TV versions of reunion that the adoption community often object to. We chat about that and the impact that the earlier test previews of the production as well as her hope to raise funds for a wider production run that would give more people the opportunity to see the play. 

Scott and Al discuss Adoption Week and the usual challenges as well as Scott's temporary retirement from the head world of adoption. 

Please check out Karen's Crowdfunding page can be found here and giving opens on the 14th October. Also, follow Karen on Twitter here and have a look at the trailer/teaser for the play. 

Adoptee Conversations - Cat Theresa

Adoptee Conversations - Cat Theresa

October 12, 2019

In this episode, we chat to Cat Theresa an adult adoptee  and she shares her experience of being adopted in late 60's.

Cat describes her experience of growing up and the impact of adoption on how she felt as a child and adolescent. Cat went on to reunification with her birth mother at 19 then later with her birth father. 

Cat speaks about some of her challenges and the life long impact of being an adoptee so please be cautious as she shares some difficult experiences that she had a child. 

The usual warning if you’ve any doubts get a friend to listen first.  

We hope you find it interesting and if you’re an adoptee and would like to share your perspective or experience then please do direct message us at our twitter feed here or on our facebook page here.

Music by

Together, We Can Make It by Neutrin05 | https://soundcloud.com/neutrin05

Music promoted by https://www.free-stock-music.com

Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported

https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en_US

Episode 72 - Helen Bonnick talks Child to parent Violence and Aggression

Episode 72 - Helen Bonnick talks Child to parent Violence and Aggression

October 5, 2019

In this episode we talk to Helen Bonnick in relation to Child to Parent Violence and Aggression and her book here

We chat across the topic and cover a broad range of issues including definitions, underlying causes and how practitioners from different services perceive the phenomenon. We also consider some of the interventions and look at one think that can really help.

Helen has a fantastic website 'Holes in the Wall' where you can access a broad range of resources.  

I must offer an apology, there's a few audio blips and the final ten seconds the signal went haywire. It certainly isn't prohibitive so hang in there. 

As always, thanks for listening and if you get a change a cheeky review wherever you get this podcast would be appreciated.