June 9, 2018
Contact is an issue that raises passions, worries, hopes and concerns for children, adopters and first families in equal measure. So, with that in mind we speak to Prof Beth Neil who has studied contact in adoption for over 20 years and is able to offer insight into an issue that never fails to pique the interest of all people touched by adoption.
We put specific questions to Beth that were sent to podcast towers as well as expanding on issues that are often raised on social media.We discuss the potential positive and negative impacts on children, the barriers to positive contact, the challenges and myths of letterbox contact, social care resistance to contact and more. The nature of the subject means that there was much more that could have been discussed and Dr Beth has a wealth of knwoledge on the issue.
Midway through we experienced a few minor technical stammers but these are overcome so tough it out.
Links to Dr Beth's research can be found here as well as a range of resources on the Reseach in Practice webpage here
As always, thanks for listening and if you are feeling all warm and fluffy a wee review on iTunes here would always be welcome! Thanks
May 25, 2018
We were delighted to be invited by Adoption UK to attend their FASD conference in Scotland to record interviews with some of their speakers and attendees. FASD is an issue that is in most of our minds, and is becoming more and more recognised as an issue that affects families where children no longer live with their birth parents.
We speak to Dr Raja Mukherjee, UK FASD Expert and Lead Clinician UK National FASD Clinic, Neurodevelopmental Psychiatrist, Lee Harvey-Heath an adult diagnosed with FASD at the age of 26 years old and two parents who tell us their story about their journey to coming to terms with their children having FASD.
Scott is joined by colleague, Alison Woodhead, Director of Public Affairs at Adoption UK for some of the interview, and we would like to thank Adoption UK for supporting this special edition of the podcast.
May 12, 2018
This episode is a veritble buffet of adoption and fostering topics, conversation and thought.
However, we don't miss the opportunity to interigate Becky on her personal life and draw conclusions from the slow down in her blogging output.
We discuss the thorny issue of how much is too much on social media and the challenges of under and oversharing as bloggers, tweeters and facebookers.
We attemp to review a couple of books and have a brief, but informative, discussion on poetry.
We then stumble into the much discussed topic of resilience and Al gets a little hot under the collar and then Scott makes a poem up!
Life Work with Children Who are Fostered or Adopted by Joy Rees
All You Need Is Love: Celebrating Families of All Shapes and Sizes by Shanni Collins
April 28, 2018
On this week's podcast we speak to Andrew Christie the Head of the Adoption & Special Guardianship Leadership Board. We'd asked for questions through Twitter and the Facebook page and received a wide range of issues that we put to Andrew.
We discussed the name change to include Special Guardianship, the Adoption Support Fund as well as the level of influence that the Board has over local authorities in relation to their adoption services and the support that they provide to special guardians. Adopter favourite education was raised as well as transracial adoption, the 2020 vision, workforce development and the views of the new minister Nadim Zahawi.
Being honest it was no Paxmanesque grilling, that's not our style, but we did ask the questions and Andrew was open in his answers. There was so much more that we barely had time to cover but it was a worthwhile conversation.
As always we sandwich it with a little light banter.
Andrew was very open and keen to hear the experiences and views of adopters and special guardians and gave a contact email address that can be linked to here.
April 14, 2018
In this episode we talk to Dr Anna Gupta in relation to the findings of the BASW Enquiry into the role of the social worker in adoption – ethics and human rights. It has had a range of responses from different quarters and had some misleading headlines in some publications. Anna talks about the purpose of the enqiry, the people that contributed and what some of the recommendations were. Specific issues in relation to contact between adopters and birth family were discussed as well as adoption in the context of SGO's and other permenency options. The report can be down loaded here
Scott and Al mull over the conversation and discuss shared perspectives with other communities that care for children. Scott finally comes to terms with his class status and explaines his recent Twitter poll and we chat through some thoughts on common issues that we share with Special Guardians.
March 31, 2018
This week we talk to adoptee, social worker and After Adoption's National Manager of their Safebase programme Bridget Betts.
Bridget was reflects openly and honestly on her own experience as an adoptee and shares some of her story with us, We discuss the lifelong impacts of adoption on her as well as more widely. Bridget has been a social worker for nearly four decades and worked directly in adoption for the majority of that time and we discuss some of her thoughts in relation to practice and specificially working with young people in relation to thier life stroy work and participation in looking for adoptive parents.
It's slightly longer than usual due to the rich conversation with Bridget so you'll be pleased to hear that it's fairly banter lite, though we do get a little distracted by a fever dream and our 1000th follower on Twitter and the 1001st and 1002nd.
March 17, 2018
In this weeks episode we have a conversation with Daniela Shanly, adoptive parent and proprietor of Beech Lodge School. Beech Lodge is an attachment-focused school providing education for children aged 7 to 18 that have been failed by mainstream school. From their website 'we offer a nurturing and inovative approach to education for those children who require an individually tailored learning environment to build social and life skills.'.
We speak to her in relation to her experience of international adoption and some of the challenges that caused and how they overcame them. She also discussed what led to her decision to start a school and some of the challenges that they had to overcome. We talk about the school and answer some listener questions as well as enjoy our usual heady mix of prattle and banter.
It's well worth a listen as Daniela's story is inspiring as well as offering hope to many families who struggle to find schools where their children can feel safe and learn.
March 3, 2018
This week is LGBT Adoption & Fostering week and Scott discusses his experience as one of the first cohort of same sex couples being approved as adopters, children's questions, callenges and shifting values and perceptions of society. Both Al and Scott discuss their experience of being on panels and the unique strengths that same sex couples may bring to being an adopters. The converstion touches on a range of questions and issues that face LGBT adopters.
Al talks briefly about becoming a grandfather and his clear lack of knowledge of pregnancy and birth. We also ponder the last few interviews that we've had on the podcast and the interesting point raised by the adoptees that we've had on lately. Of course, how could we not mention the fantastic Carrie Grant and we consider gatecrashing her adoption support group.
February 16, 2018
With much giddy excitement we finally present an interview with Carry Grant. She is a singer, singing coach and TV presenter amongst many other things as well as experience of parenting children with aditional needs as well as being an adopter.
The conversation covers all aspects of adoptive parenting and reflects on the challenges that many families face. Carrie discussed why she decided to adopt and their experience of the process of preparation, approval and being matched with a child. As a family they have experienced a range of challenges and Carrie is open and honest about their struggles with child to parent violence and the help that NVR (Non Violent Resistance) has been to them. During the interview we discuss Carrie's experience of accessing adoption support and the needs of parents who look for support in dire circumstances. Amongst a range of subjects we discuss self care and most adopter's time old favourite of support in school and the challenges that many face in education.
As always there's a little light banter from Scott and I and we ask a few questions that people had given to us through our Facebook page and Twitter feed.
February 2, 2018
In ths episode we speak to Catt Peace an adult adoptee. Catt is a member of the Patches Family Foundation on Facebook and aims to raise awareness, help and offer practical support to families worldwide caring for children suffering from unattachment and developmental trauma.
Catt is very open and honest about her life before and after adoption, having been adopted in the 90's her experience is very contemporary and reflects similar experiences to the children of many contemporary UK adopters and adoptees. She is very honest about her own challenges as a teenager and young person but also comments on life as an adult, birth family reunion and relations with her adoptive parents. I can't recommend this interview enough.
As usual Scott and Al bookend the interview with a little news, chatter and comment.
As always comments and reviews welcome.