Episode 45 - An interview with Colourful Carwen

July 7, 2018

In this episode we interview Colourful Carwen, she was diagnosed in her 40's as having autism but throughout her childhood she presented with challenging, violent and aggressive behaviour to her parents and family. Carwen's reflective account of how experienced the world she lived as well as her feelings on the her behaviour offer a rare insight to the inner workings and thoughs of chldren who are sometimes challenging. 

Scott and Al discuss the news of the day, international adoption and LGBT predjudice. Needless to say there's the usual banter, a moment with a guitar and an interuption from a dog

Be advised there are a few adult words    



Episode 43 - An interview with Mark Owers

June 23, 2018

Mark Owers has been close to the decision making and has influenced adoption over the last 10 years within No. 10 Downing Street and the Department for Education. He recently co authored the Fostering Stock Take and now works with agencies on the regionalisation agend. Mark is also an adoptive parent. 

There's a lot to dicuss with Mark as he has insight and understanding of a wide range of issues that affect adopters and foster carers but we start with his own adoption story which is quite remarkable and unique. 

We talk to Mark about the Fostering Stocktake, that was controversial, and the responses from various groups as well as considering some of the points that were raised in relation to professionalisation, risk management, foster carer/parent roles as well as being sensible in relation to how we care for children.  

Adoption is discussed and Regional Adoption Agencies (RAAs) are spoken about with some of the concerns that many familes have discussed as well the challenges that adoption services may be facing are discusion as well as the future of adoption. Contact, support, Facebook, lifestory and birth families are all touched on as we have a really interesting conversation with Mark in relation to modernising adoption. 

We had a few intermittent technical issues on the line with Mark, they come and go, so apologies but it's not unbearabe. 

As usual Scott and Al enjoy a bit of pre interview banter.  


Ep 42 - An Interview with Prof Dr Beth Neil

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


Podcast Special - Adoption UK’s FASD Scotland Conference

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.


Ep 41 - Becky, Scott and Al

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!

Books reviewed. 

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



Ep 40 - Andrew Christie the Head of the Adoption & Special Guardianship Leadership Board

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


Episode 39 - An interview with Anna Gupta co author of the BASW Adoption Enquiry

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. 


Episode 38 - An interview with Bridget Betts

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. 





Episode 37 - An interview with Daniela Shanly

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.



Episode 36- LGBT Adoption Week, being a grandparent and Voices of Adoptees

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.