Placement Break Down

(38 Posts)
ShootingStarsinthesky Wed 28-May-14 20:46:52

I feel so sad and distraught that I have been given Valium by my GP. We started our 'bridging' week and I was a bit concerned about the behaviour of the child we were being placed with. The week itself was exhausting particularly as she would not do as she was told without being spoken to very loudly by the foster mother (she is 3 years old). Exhausted and worried and very tearful but feeling unable to really voice my concern and taking in the message that she would calm down in time we continued the bridging. The day before hand over however I really cracked breaking down I did not feel I could take this child who I felt would need more control than I would be able to give her and for her own good I made the agonising decision to stop things before she moved in.

I cannot describe the pain this is causing me and my DH. So due to the fact that I pulled out at a late stage and the fact that I have a history of anxiety/depression they are now saying we cannot have another child. I asked if they would consider an older child but was told that they often have more severe problems and no they would not consider it. My DH has cleared our house of all child. My message is be so so careful of the type of child you consent to care for and if you have a history of anxiety or depression think very carefully about whether you are up to dealing with these children.

Hels20 Wed 28-May-14 21:12:58

Oh Shooting - not sure if there is anything I can say to ease your pain and feeling. I am not surprised you have been prescribed Valium.

Give yourself time to recover. You did the right thing if you felt like this. SWs are probably upset too and maybe on reflection and with time, they might offer other,different, advice. Perhaps they weren't wholly truthful with her issues.

I can't say anything useful so will stop but I am just so so so sorry.

lovehopejoy Wed 28-May-14 21:13:36

Hello....I'm so sorry that I don't have anything helpful to say (we're just at the start of our journey), but I couldn't 'read and run'...I'm sure one of the lovely more experienced peeps will have more useful thoughts, but I just wanted to send a virtual hug. I cannot imagine the pain you must be feeling, you clearly feel hurt and let down by the system...all I would say is if you didn't feel it was right, surely its better for the child in the long run that you did what you did... I don't know what else to say other than I will certainly heed your advice if and when we get there, so thank you!

MrsBW Wed 28-May-14 21:16:00

Gosh - I don't have anything constructive to add, but your pain comes through in waves so I didn't want to read and run. I'm so sorry for your loss.

I'm sorry your LA/VA is also citing depression - as well as 'older children having more severe problems' as a reason that they won't consider you again. It is right that you take time to process events so far... but depression shouldn't necessarily stand in your way and - sometimes - the older the child, the more known their issues are (we have just adopted a 6 and 5 year old and at the moment there are no serious issues - which isn't to say they won't surface later).

Take time to heal and if you are still certain that adoption is the route for you, see what options are open to you, i.e. appeal or going via a different LA/VA.

Hels20 Wed 28-May-14 21:18:38

Maybe NanaNina will be able to offer some thoughts from a LA perspective?

RandomMess Wed 28-May-14 21:21:53

Just hugs, a very difficult decision to make.

How awful for all of you. You've done the right thing though as it's much better to do it before the child moves in with you.

Have you looked after many children ? It's really normal for most 3 year olds to be quite full on and wilful grin

If you've not had children it's quite usual to feel very out of your depth - I know I do with very young children (foster carer) but it's much easier for me with teenagers

LEMmingaround Wed 28-May-14 21:38:42

I don't have any experience of this (apart from anxiety) but i just wanted to say how sorry i am for you and how much i admire you for having the courage to stop things before it went too far. You did the right thing - i really hope that you are able to find a child one day.

RhinosAreFatUnicorns Wed 28-May-14 21:39:13

I am so sorry; I have been thinking about you since your earlier post about your concerns. For what it's worth I think it is really brave of you to have been so honest.

Take time for you and your DH now - you will need to work through this, and possibly grieve over the loss again. Maybe, when you are feeling stronger you could approach a different LA/VA or maybe your existing one will think differently.

Sending you hugs.

I agree with Rhinos take take to grieve and get stronger. I am so sorry for you guys. Thinking of you.

Lilka Wed 28-May-14 22:23:48

I'm so sorry Star what a horrendous time you've been through

I think it was very brave to speak up when you did. Your LA should be supporting you at such a difficult time and helping you work out what you want to do and feel able to do. I know there are a few couples (I've seen them on AUK for instance) who adopt again after pulling out of one set of introductions, after some time out to grieve.

You are in my thoughts

ShootingStarsinthesky Wed 28-May-14 22:26:07

I know I may be grasping at straws but I wonder if they would allow us to foster to adopt an older child does anyone have any ideas about this idea please. I just feel it is so unfair that we gave 18 months to this hard process to walk away with nothing at all. We only wanted to help and love a child but it has all gone so wrong.

excitedmamma Wed 28-May-14 22:26:22

That is such a painful post and your pain and distress is obvious.

Be easy on yourself... as hard as it is, you did the right thing - for you and for the LO.

A very painful time - take time out, dust yourself down - you will get through this - in time.

Best wishes

fasparent Wed 28-May-14 22:29:19

Very upsetting for you and DH., You did not mention any History of child., Know what I have noticed on these post regards introduction are no mention of Pre Adoption issue's., " effect's of separation and loss " did you have any talks or anything in this area which may have prepared you for things like this.
Some children may experience attachment issues, from number of disruption's separation's in there young life's, have had some children with as many as 50 moves ( dumped with friends, strangers,familey, moved around in care, together all count as disrupted placements). , youngest we had was age 3 with 37 placements. Would look at history if you were in this situation and child, also fact that child was shouted at seems strange. Sounds as if child may have a separation and loss problem. Know you have too keep thing's confidential.

Would not feel stressed or blame your self you want too be a mum having a child presenting difficulty's too you would be upsetting for any one in your position., there are obvious unseen underlying problems , and think you have genuine grievance on the LA's opinions.
You are not a professional or an experienced FC. Just a mum and dad wanting a child.
Never in 38 years have never experience this , This is NanaNina's area hope she pop's in for a comment.

restandpeace Wed 28-May-14 22:31:29

I think they are right. Sorry. Poor child.

HappySunflower Wed 28-May-14 22:34:31

I really think that it is too soon for you to be considering another placement. I agree with what your SW has said; an older child is likely to display behaviour that is more challenging than you experienced.

I think it would be wise for you to take some time to think about what it was about her that caused you such anxiety, as, all children can need an element of behaviour management at times. My daughter was placed at quite a young age, yet still when she got to ages 2 and 3 could be quite a challenge at times, so I can see why they might feel concerned about your capacity to cope. By matching you with another child, they'd be taking a risk on introducing you to them as their new parents, and doing lots of preparation work with that child, only to have to help them to process the placement not actually happening.

I am sorry if I have been too blunt as I'm sure this isn't what you were hoping to hear.
Can you access some counselling to help you to deal with this?

scottishmummy Wed 28-May-14 22:36:27

The local authority need to consider your ability to cope,and the overall suitability of placement
You couldnt have anticipated this would happen,and its sad for all
But you should heed the professional advice

Lilka Wed 28-May-14 22:50:04

I do completely agree that some time out and even counselling is a good idea, and that with such a loss continuing straight away is unlikely to be a good idea. Time to come to terms and to grieve, you probably really need that, and time to think about why this didn't work out and whether you can realistically manage everything with another child.

It sounds like there was quite a bit more going on than just difficult behaviour, but it's worth thinking about how you could manage that with another child, given that the majority of adopted children will at some point, probably not long after placement, have challenging behaviour, which might be difficult to live with. Older children are more likely to display challenging behaviour.

But since there are situations where couples go on to successfully adopt after failed introductions, it can work, depending on how the couple feel, how they are coping, and the circumstances, so I don't feel that one set of failed intros should necessarily spell the end for any prospective parents who go through it, and I'm not going to judge your situation based on one post

MyFeetAreCold Wed 28-May-14 23:07:56

Oh star, I'm so sorry. Please be kind to yourself and give yourself time to grieve and heal before you make any more decisions. To stop the placement when you did took real courage.

I've seen at least one person post here before who this happened to and went on to adopt another child, so it can happen. But give yourself time to grieve.

thanks

MerryInthechelseahotel Wed 28-May-14 23:14:58

I did not feel I could take this child who I felt would need more control than I would be able to give her

Nobody should judge you for that thanks you were brave to be so honest when you knew the consequences would be so devastating.

I hope as pp's have said you have time to grieve and also that you can support each other.

scarlettsmummy2 Wed 28-May-14 23:15:33

Fostering and adoption are quite different things. I certainly wouldn't rush into fostering after what has happened.

MerryInthechelseahotel Wed 28-May-14 23:22:08

Some lovely supportive posts on here. As fasparent says all they want to do is be a mum and dad but restandpeace your post was unkind shock

NanaNina Thu 29-May-14 00:20:46

I had decided to stay away from the adoption thread as I seemed to have upset a few people lately, quite unwittingly. However shootingstars someone PMed me to see if there was anything I could say that would help. I think everyone on this thread (with one notable exception) has reached out to you in an understanding and caring way, and I honestly can't add very much, only to say that I feel for you so much. I sincerely hope that this setback does not cause any further mental health problems for you. I have a psychiatric history myself and know that raised stress levels are to be avoided if at all possible.

The one thing I wondered about was (and I think someone else mentioned this) how much had you known about the child beforehand, and how many moves had she had in her short life. It struck me that a foster carer really shouldn't have to be raising her voice to a 3 year old to "get her to do as she was told" - raised voices are not the way to get a child of this age to co-operate, so I couldn't really work out what was going on here. I may be wrong but it sounded to me as though you had panicked at the 11th hour (so to speak) and made your decision in a state of anxiety. It's a great shame that you didn't feel able to voice your concerns during the week, and I'm wondering what support you were getting from the social workers. It doesn't sound like you had enough confidence in them to be able to talk about your fears during that week, and I think they must be held responsible for their part in that respect. I also wonder what your DH is thinking/feeling and whether you will be able to support each other - I do hope so, although you may be dealing with this loss in different ways.

I think you need to be kind to yourself now and know that you have done the right thing, and try not to blame yourself for what happened. As we always say "there are no guarantees in adoption" and sadly you have found that out the hard way. As for the future, I think you need to concentrate on yourself and your own mental health. Maybe in a short time you might benefit from seeing a counsellor (as others have suggested) and benefit from having the opportunity to talk through this trauma and the emotions it has aroused in you. If you decide to go down that route look on the BACP website (British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists) as these are people are properly trained and registered with their professional body. It may be that feelings are too raw just now, and you need time to heal a little.

Over the years of my professional life (am now retired) I have witnessed some very sad situations. I've seen marriages break up, mental health difficulties arising and people suffering huge feelings of guilt when something like this happens. I have always felt so sorry for people who started out just wanting to give a child a home, but over time it is possible to reach a point where you can start to come to terms with this trauma and begin the road to recovery.

Sending you warm wishes

nervouslurker Thu 29-May-14 10:07:33

How awful for you, and the little girl, and well done for being honest about things. I don't know much about the adoption side.

But... if you're unwell right now (and it sounds like you are), you can't let your thoughts run away. Try and be where you are (which is painful enough for you right now), without letting your thoughts run to 'what next', 'can we try again?' etc. You can't make decisions when unwell, so you need to focus on being here, awful though 'here' is for you, and not add to everything. Does that make sense?

Be really kind to yourself. How is your DH doing?

NanaNina Thu 29-May-14 12:55:12

Totally agree nervouslurker - I have been thinking about this and think it's like a bereavement really (which doesn't have to be a death) any kind of loss is a bereavement and shootingstars you will almost certainly be going through all the stages of a bereavement, and of course the stages come and ago, and you take 2 steps forward and then 3 steps back and so on............I hope you can allow yourself to take the time you need to start on the road to recovery, which may be a long one, so you will have to be patient with yourself.

I am also thinking that no doubt close friends and family will know about your plans to adopt and that you will have that to face too. I can only hope that they are sensitive enough to understand how harrowing this has been for you, and that they will be there to support you over the coming weeks and months.

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