15,000 Kids And Counting - On Channel 4, starting on 3rd April(302 Posts)
Heads up folks, Channel 4 are doing a new adoption documentary "15,000 Kids and Counting"
Series Description - Child protection levels in Britain are at a record high. Over 15,000 children were waiting to be adopted in 2013 - twice as many as five years earlier
With unparalleled access to the entire adoption process, this series follows social workers, foster carers, birth parents and adopters as heart-wrenchingly difficult decisions are made about the future of some of Britain's most vulnerable children
Episode 1 is on 3rd April at 9.00PM, is called The Decision
The adoption process begins with the most difficult decision of all: the decision to remove a child from their birth family
The first episode in the series follows the social workers whose job it is to take children away from their parents and recommend whether they should ever return; and meets parents who are desperately fighting to keep their children
Episode 2 a week later - The Search
This episode follows the search for adoptive parents for a two-year-old boy and a three and seven-year-old brother and sister
With the added challenges of having slightly older children, siblings and a child with possible health issues to place, the task for social workers Annette and Jackie is a massive one
With the future of these children in their hands and recently set government targets to meet, they struggle not to become emotionally involved as they strive to find adopters before time runs out
I'll certainly be watching, looks interesting
Thanks for that Lilka. I don't watch TV much so never am really aware of what's on. This sounds interesting, would have been sad to miss it.
Thanks very much Lilka... Have set Sky to record the series.
Let's hope it's interesting and balanced...
Sounds interesting. Ty for the heads up.
I'll be glued to the screen but expecting it all to be quite harrowing - if that is the right word.
Shall we open a book on when the first MNer says that she'll take them all, they're so cute?
Or will episode 1 maybe make them seem less cute?
Or should I keep my grumpy old bootness to myself?
Thanks for the heads up - I'll be watching.
Will be watching, for sure.
MyFeet We could play bingo on the thread that will appear in Telly or Chat or AIBU over the two episodes
We all get bonus points when the forced-adoption brigade show up to explain how all 15,000 waiting children, regardless of circumstance, should definitely be living with their birth parents, instead of "stranger" adoptive parents, because of "adoption targets"
In fact let me save all MNetters the trouble and I'll write the thread myself (please take this in the lighthearted way it is intended!):
Poster 1: Is anyone watching? This is so
Poster 2: Yes it is I don't envy social workers at all
Poster 3: YY, they're damned if they do, and damned if they don't. These children are so beautiful
Poster 4: How many of these parents could keep their children if they were given more support though?
...some posts later, during which commentary on the program happens...
FAB1: This makes me so angry. How dare they send all these thousands of children to live with strangers instead of their own parents. Forced adoption is WRONG
<everyone: collective breath of 'oh no'>
Spero: Actually FAB1, [the truth]
FAB1: No, actually...adoption targets...blonde blue eyed babies...social workers bonuses...all adoptions break down anyway...secret courts...evil, etc etc
Soon after, the deletions start
MNHQ: FAB1 has been banned, he was merlin/whowasthatguy back AGAIN
<everyone: phew...we have a week's reprieve till he's back again>
On a serious note, I will definitely be watching, and I'm certain it will be completely heartbreaking
Oh lord, you're so right with the prophecy about the threads. Is there time for MN to put some kind of enchantment (others might call it a password...) on our adoption chat thread, so at least we would all have one safe
sane space until it dies down again?
<<shuffles off to make note in diary to steer well clear of any thread started by a strange username around next Thurs>>
Thanks for giving us all the heads up Lilka. I will definitely be watching and hope (selfishly) that the merlin guy and his ilk stick to boards other than the adoption board to spew their nonsense as I don't really look at the chat or AIBU boards.
As a father that has gone through this experience of my children being taken in to care by the local authority , As parents we should all be a little scared as the social workers that deal with children are understaffed and under severe pressure, luckily when my case went to court the Judge condemned the local authority for there reckless decision making and knee jerk reaction and my children were returned to me on that day and this is due to the recent cases of severe child cruelty against baby p and Daniel Pelka which ironically the social services completely missed these cases and were heavily criticised in the following case reviews , I completely understand that there are genuine cases that need the authorities to step in, but r speaks fo itself when the cases of children being taken into care by the local authorities has more than doubled in 5 years
I hope that it shows a balanced viewpoint on the whole process as we all have our own experiences of the system from different perspectives.
It's a must see series but unfortunately will definitely stir up some deliberate antagonistic posts and some over sentimental ones too.....
Can I be the first to say that I would take them all, they are so cute. If only I had a spare room
And I think it's shocking that all you adopters don't want black kids or kids called Chardonnay . My mother friends next door neighbours cousin is a social worker and she told me that kids get turned down by adopters all the time because they have red hair.
I'm a real mother and I didn't get to choose the colour of my kids hair or their gender so I don't see why you should.
I agree, Kristina. My friend's lollipop lady's next door neighbour's niece said that she knows a social worker, and they have to get as many blonde haired, blue eyed little girls as possible, because that's all these adopters want.
If I had a spare room, I'd have them all in an instant.... But you know, I don't, and I'm so busy sitting here in my ill informed judgey pants that I just don't have time.
I'll definitely be watching, tissues in hand. Hopefully people will surprise us and not say stupid stuff. <watches pig fly past the window>
Why are judgey pants not available in the MN merchandise section? Huge market
Exactly Kristina. I can't believe adopters will take only adopt one of a sibling group. They aren't ordering a perfect child, you can't just take one child and not the other 5 of them.
I'd adopt all 6 in a heartbeat and keeep them together, but I know I'd be turned down flat because I had mild depression 20 years ago. Adoption law in this country is ridiculous, if it was just easier to adopt people wouldn't have to go to other countries because they're too disabled and gay to adopt here
<I hope the program won't be too sensationalised, and the cases chosen are pretty representative or not unusual cases>
Shall we extend the grumpy old boot bench in advance? Add cushions? Pouffes?
But I propose a nice sofa, not a bench. With a coffee table in front covered in plates of cake and snacks, and pots of tea...
I'll bake is some cakes on the condition there is a little wine
Ill let you on the sofa provided there's an embarrassment of wine.
If embarrassment means lots and lots then make some room for me and budge over.... Lemon or chocolate cake?
Both!! Coffee and Walnut also
Ms greedy is in the building
Just to add, any decision that requires judgement is subject to human error. In this context, of the adoption system, that's not just the social workers, but the courts and judges too. So there will always be the extreme cases at both ends of the spectrum that sadden and shock us... This should not stop us from protecting children that are at risk
I do a mean "Mary berry" coffee and walnut!
In the second episode, with the family finding for the older siblings and child with possible health needs, I really hope they do it in a manner which does NOT sound like adoptive parent bashing. I really did not like how in "Finding Mum and Dad" they made it sound like adoptive parents were to blame for children not finding homes by being too picky and only wanting children aged 0-4. It's far more complicated than that.
If they can present the issue of it being difficult to find homes for older sibling groups WITHOUT some kind of implied condemnation of adoptive parents, that would be a relief
Actually make that "only wanting children aged 0-2""
I do completely agree bbery. I very much that the birth parents on the first program will not represent an extreme on the scale.
I very much hope that...
Loving the embarrassment of wine. Can there be a kerfuffle of cake to go with?
I know I should watch stuff like this. I feel like a bad prospective adopter but I'm not great at heart-wrenching hard-hitting documentaries about children.
And of course I'm holding out for a blonde, blue-eyed newborn girl named Clytemnestra so I'm fairly sure our baby won't be in there anyway...
Just been thinking, first it's 'the decision' then 'the search'. Just going by the titles, it kind of suggests that there is only one decision, i.e. removing a child from their birth family, and all else is an automatic consequence. And that right after the decision, the search starts - whereas in practice, I suspect SW usually wait for placement orders, and don't go looking for adopters for children who might yet go back to birth family. The blurb is more promising, but the titles by themselves are quite worrying from this perspective.
On the other hand, by focusing on the need to 'search' for adoptive parents (rather than for children suitable for given prospective adopters), it clearly contradicts conspiracy theories where children are taken into care because they are so very 'adoptable'.
Can anyone make gluten free cake please?
I'm not fussy about the wine though
It all sounds a bit oversimplified doesn't it - which by virtue of making watchable television it has to be, but still is frustrating to those who have had to live with the masses of delay in the system that is just due to the system.
I have to say that anything that makes birth parents seem like fallible human beings rather than monsters is a good thing - I don't see why (though of course I accept your collective observations that it happens every time) that any miniature steps in that direction automatically has the knock on effect of damaging the portrayal of the reality of adoptive parent's decisions.
In the meanwhile, as someone wiser than me (Kew) said last time we were so very under siege, I AM allowed to choose the less painful option, and so I will choose not to watch it, too painful.
I think it will be painful and I also wonder if it will be quite sensationalist. The programme may portray some people as good and nice and worthy of our sympathy and some as not. That seems to be the case. In reality they will all be fallible and human. I hope that those who watch it will see that (I mean general public). That they will watch with a growing realisation of the complexities of the problems involved. I don't want birth parents to vilified, that is my opinion as a human being not just as a soon to be mum to a child through adoption!
Zoo I don't personally think that anything that makes birth parents seem like fallible human beings rather than monsters ... has the knock on effect of damaging the portrayal of the reality of adoptive parent's decisions but I think TV tends to polarise, her good... therefore him bad, him sympathetic character therefore them nasty etc! Because it is quite hard to say I like all those people, and have sympathy for all of them, and maybe there but for the grace of God go I! At the end of the day that child can't live with them all. Yet as we have said before all those people will be that child's parents and that child will have to work all of it out in their head one day! The viewing public does not need to work it all out so it is easier to go with a gut feeling... I like that one, I don't like that one.
Bless you Zoo it must be very hard to watch that kind of thing but please do join us for any discussion if you feel able because maybe, just maybe, we are all being harsh on the general viewing public who will be enabled to get a better view on things if they watch it.
during our approval process, we were approached by the tv makers via our agency.. they wanted to talk to people going through the approval process... we declined but after a brief chat with one of the production team, I did get an "OK" feeling about them...
they wanted to show the whole process/journey and try and de-mystify the whole process in an attempt to get more potential adoptors coming forward
huge disclaimer just in case this is anything differently than we were led to believe
I think they're always quite charming at that stage. Then they get to the editing suite...
Thanks ExcitedMamma, glad to know we did a good job. I'm the Exec Producer, and it's been fascinating to see all the assumptions that are made about the series on the basis of as little as the individual programme names. I hope you all watch it than make up your minds, rather than vice versa. We have certainly tried to make birth parents out to be the fallible human beings they are, rather than monsters, but I don't believe that is at the expense of damaging the portrayal of the reality of adoptive parents' decisions. This is a very complex and layered process, and that's why needed three hours to follow it from before children are initially taken into care (in film 1) right up to adoption orders (granted at the end of film 3). I hope we tell the whole story as honestly and clearly as we can. And that has only been possible because of the trust of social workers, birth parents and adoptive parents, who have let us into their lives. Hope you all enjoy it! The trailed is on our website at truevisiontv.com
If I'd known in advance this thread was going to be linked to on the trailer page, I might have joked a bit less...
But look Daffodil you're quoted! - truevisiontv.com/films/details/252/15000-kids-counting
Ha ha daffodil you are the voice of mumsnet
I wonder why they missed off the end of your sentence about the flying pigs . Nothing like selective editing, eh?
Hi Brian (exec producer) - it's such a difficult, complex and emotional subject to cover in just 3 hours... But I look forward to watching it (with tissues in hand!)
Bloody hell! I am!
I wish they'd included the pig comment though. Pfft.
It's rather brave of them to link to this thread in advance of the programme - I wonder if the link will be removed if it follows the path these things usually do and this thread becomes a discussion about what they've done wrong and a safe haven from all the crap being thrown about by the judgey pants brigade? <cynical face>
After reading the blurb for the series it dawned on my why adopters always seem to come off badly in these things. Understandably the focus is on the children in care, but I have yet to see a single programme (that I remember!) where the process is shown from the adopters point of view. I know there was that thing about the American family adopting Russian children a while ago, but I mean a UK adoption that we would all recognise as the process you go through in this country. That way instead of it being shown as a social worker hunting for a family for a cute 3 year old and being met with a succession of rejections from lots of prospective adopters (which fuels the "adopters are too picky' fire), it would show adopters looking for a match and the reasons why profiles are rejected would be made more clear. It would show the intensive and intrusive approval process, the delays, the lack of information, the training about likely issues you'll be dealing with, and then the realities of raising a child with those issues. Having said all that though, I doubt a programme from that point of view would generate the kind of audience that the tv bods are looking for.
Wasn't that Finding Mum + Dad series supposed to be one episode about each side? I only ever saw one episode broadcast, but I am sure at the time it was said that it was a three parter or something?
I think basically the problem with programmes like this is that in order to get the general masses interested they have to be sensational in some way, and in order to do that the reality gets diluted.
Although, Mr TV Person, I am prepared to proved wrong.
There was a 3 part series a few years ago now, which was following prospective adopters only - it was called "Find Me a Family". Even that resulted in judgeyness though, people analysing everything the adopters said and their tones of voice...
Yes Lilka, we watched that, it could have been 2009, Channel Four. Wasn't on MN yet then, so didn't notice any levels of judgeyness... am quite surprised about this actually!
This documentary followed three prospective adopters (i.e. one couple who have a birth child, one gay couple, and one single woman) who had signed up to a pioneering project aimed at getting prospective adopters to consider children who are 'hard to place', such as sibling groups, older children, and children with health needs or disabilities. The prospective adopters were given tons of information, but most importantly, opportunities to get real life experience of things, such as looking after a child with Downs syndrome for a day and a night IIRC. The idea was that you tend to be scared of things you don't know. So getting real life experience may lead people to consider children they wouldn't otherwise have considered.
FWIW, it worked, at least on us! This programme first got us really thinking about adoption; until then it hadn’t really come up as a topic, as we had assumed that there were only babies to adopt, and that there were long waiting lists. (We both grew up abroad, where this was actually true, and hadn't realised that things were different here). This programme made us realize that there were in fact children out there who need a family as much as any other, but for whatever reason, they struggle to find one (rather than having lots of prospective adopters on waiting lists, fighting to have them). It was not then the right time for us to pursue this further, but from then on the topic of adoption remained firmly on our radar and we started reading, watching, and discussing everything related to adoption that we came across.
I remember being slightly disappointed that the family with the BC went on to adopt a child with few issues, but understanding their decision. IIRC, then the family's SW was a key 'voice of reason' whereas the family were finding it very hard to say 'no' to particular children, particularly sibling groups (though I could well be remembering wrongly). What really frustrated me, was that the gay couple were not linked to any children, even after a long time (2 years?) - they had become incredibly open and expressed interest in children they never would have considered before, but were always turned down by the children's SWs.
That programme really stuck with me, I remember bits such as the 'learning process' the gay couple went through, regarding their dogs - at first their dogs were very precious to them and it seemed they were a bit unrealistic about how a child would have to fit around the dogs, but they learned and grew throughout the programme and I was impressed at how they developed.
I hope this new programme is as interesting as that one was! I still remember so much of it, and it must have been nearly 5 years ago. And I'd love to be able to do such a course as was covered by that programme, where prospective adopters are able to explore in depth and with proper experiences, what they may (or may not) feel able to tick 'yes' on the 'issues' list.
So even if judgeyness on MN and places, can't totally be avoided, it may be that a good programme can reach some people, correct some pre-conceptions, educate... it may lead to someone picking up the phone to make that call, even if years down the line.
In fact I think the degree of judgeyness evoked on MN is not really a good way to judge such programmes. The people who write judgey comments on MN are probably those whose opinions are entrenched anyway. All those who are positively affected by such programmes, won't be posting here!
Oh my life -- have just read the description of episode 3. I can't copy and paste it but essentially intros and coming home.
I cannot even begin to imagine having that observed by anyone. Ever. Under any circumstances. It surely would have tipped Casa MyFeet over the edge.
That is all.
I agree my feet. But then I wouldn't let the meeja into my garden to film my plants, let alone into my home to film my children. Don't trust 'em as far as I can throw 'em
It's good that Mr Very Important Media Man has been in here to tell us silly women to stop judging his lovely programme though isn't it?
I, for one, feel
patronised and slightly used reassured by both his humility and his ability to paragraph.
I will be here, watching, lap top ready.
Usually its just me ranting at bemused dogs. This time we can have a rant together.
Then I will gird my loins for all the oohing and ahhhhing at work the next day
I remember a programme a while ago.
A young Christian couple who were matched with a sibling group of three (?).
A couple who adopted a little girl and the mother was diagnosed with a brain tumour
I think there was another couple who were waiting and had a room full of cuddly toys.
I often wonder how they all got on.
I'm already planning me snacks...
I may make an exception to my usual rule and watch live so I can rant with you and not 24 or 48 hours later.
A large part of our Prep group was watching a documentary about kids who were being taken into care. It was in Bristol I think and I'm fairly sure I've seen it online before but I can't find it now.
Here's a bit of it. I don't know if there's maybe more on the iplayer.
Yes, MrsDeVere I watched that too.
I will be watching with wine and lemon cake!
< snort> at name changes
< envy> at cake
MyFeet that was episode 1 of "Protecting our Children", 3 episodes in all
That was a well done series overall.
Other adoption TV:
"Panorama: The Truth About Adoption" - Filmed children in Coventry who were either waiting for adoption, or were in foster care following adopion breakdown. Also filmed most of their birth families. Can be found here
"A Home for Maisie" - Maisie is 7, and has already been through 2 adoption disruptions on top of her moves in care and traumatic and violent early years. There is one last chance at an adoption - with Jim and Sue, who have already adopted 8 older children with emotional difficulties. But Maisie needs therapy and this film follows the family at home and through their therapy at Family Futures. This one is seriously worth watching, really probably the best adoption documentary I've seen, and can be found here
"Finding Mum and Dad" was on this year
"Find Me a Family" isn't available online, but it only filmed prospective adopters
That's 5 programs, I know there are others, I'll try think of them
"A Home for Maisie" [what the fuck!!]
I am just such a mix of feelings, huge admiration for the parents and brothers and sisters and Maisie herself for the progress (spoiler alert!). BUT a massive angry knot in my throat that a secure unit, at a cost of a about £300K per year) might be the destination for troubled children because local councils (is it local councils who make these decisions?) will not fund £15-50K of therapy that has a 95% success rate. What the fuck are they thinking of!
Excuse me, I rarely swear, I just feel so very angry that lives of children are blighted in this way, then the help and healing they need is denied them and the money that could provide that help is diverted to more costly accommodation. I wonder if NSPCC has any kind of campaign about this, surely this is a child cruelty issue if ever there was one.
Thanks for the link.
I just watched the Panorama.
Can I just say, if I had a spare room, I'd take them all, they're so cute.
I guess a Home for Maisie is tomorrow's viewing...
Lilka, you are like an adoption curator - you know everything, remember everything, read everything. I am in awe
How lovely to hear Italian swear
Y'see, because I only post when I DO remember/know something, it gives a bit of a false impression
My memory is pretty good, but as to knowing things, I'm afraid the reality is more like - I watch far too much TV for my own good!!
Italian - Couldn't agree more. It's an absolute focus on money saving in the short term, the long term just doesn't figure on the radar when you're trying to cut your spending this year
The more time goes by, the more I know that I don't know
If that makes sense
Yep. I used to have opinions on EVERYTHING. The older I get, the less certain. The youngsters I work with think they know everything, too. I find myself deferring to the strength of their opinions and then thinking, wtf, they're just stupid with attitude
Tee hee. Remember I know who one of those youngsters is......
And that makes me feel REALLY old...
Kristina Part of my old age means I get to make flowery statements to younger people/my kids like the one above, which do just boil down to "I'm old" in the end. But if I'm going to be old, then damn it I'm going to try and sound all wise
Doesn't work with other oldies though
Lilka, does it follow then, that if I think you are wise, I am young?
Not necessarily, MyFeet. I think Lilka is wise, and I'm very old.
Just watched the Panorama one. Am in tears. I am so sorry for Conor, wonder what happened. I am so happy for the two girls, I wonder how it worked out.
I guess if you ever need to think (and I know you guys do not but I mean in general) about the toughness of the decisions made you think about those three kids and whether they will be better off together or apart. A long time ago I would have maybe had some fixed views, but now, I guess I am just glad I don't have to make those decisions.
And I am so sad that these 'risky adults' are around crapping up the lives of these kids.
I really felt they got the balance right. The birth parents came out pretty well and balanced but there was enough information to know the original circumstances etc, the social workers came across as very caring and hard working and the foster carers came across brilliantly.
The adopters were more of a mixed bag, a bit less present. I guess what they wanted to say was there is a gap, just like the adopters had a gap in their lives so their is a gap in the whole system - the lowest adoption rate in a decade, I wonder why? I wonder why social services don't keep records on why adoptions break down, how can they ever hope to fix things in the system if they don't know why! Or is it that they know only too well and there is 'nowt' they can do about it?!
Although this programme was less extreme it's actually made me feel more aware of the extent of the 'problems'. I can see things a bit more through the eyes of the social workers, birth parents and the foster carers.
Now I just feel frustrated because I bet there are heaps of people out there who never have kids or who have birth kids but never adopt who would make great adoptive parents./ I thin all this TV exposure must help to put it on people's agendas but if the support is not there will there just be a lot of broken adoptions down the road?
There was also that (IMO) excellent 3 part documentary series done by BBC3 in 2012 called "Protecting our children" which followed social workers based in Bristol. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to be available - but that was probably the best one I saw.
Wow. I can't believe you remembered all those! I have a memory like a sieve.
I remember watching the documentary about Maisie - her parents were incredible. In fact I suspect it was watching that programme that really made me think about adoption as a serious option for us. Thank you for the links - I will watch it again, and the others too.
I will be watching on Thursday when it's on, and no doubt also ranting on here, so save me a seat on the grumpy boot sofa please? I'll bring cake, oh and tissues obviously.
I wonder if Mr Media Man will be here to counter our rants?!
Still reeling from seeing Italian swear!
We should request that this thread is moved to Classics in honour of Italian's swearing.
I'm sure mr media man will pop in to put all us silly women right . We are so lucky to have a man AND an expert come along to tell us how it really is.
I suspect jefferyWeffery thought we were prejudging his show, when in fact we were prejudging our fellow MNers
with good cause.
Personally, I welcome anything that brings the reality we live to a wider audience provided it's done responsibly.
I'll wait and judge Mr Media Man's contribution once I've seen whether or not his show will help or hurt me/my kids.
I've reported the three other posts.... <goes to report again>
Why the poster thinks they will get any action here I don't know.
There are loads of websites and forums who love that sort of crap.
I am also dreading the opinions and judgments around this programme....please please let it not feed into all this 'unfair criticism' of adoptive parents, particularly by those who have no idea what its like to take a leap of faith, with an unknown child and make a legal, emotional and financial commitment FOR LIFE!...and I include foster carers and social workers in that group. Its a bit like picking a scab though...I'll have to watch it!
I have no idea, MrsDV, they obviously haven't seen the recent threads where we've discussed not engaging with them.
I'm having fun with the report button tonight
Everything's deleted now thank goodness
Thanks for the quick response MNHQ
8 and a half hours to go....
Just thought I'd let people know that there are 3 episodes and the third is:
The final episode of the series charts the transition from familiar foster home to the unknown of new adopted parents.
As reality sets in, adopters and the children alike discover that the prospect of learning to love and fit in to a family that were once strangers can be daunting, and the stakes are high, with both sides asking the same question: 'Will they like me?'
That'll be an emotional episode. I have to say, I can't imagine letting the a TV crew film those early days of intros and beyond! Hope it's done sensitively
Good article excited
Sad though...that they need therapy but can't access it on the NHS. Given that many birth parents are not well off at all, it seems very unfair that this kind of therapy isn't funded for them. I don't see why it shouldn't be
Totally agree, if they need the therapy to keep their children they should have a chance at it.
I feel this sort of thing (asking or rather telling people to have services like therapy that is not realistically available to them) will only go some way towards making people feel more negative about social services (which is a bad thing). It is totally counter active to the positive image that they may want to portray.
You'd also think it's really shortsighted. Even just looking at the £££, then surely this therapy is cheaper than taking the next however many children into care.
I guess the thinking goes, why waste ££ on therapy when it is not likely that they will take anything from it (as they didn't choose to do therapy, but were effectively forced to; most kinds of therapy work best (or only) if people are willing and engaged) - so after the ££ on therapy you get to pay the ££ for LAC on top. Plus the kids in question are older, potentially more damaged, ... kids can't wait to see if therapy turns out to be successful.
Not that I agree. Just saying.
I definitely agree that therapy has to be within the childs time scale, which is going to be different depending on the child and their age
I'm thinking more about future children rather than the child who is already in care
<flops down on the grumpy boot sofa wearing flak jacket>
Ah at least I am now reassured that I am NOT daffodil. Was starting to wonder after last night's thread...
Hello. <waves> Nearly qualified social worker here. I also would like to adopt, although not within the next few years given my age (25) and my need to become more financially secure. I hope it's ok to be here? Please do tell me to get lost if you're not comfortable with me being here!
Of course you can be here. Pull up a chair. There's an embarrassment of wine (apparently)
<insulted face> You're relieved to not be me?! I am hurt.
Welcome, Candy, you're more than welcome!
I'm hiding! Recording it and tracking all your thoughts instead before I decide to watch or not!
If I wanted to be you would that be a useful internet relationship for you?
Oops. Killed the thread by being disturbed stalker. Not the first we've had round here eh?
The programme is do sad. The poor baby.
<snort> disturbed stalker. I prefer more of a great minds think alike analogy.
DH is on the phone whilst I'm trying to watch.... The TV is LOUD. <rolls eyes>
I feel so sorry for that poor woman. Emily is it? He's terrible and she seems really lovely and so vulnerable...
I've noticed there are very few men in safeguarding children teams. Most of the men on my course have opted to work with adults. I'm currently in on placement in an adult MH team and the women to men ratio is 50-50.
Matthew isn't coming across well is he? I understand that it's hard for him but he's illustrating just why he can't be allowed to care for his child
He's not at all. He's terrifying.
That's him in a meeting with professionals. What's he like at home with that poor girl?
I'm worried enough about Emily, I don't see how a fragile little baby could be left with Matthew.
That man is a fucking twat. If the baby's mother refuses to leave him there's no way the baby's going back to her...
It's sad that she seems to think it's ok to be treated like that. Poor girl
A female baby too. That man fucking hates women.
I feel so sorry for Emily. Poor girl. I agree, Mrs Ballack - Matthew is coming across pretty badly. You can perhaps see that if Emily left Matthew she would be better off vis a vis SS.
I hope someone has made it explicitly clear to Emily that she will have to leave Matthew if she wants her baby back.
So far, it's really emotional but I think it's balanced
Matthew is making the case against him very clear in a few seconds on camera, I dread to think what it's like when Emily's alone with him
I agree, Lilka, things do seem to be quite balanced so far. He is really demonstrating why he's a serious concern for SS. I think they do need to make it clear why they're concerned about Emily too (as in she is still in a clearly abusive relationship).
I'm just reading through the thread in _Chat....
You're braver than me Daffodil. Who's been first to say they'd take them all?
No one so far, amazingly! There's time yet, there's time yet......
This blonde lady is trying but if she's missing contact and turning up late surely that is showing that she can't offer him the consistency he'll need.
I'm a bit at people (on the chat thread) wondering if they've offered DV support and housing support as if professionals would not try those sorts of things.
I liked 'no-one else will ever be his mum' 'You're right' Thanks for that SS...
Candy they do
I was a foster carer for 7 years this is towards the end both these families have had children removed before so the process is often more swift seconed time around as you already proven you are not up to the task
How long should a child wait for ther BP to get there shot together
They had to agree with her at that stage- saying anything else would have been beyond cruel in the state she was in.
People on the chat thread are tipping hats at SS. Feels wrong!
I've caught up with the _Chat thread - well done Candy for explaining that these children can't wait. I think you're going to fit in just fine here. <budges up on the sofa>
Exactly fuse, if this were 'only' (not to make light of this obviously) a housing issue or a DV issue, it would be far less complex. It's obvious that these situations have escalated too far to be resolved by adequate housing.
No-one on chat is taking all the babies yet, but the first mention of "chemical castration" came pretty early on. In all fairness, the others sound like they're really trying to understand the vulnerability that has led to some of the relationships.
<dons stalker outfit> I thought exactly the same when she said that, Name.
Bless Emily. She seems lovely. I really hope that she's able to get away from him and get herself on an even keel.
Heartbroken hearing Emily talking about how it's all about her daugher's needs
Look at how poor Emily sits when she is next to Matthew. All hunched - like she is a non- person.
What a brave girl - but how sad.
Bless her indeed. She's so young. I hope she can get some sort of help to make something of her life
Poor Emily She reminds me of someone I know who is a fabulous mum, but she isn't in a relationship with a total fuckng psychopath
But chat has the first - they all want babies they can mould
Reduce it to that
I was just coming to say that, Lilka. Babies we can mould?! FFS.
Oh yes. Here we go. Adoptive parent bashing begins in chat.
I'm going to respond to that on the chat thread
Don't worry, gang, the random chatters do not want to rescue the baby but the birth mum in this case! <head meets wall>
"Seems very unfairly stacked against the parents. What incentive do they have to turn their lives around? None."
Uh so keeping your child and being a good parent is not an incentive then? Wow!
Polkadotpatty just because I have mentioned the desire to prevent that 'man' from ever procreating again, doesn't mean I don't give a thought to the vulnerability of the baby or her mother. I'm sorry I didn't make that explicity clear and I do understand that it is not so 'black and white' or 'simple'. I assure you that I really do understand better than you might think.
I think I know Emily. A chill came over me when I saw her, I believe she went to school with one of my dc.
Would she have been allowed to keep the baby if the idea to dump her bf was forth coming, or was she incapable of managing?
Adoptive parent bashing How the hell could somebody bash adoptive parents. The world is mad.
I worry about this as a lasting televisual legacy for those children of their relationship with their birth parents. It will be possible for that child to find later on Youtube that their mother didn't show up for their last contact.
Separately, I can't find this infamous chat thread?!
chat thread is here - www.mumsnet.com/Talk/_chat/a2044485-15-000-kids-and-counting
morethan - we get bashed all the time. If it isn't the anti adoption brigade, it's age of child, special needs, contact etc etc
It's a complex and emotive set of issues Senora - apologies if I've misrepresented you, and I do think people are all either trying to understand more, or explore the issues.
Nicely said Lilka and Devora.
F**k me. A fairly balanced program about children being taken into care.
Who'd have thunk it??
Off to look at the chat thread.
jefferyWeffery, I liked your programme. It felt fair. I'll report back to you after the next two too
though I still have no clue who would let you near them during the early days of placement. Fules.
Love the idea of my dd(10 months when she came to us, 4 now) as being 'mouldable'. I have never met a less mouldable child
dd: "Ladies can't be doctors"
Me: "Of course they can! Loads of ladies are doctors. Women can be anything they want to be."
dd: [witheringly] "No Mum, you're wrong."
Me: "I am NOT wrong! Your AUNT is a doctor! Your GP is a woman! I can't believe a child of mine thinks girls can't be doctors!"
dd: "You're nice, Mum, but you don't know everything".
OH yes Mr Jeffs, I liked your programme too. Well done, sir.
I've just had an interview for in an adoption team, so programme is very relevant.
Yes Mr Jeffs. Another one here who liked your programme.
But there are two more to go ... And these ones concentrate more on the adopters who often don't get the best of press...
I really liked it too
Moving, sensitively done, balanced
My God, I'm stunned!
Can somebody put my mind at rest I didn't see it all.
Was Emily told that she would be looked at as a better parent, or stand a chance of keeping her baby if she had left Mathew.
Do ss always do this in a situation like this.
Not on camera.
I would be really surprised if this was not explained to her.
I am not sure how much chance Matthew would have given for her to be seen without him.
Given a chance I am pretty certain her solicitor would have told her too.
I'm just re-watching with DH, but like the others have said, well done Mr Jeffs. This first episode is definitely well balanced.
There are things they don't show on camera. Note that they didn't ever detail what the parents had done - this was mainly allowed to come out of the mouths of the birth parents, so was a partial view. And they didn't show ss telling Emily that she would improve her chances if she left Matthew. But I'm certain she would have been told this. Remember that we are only getting a few glimpses out of a long process.
Just watching on plus one. It is absolutely heart breaking for all involved.
Thank you, silly old me was really affected by Emily, maybe she reminded me of my bm. Completely different circumstances but mine would have been 2/3 years younger and dimmer than Emily.
another thumbs up for the programme from me...
In my previous life as a foster carer, I've sat in LAC reviews like those shown... seen the vulnerable side to parents, the bravado... so sad... so many missed contacts...
looking forward to No 2
Found it all very distressing and sad.
Felt especially sorry for Emily. Very sad that she thinks so little of herself due to lack of formal education (probably and many other reasons). I felt she seemed to look like a very good mum. She really did want to put her baby's needs ahead of her own.
I really hoped that it was made clear to her that without that total idiot man by her side she would be able to do a much better job and might have been able to keep her child. Of course, that would probably have been very, very difficult - to separate from him and keep him away from her and the child. I also wondered if she did separate from him whether she would end up with an equally difficult man, she seemed so nice and maybe unable to keep herself safe from such influence.
I feel very much that social services have sadly failed many generations of people. That is no criticism of social workers. Perhaps of penny pinching people who have denied help to those who need it. But I don't really know. I just think some people have such a shit start in life that of course they would struggle to parent.
Poor Emily. I think that the court made the right decision, but it is tragic that her life has ended up like this.
Italian I think you've hit the nail on the head that so many people have already been failed that how can they hope to parent successfully. This is why we have to be tough and keep on removing children from unsuitable parents quickly to give them a chance rather than the cycle beginning all over again. It's very very sad though and Emily's case in particular had me in tears because she was just a vulnerable child herself and where was her future? Sad as it is at least her daughter will have a future that would gave been very unlikely staying with the bp's.
Mmmmm, not sure about the tone of velvet's post. I don't think it is as simple as just 'being tough'. I personally feel much more investment should be made into early intervention long before vulnerable mums even get pregnant, and straight away from birth.
Since my DC arrived 6mo ago I've all but turned into my parents. In my case this is a good thing, they're wonderful people. But it has opened my eyes to how hard parenting must be if you don't have your own good experiences to fall back on.
I think it's both, scarlettsmummy. Lots more intervention and support, coupled with swift action to remove children where necessary. I think that if your child is taken into care against your will, you probably have a mountain to climb to turn things round in time for THAT child. But it may not be too late for subsequent children.
I do agree scarlettsmummy absolutely, that's an even better solution but realistically for these vulnerable mums to not get pregnant is going to take a massive shift in society and in the meantime tough decisions need to be made for these childrens futures.
It's difficult, sometimes having their child is the only thing keeping them going. Adoption removes the one thing to keep trying for and could become a set back that they just don't get over. Not really sure what the solution is.
I don't think leaving a child with a parent whilst they try to sort themselves out for any length of time is the answer. Children need to be removed as swiftly as possible for their sakes whilst still allowing some time for a parent to change. As Devora says it may be too late for the child they lose but not subsequent children. I can't help but think if these parents were so devastated by losing their child they would change to prevent the same thing happening again but we're seeing more and more women having their 4th and 5th children removed. That's 5 chances these parents have had and 5 childrens lives severely affected. I don't think in these cases it's in the best interests of anyone to prolong the inevitable.
I agree with Devora and Velvet and scarlettsmummy and I do think that there are answers and ways to make life better for these poor women who find themselves trapped in the lives they have! YET it would take money and our society has none to spare! In a society that wastes so bloody much we seem to be equally open to wasting precocious human life.
These women (and men) have everything to live for! They have a child who they can one day meet again (hopefully) and how wonderful if they could turn their lives around so they could have a relationship with their adult 'child'! In many cases they could potentially go on to have another/other children and keep them. In all the cases on screen they had their health and bodies, functioning reasonably well! Sadly, terrible patterns have been laid down in their life that have meant that they are addicted to drink or drugs, or disastrous relationships etc. Maybe they had either learning difficulties or mental health issues, and yet there are surely people out there who do live fulfilling lives with some of these difficulties. It is the accummilation of all these things that drags them down, and doubtless the misery loves company of life means that many people with problems end up banding together not to solve their problems but to increase them.
It is truly sad and sickening that lives are lost like this. I am no puritan but it makes me so angry and sad that misuse of drink and drugs has fuelled so many problems.
And yet maybe some of these people can change, but I think some can and could if they had the right help at the right time. I think it is maybe about more intervention not less. Some people moan about the nanny state but if I were a vulnerable young girl I would want the nanny state intervening in my life.
Sorry, rant over, am just so and [cross].
Emily reminded me so much of my DS's birth mother.
I remember saying to my DH after we met BM that I wanted to bundle her up and take her home too. It was heartbreaking.
I am doing the thing I really hate - judging a person without taking their circumstances into account. I wonder what Matthew's life was like growing up
I would like to foster /adopt once older dc leave home paticularly sn but have been told as Im disabled (full time wheelchair user )and single parent won't be eligible .
daft really as my house is already adapted.Im quite able and am bringing up 4dc on my own no help and ds3 has sn so have dam good idea whats involved
That Emily was really really sad, and obviously quite a young '18' year old, with a 26 year old man there was it? I knew something wasn't right straight away they can't possibly have anything in common, likes someone he can manipulate.
I say that as someone who became a mother at 19 with my 19 year old bf now husband with another dc, I don't come from a position of ignorance when it comes to teen pregnancy , I realise how lucky I've been being how impressionable teens are , there for the grace of god all of us.
I think this was made in my area , that matthew was on about getting back to 'Brinny' so South Yorkshire I'm guessing.
That curly haired social worker wasn't the brightest button was she? as awful as it sounds I wouldn't want my childs life in her hands tbh, the one who dealt with Nicola I liked she seemed competent.
plus once we left home my parents fostered teens and I provided respite/another ear so know not all sweetness and light
wasn't the brightest button ?
What on earth? She wasn't auditioning to be Einstein, she was being a SW.
Such a sad program, good, but sad. I just came on here to say hi and that's it's rubbish that you all have to brace yourselves like this when the mainstream media gets into the topic of care and adoption
I saw this last night, and was really impressed - a well-made programme that managed to show some of the complexities in these situations.
Matthew was terrifying in the meeting. Telling the social worker, right in her face, to fuck off, and using intimidating body language the whole time....poor wee Emily in a relationship with him. Matthew's own background may have been awful, too, who knows?
How could Emily have left Matthew? I'm sure it would have been suggested to her, and maybe she had tried to. I think it's likely he would have come after her. A restraining order would have relied on her to call the police if he broke it. Would she have called the police? And the baby would be in this atmosphere of fear and trepidation.
The couple with their fifth child taken into care - needing 1 year and 2 years therapy, according to the psychological assessment...but babies can't wait for that.
And Nicola who could not keep appointments with her baby - not even the very last one. Yet she clearly cared but just couldn't get her act together to do this
Will def watch the next one.
I too thought it was a well made, balanced programme.
Emily seemed so like my DDs' BM, so young and vulnerable.
Hopefully as she gets older she will see the choices she has made and make new ones.
the science I went to a local council open session where they was looking for foster parents and was promptly turned down and told on what grounds
but not ruled out looking at private agency's in the future
I seen both bad and good social workers anf
I think being a SW relies heavily on being intelligent , good judgements perception etc she just seemed flatter that a week old coke, I can imagine some of her clients running rings round her.
Nicola probably just could cope with seeing him for the last time. Its not uncommon for parents not to turn up to the last contact or to the final hearing. They feel like they have lost so why put themselves through it?
What was that one recently the mum was white and the dad I think asian, and they had been having contact with him until he was 4 I think and then he got adopted and they had the 'final ever visit' so horrendous and heartbreaking, what was it called.
I think I can live with SWs who don't have to be life and soul of the party, brighteyed, especially when they're removing babies or talking about removing babies.
brighteyed was it "Panorama: I Want My Baby Back"?
It was filmed with Stockport Social Services, 'Brinny' is Brinnington...
brighteyed Social workers do not have a child's life in their hands. What you may "think" is not necessarily correct. Also not sure how you could assess her intelligence from a TV programme?
Hi, I watched the documentary last night and thought from the CPR's that we have read it was a very real picture of the birth parents who sadly lose their children who are adopted. I thought the SWs came across as very understanding and professional in the face of what must be a very difficult situation.
My DH and I have been matched with a child and will be going panel in a few weeks time. I noticed further up this thread that Kristina N said potential adopters are not interested in adopting 'black kids or kids called Chardonnay' but as a white person I would defend this and say at the moment as far as I am aware we are not allowed to adopt black kids but that the government is thinking of changing this situation because not enough black couples want to adopt. As for the Chardonnay I don't know!!
Sorry, family finder, I was being facetious .
People don't want to adopt children called Chardonnay they might if sw would let you change the god dam names
Also on the point of adoption black children I can tel you ow the law van say what it Ike's but if the sw wot carry it out it won't happen just Ike gay people adoption there home study takes longer and also they wait longer for matches and as a foster carer I know there are sw who would simply not place a child with a gay couple end of
I can pretty much say when the law changes the same rate of white couples as now will be allowed to adopt black children
Fusedog a SW cannot stop you from changing a child's name. No one can.
I don't think that relaxing the rules on interracial adoptions are going to be a brilliant thing.
I think its usually people who have no understanding of adoption who think its a trivial issue and cannot understand why it is an issue at all. It is something that needs to be looked at very carefully.
Looking for perfect ethnic matches is a different thing. Its ridiculous for a couple to have to wait for an Irish/Iranian/Spanish child.
Sticking a black child with a white family is a different issue.
Its also simplistic to say that there not many black couples want to adopt.
I would like to see some evidence that they don't wan't to as opposed are not able to.
Fusedog, what is you basis for such judgemental views on gay adoption?
I assume you are gay yourself and have first hand experience or have insider knowledge of government statistics? Maybe you work for Stonewall as their adoption adviser or are in fact Gove's adoption tzar?
Sweeping statements like that are dangerous.
Yes yes yes to helping vulnerable adults such as Emily or Nicola to turn their lives around. Ok it may not be in the baby's time frame, but for their own sake. (And we don't want them to be going on to have baby no 2, 3, 4... just to be removed again).
However the sad truth is, usually once a baby has been removed and placement order granted (decision that baby is to be adopted); then the birth mothers are dropped like hot potatoes. No support to deal with the grief; no support to change their situation (for their own sake); no preventative measures to help them avoid the same happening again.
When the woman turns up pregnant again (maybe it was the only thing she could think of to fill the hurting hole in her heart; maybe she got pregnant whilst seeking solace in random sexual relationship; maybe she couldn't control her fertility as she was hurting too much to stay away from drugs) - then it will often be too late again, too late for this new baby's timeframe. The mum may well be in an even worse situation than before - having had a previous baby removed, she might be struggling with depression, or have gone back to using drugs, or may be feeling paranoid towards social services and unable to engage with them.
And so the cycle continues. Baby No2 is removed as mum can't change things within the baby's timeframe. Once baby is gone, all support for mum ceases too, so when she gets pregnant with No3, she may well be in an even worse place.
Ok it may be hard, in general, to identify which people need preventative intervention and help, before it is too late. And there isn't enough money to go round to 'help' anyone who might sometime need it.
BUT once a baby has been removed, THEN the birth parents have been identified, and they should be getting a lot of support. And it is here where IMO the 'system' often fails.
On another note, regarding the programme. I am a bit wary still. This first part was all about babies, having been removed from BM right after birth. The second part will revolve around a 2yo with health issues, and an older sibling pair.
The children's backgrounds will be very different to the backgrounds we have been shown here.
The choices and decisions the potential adopters have to make, will be different than the decisions and risks involved if one were to adopt one of these babies.
I worry that the programme kind of suggests to us, 'we have shown you the background, now you can understand better what happens when looking for adopters' when in fact that is a false continuity. Looking for adopters for 6 months old babies who have been removed at birth, and been in stable foster homes since, is a completely different thing than looking for adopters for children with significant health needs, or older sibling pairs.
I worry that viewers will be led to think that the majority of adoptions are babies like the ones shown in part 1 ALL were. And the children in part 2 are those poor, poor (exceptional) kids who no-one wants (despite 'all she wants is a mum who doesn't drink, doesn't smoke and doesn't do drugs. Is that too much to ask?'). Which then may lead to sentiments such as 'I would take them all' and 'adopters just want healthy white babies, they are so selfish'.
We will see.
Fusedog - I Sincerly hope we don't come across a foster carer as ignorant as you.
I was in prep with another gay couple and we were both through home study quicker than the rest and the guys were matched with a problem free baby blue before they were approved. As for us as a female couple we are being offered babies left right and centre.
Before you spout your so called facts, check your grammar!
64 that is very true and I think it must come as a massive shock to some of the young birth mothers who don't understand that the process is about the child. It might be the only time they have had any attention in their lives.
They are in contact with kindly, seemingly sympathetic (mostly) women who listen to them and they are the centre of attention.
They are asked their opinion (doesn't mean they are listened to) they go to important meetings where the independent chair talks about their needs and they have contact workers and all kinds of other people coming round, checking on them and even talking to them for hours.
Then it goes to court and they are back where they were. Alone, unimportant and no-one's responsibility. If their family were unsupportive before the pregnancy they are likely to be furious/ashamed/judgmental once the child is gone.
Its no wonder they just keep having more. Particularly when they never really understood why the first one was removed.
I did try and get BM engaged with some very good support groups but she didn't want to know.
I think that is an issue. If they can't engage with agencies when their child is at risk of being adopted will they when they have lost everything?
The whole system seems to be dealing with the end bit, not the whole process that got these women where they are now, about to lose their child. Which is arguably one of the most devastating things to happen to anyone. If we are all saying this why are social services not saying this?
Simple maths says that to deal appropriately with one vulnerable woman (who in some cases is little more than a child herself) is better and also cheaper (I keep coming back to money because I do get the feeling it is the bottom line) then numerous babes/children!
We are preaching to the converted; who can we talk to with any power in this? Does anyone know if charities like BAAF, NSPCC, Barnardps are involved in dialogue with social services at all?
My DS's bm was involved with Barnardos young women's group. She was 17 when she had DS.
As soon as she turned 18 she could no longer access the group.
How awful is that?
That looks like a clear case of age discrimination to me Mrs DeVere!
Hi I am Sophie's mum from the documentary 15000 kids and counting any questions feel free to ask me thanks
Its more to do with funding and remits I think Italian
Barnardos is primarily a charity for children.
It may be with some new leglislation due to come in that some agencies can extend their support to 25 in some cases.
Thanks for coming on the thread. You really impressed me when you said that you wouldn't contest the adoption as you wanted 'what was best for Sophie".
I also thought what a pretty young women you were and please please don't write yourself off because you don't have many GCSEs.
Have you had any more luck on the job front?
hope you are doing well x
Emily if that is you, you are better off staying on this thread because it is in a place where people understand about adoption.
I would seriously urge you to stay off the one on the general boards.
For your own sake.
It won't end well.
I want to be on here so there is no
Complications or misunderstandings on the programme thanks
I am not sure its going to work out the way you want it to.
Emily, you are going to get a load of abuse on the other thread. You will get a bit more understanding here, but I don't think either of these threads will do you any good in the long run. It will just upset you more.
Can I ask any social workers a really stupid question?
I really don't mean to offend.
In that link where the family is living in pretty atrocious conditions in Bristol and the little boy has no bed! why don't social services provide one? Why do they wait for the parents who are struggling so much to try to provide one? The sw says, "how are you getting on with getting him a bed? Could you get him a mattress?"
I am puzzled why SS would not provide some basics in that situation.
Greythorne, it's usually back to the parents having to learn to help themselves.
So if social workers step in and get them a house. And then get a bed. And then get clothes. And then send someone to clean. And send a taxi to take the child to school, and keep helping, what is the incentive to step up. You may well find in that case that the parents were given money at one stage to get a bed, and it may have been spent on other things.
Usually in child protection proceddings, the parents are given a list of things that need to change. It isn't so much the actual change, but the effort that is put in to make the change that is the decisive factor.
Children aren't taken from their parents because they don't have a bed. They are taken if the parents have been told that the child should have a bed, if they are told where to go and how to go about getting one, but don't make any effort to contact the appropriate place, to ask around, to follow the suggestions. It's indicative of much, much more than just a bed.
If that makes sense?
I think they did provide a bed in the end, and the family didn't put it up? It was a long time since I saw the programme.
However, how far should the SW go in supporting the family? The boy needed a bed and the parents couldn't/wouldn't provide one - what about when he needs a car seat, or a desk to do homework? What I mean is, at what point should the family take responsibility for providing for the child? A SW is going to have a big caseload, it isn't going to be possible for someone to go into a home every day to ensure the basics are done - to an extent the family need to be self-sufficient.
Yes, of course that makes sense. Thank you.
But how sad that there's a little boy sleeping where he falls (on a sofa according to the mum) with SS having to look on.
I know little of social work. I don't think I can watch anymore of that programme .
Grey Completely different situation but I worked with a man in his 30s with autism and severe learning disabilities. He lived with his parents. They were not living in impoverished situations by any means but my primary concern was that my service user was sleeping on a thin blanket on the floor. I applied for a grant (before it all changed) and obtained the money for a bed. It specifically stipulated that the money was for a bed. Did they buy him the damn bed? No.
You can lead a horse to water and all that.....
Emily please take a look at www.womensaid.org.uk
I really hope that you are safe.
I also don't think it is a good idea for you to post here.
I have arranged deep cleans for people's homes when they are in such a state that they don't know where to start. The onus is on them to keep it in a suitable state though and many of them are able to maintain basic hygiene in their homes. We are meant to empower people to make changes, not make them reliant on services and in a role where they are completely powerless.
Emily if that really is you (or if you are reading this), I so much hope you get help. Your baby will grow up and one day you may be able to meet again and (without holding out any false hope - as no one knows) but she may well see that programme or hear of it. If she does, she would see (what many of us who watched that programme saw) a very caring vulnerable young woman who really loves her daughter.
I just wanted to wish you well for the future, God bless you.
grey, I think it's because they need to see the parents act. If SS source/provide a bed, then it just moves the problem to the next thing, where the parents might think 'well, SS got him a bed, they can get him an xyz too'. It's about seeing that the parents are capable of seeing and doing what is required.
Apparently I type slowly. What Maryz said...
Just want no
Misunderstandings of what happened on the documentary and I just want to be here to
Correct any mistakes thanks
Would to thank everyone for there helpful and nice comments to anyone who does not agree your entitled to
How are you now Emily?
Have you been able to have letterbox contact to find out how Sophie is?
I am ok I have letterbox contact once a year Sophie is in nursery now and doing very well
Emily, I also think you came across very well on the programme.
There will always be people who judge, most of us cannot begin to imagine what it would be like to be in such a situation. I had an ex partner a bit like Matthew, it's so impossible to "get it" unless you've either been there or had a lot of indirect experience of such a situation.
I'm glad to hear Sophie is doing well.
Emily, can you look forward to the time when Sophie is 18 and you will more than likely meet her again.
What type of person do you want her to meet? If you can work out what that is, and then maybe get help to become that person, I think you have a great possibility of having a good relationship with her in the future, and of being a good mum to other children you will have.
Getting there may be very hard, but as they say all difficult journeys start with a very small step. Go and talk to someone in real life who can help you - Women's Aid would be a very good start.
You are your own person. You don't need a man to make your life complete.
I wish you all the very best.
That is very good to hear.
Your letters will be very important to her as she grows up.
Glad that you are ok.
I am so glad you are having letterbox contact. It may be difficult for you to reply to the letters but they really will be of value to your daughter as she grows up.
You so reminded me of my daughter's birth mother. Young, not very well educated, and forgive me for saying it, dominated by a partner older than yourself who really appeared not to treat you well.
My daughter's BM eventually found the strength to leave her partner and forge a new life for herself. It took her a long time, but she is doing so much better now. I really hope you do too, you deserve better.
(and stay off the thread on Chat).
I'm glad to hear that Sophie's doing well and you are okay. I hope your letters will be really helpful to Sophie when she's a bit older, and I really hope you can build yourself a good life Emily. I think it was a brave decision to go on telly and I wish you all the best
Thank you for all your lovely comments I have got a job now and am ready for Sophie to come back whenever is Sophie is ready and I can't wait to hug her again
Emily, I wish you all the best. You came across as such a caring person in the documentary. How are things with your partner now?
Just wanted Sophie to have a good life
Good luck to you Emily.
TheScience is right about the Bristol situation - a bed was purchased by SS for the boy but the parents didn't put it together (IKea type job so should have been possible) and on a future SS visit they saw it still in the packaging against a wall.
EverythingCounts what was the programme with the bed, is it available on catch up?
I posted the trailer for it up thread italian. It was called Protecting our children and it was BBC, but it really seems not to be available any more, which is a massive shame.
Hello Emily if you are still here.
I came to add something and to wish you heartfelt best wishes for the future Maryz puts it so much better.
Thanks Myfeet I saw the trailer but had not seen the actual documentary.
Emily, thanks for your honesty. I really admire you and the tough decisions you have had to make. Hopefully one day, your daughter will realise how loved she was and is by you.
I'm really pleased you have got a job now. I hope it is working out alright.
Hopefully, people watching the programme will be moved by it. Not only do we want what is best for your baby, but we want you too to go on and have a better life.
Mumsnet recently had Philomena as a guest poster. Have you read her book or seen the film about her? Although her circumstances were different and the times were too, she forged a life for herself but never forgot her son. She is remarkable and hopefully there may be some support out there for women like you who may be able to put you in touch with women like her...
All the best. xxx
Thank you very much for all the support this is way better than some counselling that they can't give me lol
Emily, I wish my dd's bm had had the strength to allow her to be placed for adoption as a baby. It would have meant she could have had a stable home and life from birth instead of being passed around the system for nine years. She's lost count of how many homes and schools she has had. You did the right thing for little Sophie.
Emily, I can recommend this organisation:
They support everyone involved with adoption, including birth parents.
All the very best to you.
Thank you crazeekitty I have tried after adoption tik tok they won't give me counselling either thanks
Good luck Emily. Well done for being so brave and I hope you can maintain the positive changes so that when Sophie is older and may want to meet you that you are in a good place to hopefully have a positive meeting and relationship.
For those mentioning the BBC series protecting our children programs 1 to 3 are can be watched on the link below.
I swear mumsnet is better than counselling. The relationships threads in particular have totally changed my mindset.
I'm glad you found this thread, it seems far more balanced and supportive than the one in the chat section.
Very good points I can't thank you enough for being so supportive
Hello Emily. I just wanted to send my best wishes to you and thanks for being so brave both to take part in the progarmme and to post here. You came across in the programme as a lovely caring person who was overwhelmed with the situation you were in. I'm sure when Sophie watches it as an older person she too will be able to see how much you cared.
I hope you are still feel you made the right decision to take part and life is better for you now.
I have spent a day thinking about whether I should post on this thread. I decided to because you hear from birth parents, adoptive parents, sw, and even children who were adopted.
I think it is worth adding my voice as someone who was left in care without being adopted, and expressing the affect this had on me.
I'd like to start by acknowledging that I was an older child when I went into care and this is obviously different to a situation involving a small baby.
I was a young teenager when I went into care and i spent time with seven different families and in two different group settings.
The idea that children don't have time to wait for parents to get their act together is correct, but very very often, the LA doesn't get their act together either.
I'm in therapy now (the elusive, non NHS funded psychodynamic therapy that the parents on the programming were expected to find themselves) and together my therapist and I are working on huge issues - many of them caused by my time in care - both the frequent moves and also sexual abuse by a foster father.
Humans are by definition fallable (sp?). People need time to implement changes and I feel very strongly that SWs who cannot guarantee continuity and long term placements should not remove children from parents who are implementing change.
Alternatives could be daily home supervisory visits, and cahms for children being more accessible. Mental health services for adults obviously needs work in this country.
It should be illegal for a child to be moved as much as I was.
Now my children are on ss's radar and I am terrified for them. I struggle to function due to my history but as the program showed, parents are not always given time to implement changes.
You may ask why I had children if I struggle to function. Well, I got married at 18, desperate for a home to call my own. I had three children in quick succession, desperate to heal and build. It was the wrong way to do it - but my choices were understandable.
nctoavoiddrama I am so sorry to hear your story and really wish you all the very best for your future. I am sorry that your need of a home, which was denied you, pushed you into marriage so early and children in quick succession.
I wish you all the very best for your therapy and for your life, I hope you will find it gets easier and you are able to face the challenges. You are very brave and you deserve the best.
I am Nicola's Auntie and if the maker of this programme reads this and wants to know the truth behind Nikki's story then please get in touch. Social Services wanted Aaron for adoption and nobody was going to get in their way. My husband is Nikki's father's brother and we desperately wanted to foster Aaron while she sorted herself out. They weren't impressed to find we had a stable home to offer and were educated professional people so they found another excuse. Nikki wanted us to care for Aaron but social services told her as soon as Aaron was born they would have him adopted. No wonder she lost interest in seeing her baby knowing it was going to end in heartbreak for her. Aaron was only put up for adoption last year so this was only filmed a year ago as Aaron will now just be over a year old but he has been denied the chance to grow up within his own family and we are fuming about this programme and how social services has twisted the truth for their own agenda.
Can I tentatively ask susu44 if you think that the reason that SS wouldn't allow you to foster Aaron is that it would be easy for you to then allow Nicola to care for him? I'm not for a moment suggesting that you would allow this but I am asking if you (or anyone who has experience of these things) think that this could be a reason that SS were reluctant to foster within the family?
susu44 I obviously do not know the ins and outs of your situation.
I don't know why SS would push for a baby/child to be adopted if they honestly thought there was a suitable family placement available.
Taking a child into care and placing them for adoption costs £££ more than placing a child with kinship carers. They really aren't so keen to make one set of prospective adopters happy that they will purposely take a child into care for whom they believe there is a suitable alternative. Prospective adopters are a long way down the pecking order of their priorities.
However, I can see it might be possible that SWs see real (or imagined) problem with potential kinship caring situations which the family themselves do not think are true / do not think are problems. SWs do always look to family first because if a suitable home with a relative can be found then that is best for the child (and easiest for the SW).
I am sorry for you and your niece that they decided the baby needed adoption. I hope he is now settled in his new home and that Nikki is having at least letterbox contact with him.
Susu44 - what support did you and Nicola's family give her after she had her first child taken off her? Did you give her any help finding suitable accommodation in which to live with Aaron?
It may be a legal duty for SS to consider family as carers but there is still a lot of prejudice against kinship carers.
It can be complicated and it takes a lot of hardworking but it can and does work out for thousands of children.
We had to face a fair bit of opposition from SW who assumed we were part of the problem rather than the solution.
I am really sorry susu.you should have been given the chance. I knw a family who took a private case and when they gt to court the judge was furious at SS for making it so hard for them.
We eventually got support from SS but we had to jump through flaming hoops to get it!
I stand corrected. MrsDeVere knows more about this than I do.
I don't want to say too much on here about the reasons SS came up with to turn us down as we are still considering action against them however I would like to point out that what you saw on the programme was only a tiny fraction of Nicola's complicated story. SS had full control over what was filmed and what they didn't want you to see. I am not on here to slate them either though as appreciate they have a difficult job and not all their staff are unprofessional and prejudice but in our own experience we have encountered the bad ones which goes back all the way to when Nicola was a minor in our care for a short while but SS messed that up too.
MrsDeVere thank you for your comments and I am sorry that you too have unfortunately had similar experiences with SS. Thank goodness you stood up to them and eventually got the RIGHT outcome for your family.
Calamitygin I agree that the worry over Nikki having access to Aaron would be a concern but believe me we discussed this indepth with her social worker and we would certainly not have allowed her access if we believed it was in Aaron's best interest. However we live over 60 miles away so this would never have been an issue especially when Nikki couldn't get to a local contact
centre regularly she was highly unlikely to rock up at ours very often. I even wanted to offer her a home with us to help her care for Aaron but that was dismissed by them too. Nicola was never a danger to her kids it was more a problem with the company she kept and the environment she lived in. However I never once got the impression that SS wanted to help Nicola they just wanted the quickest and easiest solution. As soon as they put Aaron up for adoption they cast the parent adrift again with no help or support to prevent her getting into the same situation again further down the line and when that happens then how could any social worker honestly believe that their input has proved successful in the long term?! Surely better to take advantage of family support to ensure a better outcome for all involved even though this may involve more work/patience on their part in the beginning.
If you have the means to challenge SS you could still have a chance. Did they do an assessment? I understand you can't say too much. If you haven't already you might want to contact family rights group
Kinship care isn't the right thing in every case but it really is in so many. They should be jumping at the chance to keep that little boy within his extended family.
Susu- you sound like Matthew, Emily and all the other birth parents who lay the blame at SS's feet instead of looking at themselves. You didn't help Nicola when she was in your care as a minor so why do you think you should be trusted with Aaron? Far better for him to go to someone who could give him the security all babies need; blood isn't thicker than water. Instead of picking a fight with an over stretched Social Services why don't you put your energy into helping Nicola?
Your post is ridiculous just
You are blaming family members for the behaviour of adults. Grown people who make their own decisions and often have deeply entrenched behaviours
Was would you have done to change the outcome in this case?
Please share your wisdom and experience.
I think it's selfish of you to keep it all to yourself. Go on, tell us..you could solve the issue of overworked SS in a stroke.
You obviously have all the answers
I can see nothing in Susu's post to suggest she had care of Nicole as a minor.
How do you know she even knew her?
It's attitudes like yours that fuel e prejudice against kinship carers and prevent children staying within their extended families.
Never mind the research that shows better outcomes for children, lets give them to 'proper' families.
Because addiction and MH issues never affect 'proper' families do they?
Oh here we go we always get one know it all who thinks they have the right to judge others when they are not in possession of the full facts. Perhaps Justgotaniphone (even the name shows a distinct lack of maturity and common sense) is a SW!
Thanks MrsDeVere for the suggestion to contact family rights group. We haven't thought of doing this but will do now.
My husband and I love Nicola very much but if anyone is to be blamed it is the attrocious treatment from her own parents that is to be condemned. I only came into Nikki's life when she was 15 which by then the damage was done and she was out of control. We tried our best with her but when a SW tells a volitile and vulnerable teenager that she doesn't have to do what her guardian at the time (my husband) tells her then what the hell chance have we got to bring stability back into her life. None!! Nikki is a grown woman now and as MrsDeVere has already said she is free to make her own life decisions. What she does with her life is no reflection on my morals and standards which I can assure you are higher than most. I was lucky to be brought up in a loving stable home with wonderful parents. To suggest I cannot bring a baby up correctly is just down right ignorant and extremely hurtful when you know nothing of my past or history. Please go poke your judgemental nose into someone else's business. Perhaps someone who actually needs your incredible wisdom and faultless guidance...
MrsDV - read susu's post where she states that when Nicola was a minor she was in her care for a short time before SS messed it up. Of course it would be SS's fault, wouldn't it?
She also states that SS wanted Aaron for adoption and nothing was going to get in their way - thus repeating the ridiculous myth that SS steal white babies for adoption.
Susu wanted to foster the boy until Nicola sorted her life out; how long would that take - too long for a vulnerable baby.
And by posting about it on a forum, Susu, you make it people's business. Stop lashing out at SS (no I'm not a SW), they are flawed people working in a society where drug addicts, a drunks and violent people bring children into the world that they are incapable of raising and SW have to pick up the pieces.
It is you that sounds angry and I refuse to carry on trying to justify myself to someone who has their own set views and prejudices. Even if you were in possession of the full facts to this case you would still choose to close your ears and vent your hatred at others you do not know.
susu I'm very sorry you are in this situation. Has Aaron been placed for adopion yet, or is he still in foster care? If he's still with foster carers, I can only second MrsDV's advice to contact family rights group and talk though what your options are to fight this if you want to. She obviously knows far more about this than anyone here, and I do completely agree with her that kinship care is best if possible for the child, and that there is a prejudice against other family members whatever their personal circumstances.
Episode 2 is tonight, focussing on the search for adoptive parents. Do people wan to a new thread for episode 2 or just to carry on on this one?
I like the idea of a new thread-will make it easier to pick up the discussion that follows on from the episode.
Thank you Lilka for your kind words. This whole matter has been very upsetting for my family.We really weren't happy that Nikki chose to be part of this programme as it will always invite ignorant criticism from others which only adds to the pressure and stress she is already under. Nikki has gone to ground since the programme aired last week and we are very worried about her welfare.
Sadly SS have told us nothing in regard to Aaron's current situation but we are currently taking legal advice on what our options are.
I agree a new thread would seem the sensible choice in regard to tonight's episode. It follows a new set of children in their journey to securing a loving home and family.
"SW have to pick up the pieces."
I don't see my job as 'picking up the pieces' thank you very much. I would never think of service users or their families in such a disrespectful way. I know there are poor decisions made in social work and I know there are social workers who are really unfit for the job. It's not ok to shoot people down and not listen to their experiences. Please don't ever consider working with vulnerable people with an attitude like that.
Susu - there are always so many sides to a story, especially when SS are involved. I really hope that you have the strength to carry on fighting for Aaron if you believe you can offer him a safe and loving home. Poor Nicola - I hope she gets the help she needs. When I saw Nicola on the programme, I just thought how dreadful addiction is and how hard addiction is to break. Yes - she has made choices, but I do believe addiction is an illness. Whatever misgivings you have about Nicola doing the programme - it does help educate some people that need educating that birth mothers are not "monsters", "ill-feeling" etc - and that sometimes people make terrible mistakes and they can't stop making them. Nicola clearly loved her son - as Emily clearly loved Sophie. And I remember a comment by one of the contact centre staff at how they thought there was a lot of promise/good in her parenting.
I will start a new thread then
I really hope Nikki is okay and you hear from her soon. There have been a few of this kind of program over the years and I always wonder how the birth parents fare after the program has aired. People can be very cruel and judgemental and I worry the parents get backlash from their friends and community
susu44 I wish you, your family and especially Nicola all the best. I did worry about how people would cope once this airs. I felt for her very much, I'm sad that the situation has ended like it has for her. It's naïve to pretend that SS doesn't make errors of judgement.
It was in our previous code of practice that informing service users of their rights to complain and showing them how to is part of our job. I have printed off the complaints form several times for service users. A lot of the time it is the red tape and if people don't shout, it doesn't get heard.
It drives me loopy when people defend social work to the hilt. We are humans, we make mistakes - please tell us!
susu44 I am a retired social worker - have some 30 years experience all in children's services. Do feel free to PM me - I might be able to help as I have done others in the past. Mind, you will get good advice from Family Rights Group.
I hope the iphone person takes her ill judged and insulting comments elsewhere.
Oh come on, nana nina, you've caused enough offence on the adoption board in your time so don't get on your high horse. And candycoated should stop referring to human beings as service users.
I'm not defending SS - they frustrated me when we were going through the adoption process for DD (thankfully from overseas). I'm saying that whenever a child has been removed from a dangerous situation the "service users" and their families lash out at SW instead of taking a long hard look at their own role in the tragedy.
I am a little confused ijustgotaniphone, on another thread you have said that we shouldn't be commenting or passing judgement about people who have been involved in these type documentaries, because this isn't TOWIE. However, on here you have made assumptions (rightly or wrongly) and passed judgement upon susu44 and her niece.
I don't always agree with Nana ijustgot but she knows what she is talking about and she has a hell of a lot more experience of birth families than you do so back off with the hostility towards her.
Your hypocrisy at criticising candy for using a perfectly acceptable term is pretty breathtaking considering the way you have laid into and judged birth families
You seem very angry about something and are lashing out left, right and centre.
Maybe you should take a break until you can calm down a bit?
I don't knw what you are like in real life but you aren't coming across well on here. A lot worse than the birth families and SWs posting.
Btw if you think having unsupported guardianship of a troubled teen for a few months is enough to turn things around and make life all shiney.....well you have revealed your utter ignorance.
I know hundreds of kinship carers and the majority of them have sacrificed more than you could ever know to keep their children and keep tem safe.
"And candycoated should stop referring to human beings as service users."
Service users is what we call individuals with whom we work, to differentiate between those who use the service and those who don't. It is featured in the standards by the HCPC, so maybe take it up with them....?
I find it ironic that you can speak to a 'human being' so rudely on here, yet take offense at a perfectly acceptable term. FYI, I would treat someone with the same dignity and respect whether they feature on my caseload or not, so not sure of your beef.
I don't think we should allow the iphone person to de-rail the thread so maybe if we just ignore and as MrsDV says she sounds angry and is hitting out at anything.
Just a word about service users. When I started my social work career at the end of the 70s, we used to call the people we worked with "clients" and solicitors still use this term, as do some therapists. However over time, terms change and "service users" came in as the term for people social workers work with as it was thought to be less discriminatory, though whether it is or not I don't know.
I agree, I apologise for derailing.
NanaNina My first placement used the word 'customer' which I found very hard to wrap my head around. I am unsure how I feel about service user vs. client to be honest. Service user isn't ideal, many people don't like the 'user' part. In my current MH team; the medics (psych nurses and drs) obviously say 'patient' but that doesn't sit well with me either.
*sit well with me as a social worker using the word 'patient', I mean. I understand in medical disciplines it is the accepted word.
Off topic slightly but as a disabled adult I prefer 'client' as a service user is not in any way important or in a position to have their voice heard, as it signals that they aren't by definition a customer or client and therefore have no right to expect client or customer service, but have 'services' forced upon them.
I don't know if it carries the same stigma for other types of people or not?
Oh sorry just read up to see where the terminology train of thought came from and realised I joined in derailing! Didn't mean to
I seem to have been hit with the password virus and have had to re-register (after god knows how many years here!) - hence new name.
Don't know why I'm being accused of hostility to NanaNina when she insists on referring to me as "this iphone person"
Angel - if you are gong to refer to what I said on another thread please put it in context. I believe I was saying we shouldn't be judging and criticising would-be adopters on things they said in a documentary that was made at least 12 years ago. Which is fair enough especially as one of the parents died shortly after filming.
Those of you accusing me of being angry and hitting out couldn't be more wrong; I had a very successful adoption and my lovely DD is now sleeping soundly upstairs I've just been objecting to the way birth families blame SWs instead of taking responsibility for their failure to provide a secure environment for vulnerable children.
However, I can see many of you want to stage an adoption board pile-in so I'll leave you to it and go and catch up with the latest episode and comment on that thread.
Hmm - it's a bit tricky about what to call people who are involved with social workers isn't it - CCW I don't think you need apologise and it looks like the thread isn't de-railed. Interesting what you say about your first placement calling "users" - "customers" - that doesn't sound right either does it, and yes we are "patients" as far as the medics are concerned.
MA oh nooo no need to apologise for de-railing the thread! Interesting that you prefer "client" - some changes I have seen in terminology have I think been for the better. For instance I can recall when there was a "Mentally Ill Team" rather than a "Mental Health Team" and an "ESMI Team" (elderly sick mentally infirm.......) oh god how awful does that sound, and as I recall they were mostly "older people" (new name for elderly) with some kind of dementia. We used to talk of people as being "mentally handicapped" whereas now it's "learning disabilities" and "physical disabilities" - I guess over time the terms will change.
Mind when I was looking in a very old file one day for some information I read someone described as a "happy cripple............" dear god. Oh and just remembered something else. Fairly recently there was a man in WH Smith, who was acting strangely (walking up and down and putting his hands over his face) people were giving him a wide berth - I went over to him and he was crying and handed me a scrap of paper out of his pocket, with the name and telephone number of the address where he was living. I recognised it as one of the small homes for residents with learning disabilities, so I re-assured him we would help him and asked him to come with me to the manager so that they could phone the home. I didn't have my mobile with me. The manager was happy to oblige and I stayed by the phone while he rang. To my horror I heard him say "Oh hello we have one of your mental defectives here" and the thing is he had no idea that this was so inappropriate, and was very kind to the distressed man.
My beautiful blonde, blue eyed little girl was taken into care. The Adoption Panel refused the local authority's plan and my daughter was placed in long term foster care. I was shocked to find that children are denied the right to know their family and are subject to abuse. I have had to resort to the complaints procedure etc. to ensure that my daughter was not placed at risk (drugs/physical assault/sex offenders) and fight for her rights to health (diet/gross decay) and an education (SENR). It is a shame that no one if prepared to make a programme/ report the other side of the coin or to raise concerns about social services unless a child dies.
NanaNina* your last post has made me weep, no wonder us parents are so protective.
for being so caring!
justphone what else would you expect from scum like me? I am one of those shitty birth families after all.
Denying nice 'proper' families the chance of adopting a baby by selfishly keeping him within his family.
If you are going to be nasty and judgemental about thousands of people you knw nothing about you should expect to have a few come out fighting.
It's all we know, after all, Innit?
An adoption board pile-in? Where?
< squares up behind mrs de vere >
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
It's justphone here and I don't know where you've got that piece of info from, candy, but I've certainly not been banned - have been here since 2005 and NC for adoption threads to protect DD's privacy. I'm having problems with my email/password which hopefully MNHQ will sort out so I don't have to keep re-registering . Have reported your post for breaking guidelines.
William7 I am so sorry for you to hear of your situation and hope you are getting support where you are. I am assuming you have a social worker and so someone who can work with you at this time.
I hope for the best possible outcome for your little girl.
I think there will be many more documentaries about adoption and all areas of social services so there may well be one on long term fostering.
My daughter has had 18 social workers. The only time action is taken is when court proceedings are issued.
Local authorities were recently required to update one of their Reporting provisions based on fully documented information supplied by me.
I doubt very much that any documentary will be made about children in local authority care as I am not allowed to name my daughter and the local authority's response is "no comment".
It is normal for anonymous comments made by me to be deleted.
heartbreaking programme, and an even more heartbreaking thread.
humans beings are so fallible are they not
to everyone who posted, as despite the divergent views everyone is coming from a good place
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