Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on adoption.
Home study questions that you found hard...(10 Posts)
I found lots of the very theoretical questions hard (and often used sweet's answer of "I'd take advice from the SW"!). Plus ones where my very normal, dull and happy childhood seemed to be a disadvantage compared to a more traumatic upbringing (we found ourselves playing up DH's parents' divorce, for example).
On co-sleeping, DD has always, luckily, slept very well, but the very first night she was with us she stirred and she came into our bed for a quick cuddle and a nap before she went back to her own bed. I can't think of any other way she could have had the comfort and reassurance that she needed at that point. For some children it would have been the very worst thing to have done, but it was exactly what she needed.
Surreal... I have to disagree with you. To adopt a child is very different than to foster, as I am sure you know.
When our girls came home, they were our daughters, we were not fostering them, we were and still are, the parents.
We co-slept from the beginning and still do a lot with our 5 year old.
I agree that it is very sad that as foster carers you have to be slightly removed from the child, but at the same time instill a sense of attachment, very tricky.
I must admit we did go against the grain when our oldest two came home in 2001. There wasn't as much talk on attachment theories as there is now. I remember the SW and hv telling me to get the child off her bottle ASAP. And to not stay with her whilst she fell asleep. I refused, as to me it didn't feel right.
I'm so glad now that I went with my instincts, as we have three well attached children.
Op..... Good luck, be open and honest and remember you are not expected to know all the answers.
My fallback position when I could not think of an answer to one of the "what would you do if...?" questions was to say "I think I'd ask the Social Worker's advice on that one!" That always seemed to get me off the hook!
The reality of the matter is whatever the scenario you are asked to imagine depends on the individual child and their circumstances and needs. Having adopted and now fostered different children over the years, there have been very few standard responses to situations. And as you say there are plenty of theories you can read of, but very little practical advice. I also recall during the preparation groups and talks from experts in their field, their advice on how to handle situations would very often completely contradict each other! Of course that does not help when the SW wants you to answer something specific - hence my response above.
I wish you good luck and happy to help with any advice you may need as you go through the home study!
Thank you both for your answers - they gave really helped.
It's so useful to talk to people with experience which is another reason I asked the question in my OP ... not to 'cheat on the exam questions' but to start to understand the things we need to think about, if that makes sense.
I saw on an earlier on another thread an example of a child who would only eat burgers and what that would be like. It was very thought provoking
We co-slept and bathed together before ao and it was fine with our la
For me it would depend on the child and their history. The skin to skin contact was so beneficial to bonding and the closeness during bathing was non-threatening
swimming is good for closeness if this is not acceptable in your area or if there is a history of possible sexual abuse
The key is flexibility and adaptability for each child
The answer to bed sharing when they are first placed and still a looked after child is a no. Foster carers are forbidden from doing this - a real loss for kids who are cared for from birth I think. However, be mindful that your new little one may never have slept in a bedroom alone (neither of ours had) and will be missing their FCs badly. So beneficial to think about other ways of keeping them close. We had a travel cot in our room and spent many nights bedding down on our DDs floor when she was unsettled.
Once they are legally adopted its your business and I would say it depends on the age, history and preferences of the child. An older kid with history of abuse might find it scary and overwhelming. Both of outs, adopted as toddlers with no such history, enjoy climbing in for cuddles, and as with most pre schoolers, get a lot of comfort and closeness from them especially when poorly or unsettled. It was important to let them dictate when they were ready to take that step though. DS would have hated the whole idea when he was first placed.
The other factor is your tolerance of being kicked in the ear at 3am
Hope that helps!
Thanks HappySunflower very much!
I knew that behaviour management like 'the naughty step' and 'go to bed with no tea' are totally inappropriate for adopted children with abandonment issues or food issues for example.
Any good books you can recommend on this? I find a lot focus on theory but haven't found one that give practical pointers.
Anyone got any other things that we can start to think about?
Thanks for your ideas so far.
MrsBW great idea for a thread.
HappySunflower great advice, I think i will arrange for down time after home study appointments in case it throw up some stuff.
For that one, I would say that it would depend on the age of the child, and what their needs were, and whether you were a foster/adopter or direct adopter.
Foster carers aren't meant to co-sleep or bath with children, but adopters can.
For a young child, settling into a new place, and starting to bond/attach with their new carers, co-sleeping, done safely, can be a wonderful experience.
The questions I found most challenging centred around behaviour management. You will quickly learn that some strategies (time out as one example) that are ok for birth children are totally inappropriate for an adopted child.
This was a real learning curve for me.
Be prepared to be quizzed about your relationship history, and any significant incidents, including bereavements. I was quite comfortable talking through these kind of issues but it did leave me feeling a tad unsettled afterwards on occasion. As a result, I used to arrange to spend time with a good friend after a session to enable me some debrief time.
So, I am trying to start thinking though some of the things we are likely to be asked during home study.
One question someone has said they were asked is 'would you let the child share our bed with you'.
I'm sure there is a 'right' answer to this... My gut says not to begin with (until the adoption order?) and if there is a history of sexual abuse, maybe not at all.
What are others views on this question?
What other questions were you asked during home study that were hard/thought provoking?
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