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Moving on

(42 Posts)
ShootingStarsinthesky Wed 04-Jun-14 21:02:11

I recently started a thread after a break down in bridging and had some very kind and supportive replies.

Having calmed down a lot! I can say that we made the right decision to stop the bridging before placement although we bitterly regret not telling the Social Workers of our increasing doubts through the frenetic days of bridging.

We can now see that we just did not have enough time alone with the child as another sibling was present a lot of it which resulted in fighting and constant uproar and the behavioural problems we witnessed were worse than I imagined, although we were told of behavioural problems beforehand. The foster parents seemed barely able to contain them and admitted that after 14 months had not been able to do much with them she also said the siblings had been the worse they had seen in 26 years. We did not tell our Social Workers of growing doubts because we were unsure and thought they might stop bridging altogether and we would lose our chance of what could be a case of us getting used to the child. This was such a mistake.

Having discussed the bridging with our Social Worker I can see that we were in the wrong there and she said it was very upsetting and confusing for the child and did we realise how upset the child was as a result of our actions. I asked if we would ever be considered for another match but she said she did not know. We are waiting to have a meeting with the Adoption Manager.

MerryInthechelseahotel Wed 04-Jun-14 21:28:54

Lets hope the adoption manager is a little more understanding and less patronising did we realise how upset the child was as a result of our actions

I am amazed the sibling was there when your introductions were taking place if together they were fighting and causing uproar.

I hope you and your DH feel a bit better now and get some positive response from the manager thanks

ShootingStarsinthesky Wed 04-Jun-14 21:39:26

Yes MerryInTheChelseaHotel we desperately hope we get a more positive response. We feel we might have a case for continuing and find it hard to imagine we won't be given a second chance.

MerryInthechelseahotel Wed 04-Jun-14 21:41:00

When you say continuing do you mean with a different child?

Lilka Wed 04-Jun-14 21:47:22

I agree with Merry - how patronising and stupid. Does she have any comprehension at all of what you've been through and what it might feel like to be in your position? is a better question.

I hope the adoption manager is more understanding

It sounds like an extremely difficult situation with the sibling around, and if very experienced FC's were struggling with their behaviour then first time adopters are going to find it far more difficult. Sounds like not enough information was disclosed to you when you accepted this match. Communicating your feelings in intros is important, but I do totally understand why you struggled to do that. However given what you've said I question whether the outcome would have been different even if you had been absolutely honest from the first day about your doubts. But if you can show insight into what you would do differently if you were to have another match in the future, that's a good thing, and I hope the adoption manager would take your insight on board.

I am still thinking of you and I hope you are in a better place than you were when you started your last thread. It's a horrible thing to go through and of course you will be grieving, and there's no quick way to move forwards, but I am so hoping you can move forwards from this thanks

ShootingStarsinthesky Wed 04-Jun-14 21:51:40

Yes, with another child. Though lovely I just did not feel any type of bond with this child, I really tried but foster parents had to almost shout to get her and her sibling to do anything they were told or stop fighting we were told that apart they would be much better but the precious little time we spent alone with her with no much better and I thought I don't want a life when I have to shout all the time she is nearly 3.

Do you know of anyone who has been given a second chance? I mean we stopped before placement as we were so unsure and did not want to put her through a possible disruption.

ShootingStarsinthesky Wed 04-Jun-14 21:54:36

Hi Lilka the SW said she was only interested in the child when I said we were in bits and I spent 2 hours basically apologising.

ShootingStarsinthesky Wed 04-Jun-14 21:57:32

I got the feeling the FCs were really glad to be getting rid of them you could see the strain it had placed on them. We were told that as a sibling group they were very difficult but one sibling was no longer in the foster house. At one point 4 adults were telling them off us and the FCs.

ShootingStarsinthesky Wed 04-Jun-14 22:01:52

I said to the SW we would do anything they thought would help in the future on the advice of BAAF I have put my name down provisionally for Parenting Classes in September, volunteered for the local Brownie Group and my Child Minder neighbour says she could give me links to help in a nursery or other child areas. I don't think there is anymore we can do.

ShootingStarsinthesky Wed 04-Jun-14 22:05:23

One thing BAAF say is that SWs should let you know how to raise doubts during the bridging stage.

ShootingStarsinthesky Wed 04-Jun-14 22:20:05

Sorry I'm still going on - finally she said it was a very serious thing that we had not communicated our doubts with the professionals.

Lilka Wed 04-Jun-14 22:20:42

Hi Lilka the SW said she was only interested in the child when I said we were in bits and I spent 2 hours basically apologising

And this was your social worker, not the childs social worker, going by your first post? I have some very choice words to say about her then, and they aren't repeatable. If that is her feeling, then she has no business being in your house and talking to you at such a time in your life. In fact, she has no business being an prospective/adoptive couples social worker in my very blunt opinion, given the job requires the SW to support and care about the ADOPTERS she/he is assigned to during their intros period/through any problems. The child has their own social worker to look out specially for their interests!

I think the things you are doing are very positive smile and a good idea. With the adoption manager, whilst of course you could have communicated more, there's a limit to how much you can accept responsibility for, if you started intros with a child who had needs which were too great for you to meet, if you accepted that match without being given enough information to know that her needs were too great. This wasn't caused by one thing alone. Although having insight into what you specifically could have done better, if not to change the outcome, but only to make people aware sooner, and demonstrating that you would do that differently, is good.

I know there have been people who disrupted during an intros, and adopted another child again some time later, after taking a break. I've seen them online, there is at least one person on here.

Haffdonga Wed 04-Jun-14 23:12:13

I know of an adoption that disprupted on the morning the child was due to go to their new home. That couple went on to adopt another child later.

I'm so glad to hear you sounding stronger and at peace with your decision, if not the circs in which you had to make it.

KristinaM Wed 04-Jun-14 23:57:37

Her comments are unsupportive and unreasonable

Most prospective adopters have reservations, worried and concerns during introductions. It's only natural. How can you know whether these are just " nerves " or a sign that something major is wrong? It's only in hindsight really

It's not like you've done it several times before and have something to compare it with . Even if you've adopted several children, each situation is unique .

It sounds like you weren't very supported during the process and that your SW knows she has not done a very good job here

Angelwings11 Thu 05-Jun-14 08:59:13

Reading your post it sounds as though you do blame yourself, this is not your fault and I agree with the others that this SW is being unreasonable and unprofessional.

Ask yourself this, why did the so called professionals not pick upon the fact that the intros were not going well? When we went through ours, I know the FC reported back to their SW and to the child's SW each evening. Our daughters SW would visit us each day and observe us and we also had a mid point meeting with all SW, their managers and the FC to discuss how intros were going.

If it were me, I would raise why at no point none of the professional involved raised any concern themselves? Why did it result in you asking for a disruption and then the SW etc trying to scapegoat you?

ShootingStarsinthesky Thu 05-Jun-14 11:21:24

Hi Angelwings 11, We did have a phone call from the child's SW or our SW each evening and I know they talked to the Foster Mum. We said everything was OK because we were not sure because we had spent so little time with the child on her own. We didn't get to see the SW's until the last day but still held out hope that when we saw more of the child on her own it would be ok. We thought our SW might just stop everything if we raised a concern earlier.

UnderTheNameOfSanders Thu 05-Jun-14 20:11:19

I have not been through anything like this, so take my views with this in mind.

I think you do need to be assertive in that this was not all your fault.
I think that if you accept all the 'blame' then they may use it as a reason to not continue with them.
I think you need to set out clearly that you think there are lessons to be learned on all sides. Maybe write it down in an email to the adoption manager. There should also be a disruption meeting at some time to which you should be invited.

It sounds to me like:
- FC/ChSW profile on child was not accurate wrt her behaviour
- FC/ChSW should have ensured sibling was not present during intros
- FC/ChSW/YourSW should have noticed themselves it was not going well

- YourSW should have asked more probing questions on how it was going during intros
- you could have voiced concerns earlier, even something like 'it is hard to bond with so much arguing with sibling, we need more time on our own with the child'. But please remember You did voice concerns and pull out before placement. It was YOU who noticed it wasn't working. Where were the professionals??!

But the first 3 points I made I think are much more important.

KristinaM Thu 05-Jun-14 21:16:18

What Winnie the Pooh said

How were you supposed to know that introductions weren't going " normally " - You've never done it before. It's their job to assess that .

Most families find introductions very stressful and exhausting, emotionally and physically . It's hard to know what to think or how to feel .

Italiangreyhound Thu 05-Jun-14 21:47:51

We had a formal meeting about 2/3 through with our social worker, child's social worker, family finder, foster care,foster carer's social worker, dh and I and I think there was someone independent there too! It lasted an hour or two.

Social workers were in touch with us during process by phone, I am sure! But I can't imagine going through this whole process with only phone calls.

Italiangreyhound Thu 05-Jun-14 21:48:48

through introductions I mean.

Lilka Thu 05-Jun-14 22:16:41

Absolutely agree with Sanders

ShootingStarsinthesky Thu 05-Jun-14 22:51:01

Hi Underthenameofsanders I have noted all of your comments and those kindly put forward by others thank you.

The child we were bridging with was a long distance away from our home which meant that our SW although visited once to meet Foster Mum had not met the child and so her contact with us during the bridging process was by phone. The Child's SW was so busy she introduced us to the child on day one and then contacted a couple of times by phone and then we only saw her again for the final meeting (which our SW travelled to) before we were off to see the birth parents and then went home. The only person who wondered if we were really OK was the Foster Mum who seeing my uncertainty a couple of times assured me it would all be ok.

ShootingStarsinthesky Thu 05-Jun-14 22:53:36

Italiangreyhound it sounds as if your bridging was a lot better with a meeting 2/3 of the way through. The trouble is as you say you are caught up in the emotion and desire to make it work and do not know really how you feel.

ShootingStarsinthesky Thu 05-Jun-14 22:56:02

As KristinaM says we have nothing to gauge what is normal to feel or think as we have never done anything remotely like it before.

BAAF suggested I buy their book about Disruption and it says that adopters should have it explained to them about voicing doubts and what to do during the bridging process.

Buster51 Fri 06-Jun-14 06:50:42

Like Italian we had several phone calls / meetings etc. with everyone present. DS lived very far away & lived in a very busy foster family, we still took him out etc had one stay overnight in accomondation provided by them. (Admittedly an awful experience I chose to not think about!)
I don't think you can blame yourself at all, they should have spotted the signs, I (probably unfortunately in most situations!) just broke down every time I was talking about how it was going! But that allowed the SW to explain why things could be how they were, & it was normal for me to be feeling the way I did.

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