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Please help, feel rubbish today.

(12 Posts)
Kazza299 Tue 02-Dec-14 19:16:19

Please help, I am feeling so down today. We are matched and awaiting our DC (after Xmas) and I am finding it soooo hard to be excited as LA (not ours) are making things so difficult and today we were accused of pestering them!

Right from the very start we have been told that these, albeit older children, are children without any issues. I work in education and know that there is no such thing as a child without issues! I have pushed and pushed and pushed for information on their behaviours. In the recent planning meeting the whole room became verbally frustrated when the FC once again declared that they were "really good".

Due to the DC LA's lack of organisation our intros date was changed from November to January, which was very hard as everything was ready to go and with 10 days to go it was all changed. In one random email during this time we were told of some 'behaviours' (quite concerning) but when pushed, everything was ok again now. Apparently this was because of the inexperience of the FC telling chn things she shouldn't. (Another huge worry!)

Because of all the date changes, the fact that we are matched at panel and because I feel I have a lack of information about the Dc (I don't care about what the behaviours are, it won't make a difference, I know that even if you are prepared it can all be different but I feel I have a right to know) I have asked that they keep us informed whilst they do their moving on work prior to being told about us in January. They really don't want to do this! It makes me suspicious! They won't let me have the FC email or have any contact with her. They say they will contact our SW fortnightly to report on updates but this will be 4th hand information and I can't help feeling that there are things they are not telling me. Maybe I am pestering them (about 1 email a week) but I have found that in this process if you don't pester you don't get anything done!

All we get is flannel from our SW and their SW and I just feel so rubbish today. I never thought that this process would be so demoralising. We are trying to give 2 hard to place children a home and feel that no one is on our side.

This also makes me very worried about PAS especially as our SW has to do some initial visits as they can't staff it! (2 hours away)

I am very aware that the hard part is yet to come but right now I need some wise words from those on here, who, despite our large support network, seem to be the most knowledgeable and understanding people I have found. Thanks in advance. I hope this makes sense x x

Copper13 Tue 02-Dec-14 20:09:31

Hmm, I can understand your frustrations and I don't think you're doing anything wrong in trying to get as much information about these children as possible. Was there CPR brief/limited in detail? I'd have thought that if they are slightly older children they would be able to provide A LOT of information about their behaviour??
I don't know that it's usual practice to be able to contact the FC prior to intro's, but we did. We were given phone numbers and she would ring us once or twice a week to let us know what our AD was up to and how she was reacting to our laminated mug shots on the mantlepiece!
It's a shame you don't feel supported by your SW, she/he should be the one acting on your behalf to push for this information hmm Don't be put off, keep trying, it's your lives that are going to be permanently affected hopefully positively but quite possibly negatively if the children have significant issues which have been kept from you. Of course they will have issues, what a ridiculously naive and unprofessional thing to say. It's entirely possible that they are a pair of hugely resilient kids but you quite rightly know text this may not continue.
I feel for you, this should be an exciting time with as many I's dotted and T's crossed as possible. Try to look forward to a very short time away from now, your household being turned upside down!

Kazza299 Tue 02-Dec-14 20:14:22

Thank you so much. Makes me feel lots better that someone understands my frustrations and that I'm not being ridiculous x x x x

TrinnyandSatsuma Tue 02-Dec-14 21:20:23

Hi Kazza, don't have anything very useful I can say I'm afraid, but sounds like a very frustrating situation. Hang in there, it will be worth it when your children are tucked up in their beds in your home very soon.

AdventuringAbout Tue 02-Dec-14 21:21:35

For legal/procedural reasons, I waited several months before meeting "my" LO too - in that time, there was zero direct contact with the foster carers. They were really good about giving brief updates to be passed on via the SWs. Technically this was "fourth hand" but it tended to be reading out the FC's words to me over the phone, so it felt fine. This was a pretty young child, so the updates were perhaps not telling me as much as they could in your situation.

There will almost certainly be things you will "discover" once your children are home with you. I would hope this wouldn't be because things are being kept secret now, but even if it is, there isn't very much you can do at this stage. If you were satisfied with the information in the CPR, and the whopping degree of uncertainty that comes along with being matched to any child smile then I think you should listen to your instincts (because trying not to will drive you bonkers) but also breathe, and go gently on yourself.

I think it's unlikely that significant further information will suddenly appear before intros. You could ask whether they are due to have any formal assessments soon, in which case there might be updated medical advisor reports etc and it would be good practice to share those with you. You could also ask whether there will be any school reports coming up, as they could reasonably also be shared now that you are matched (IMHO).

If you continue to have real concerns, you could contact BAAF and check that all the recommended information to accompany a child at placement has been supplied. I cannot pretend to have a full list of this in my head, but it might be a place to start. The waiting is absolutely horrible, I know, and even worse when you're waiting for real, specific, children. Take care of yourself flowers

Lilka Tue 02-Dec-14 21:51:56

I completely understand your frustrations, and however difficult parenting the children is, that doesn't diminish how tough this part of the process is now. <<hugs>>

I completely agree with you that it's almost a guaruntee that there will be issues of some description even if they aren't very significant, and the move itself will probably throw up/create issues, even in a chid who is doing very well, because it is such a very stressful time. You absolutely have a right to know as much information as there is to know, and you don't deserve a load of 'flannel' and you certainly aren't being unreasonable to want to be kept informed as to how the preparation work is going - that's important to know, to help you prepare for how they might react to introductions.

Obviously I'm simply speculating, and none of this might have anything to do with the situation, but if the FC is inexperienced, I wonder if she is seeing certain issues as 'all children do that' and maybe not picking up that these children are doing it to a different degree/for different reasons etc? I definitely managed to convince myself that some of DD1's issues were just standard, until it became significant enough I was forced to reevaluate (though back then there really weren't that many resources to help with parenting traumatised children).

It sometimes also happens that "really good" means 'over compliant' rather than 'no issues', which is an issue. My DS used to be, and still is to a lesser extend, very keen to please but when he was younger is was very definitely over-compliance ie. a very deep seated fear of getting things wrong or being rejected was leading to him being on his best behaviour all the time, which looked great to outsiders who probably can't understand why I was so pleased when he started feeling secure enough to actually be naughty or deliberately defiant

Or maybe someone doesn't want you to be 'worried' or 'put off' by anything, which is a ridiculous attitude, but some people still have it. Could be FC, or a SW who is uh, 'guiding' the FC shall we say, about what information to pass on, but the email about 'behaviours' being brushed off is to me an indicator that they in their own minds don't want to 'create any problems' with the match, so are brushing things aside

As I said, that is all speculation, the first things that came to mind when reading.

Are you allowed to email/give questions to the SW for the FC to answer? I had a lot of questions for my childrens FC's and I would write them down for the SW's to pass on and bring back answers as part of the updates? If you can do that, I think my first strategy (but of course you might have already tried this, apologies if you have) would be ask questions which indirectly are about issues, rather than a direct questions which might just get a 'no issues, really good!" answer. Eg. "when X and Y are upset, what comforts them?" or "what is the best way you have found to calm/deal with a tantrum", "how do the children deal with changes to their usual routine?" and so on, but ask round the bush about any subject.

Kazza299 Tue 02-Dec-14 22:06:36

Thanks everyone, lilka, you have definitely made me feel that it's ok to feel as I am.
I think all your speculating is exactly the concerns I have. We have tried asking 'roundabout' questions when we met the FC but have not tried emailing specific but 'roundabout' questions. This might work as she might have more time to think rather than putting her on the spot or being too general. I will definitely try this. Thanks x

Kewcumber Wed 03-Dec-14 12:51:09

I can be of no practical help as things have changed so much since I adopted and matching was done in a differnt country so very different process. However I am no stranger to things draggin and dragging at this stage, then there's a flurry of activity which riles you up and then things drag again. I think it was in some ways the worst of all stages - so close and yet so far. I do believe I went a little bit insane.

So no advice but plenty of sympathy.

Italiangreyhound Wed 03-Dec-14 14:01:46

So sorry it is frustrating, nothing to add but I am thinking of you.

FamiliesShareGerms Fri 05-Dec-14 12:32:49

If you really feel that your SW is messing you around, I found that asking for a discussion with their manager tended to get things resolved (I have never encountered a profession as gradist as SW, including the police and military...)

Kazza299 Tue 09-Dec-14 19:15:34

The saga continues! Were promised weekly updates on Mondays via our social worker. It is Tuesday. No information apart from our SW who rang at 4:45 to say he would no longer be our SW and not to email him anymore and until a new one is allocated we will have to correspond with the manager. I asked what would happen with the children's SW email to him and he was unsure- thanks!!!!!!!!!!

Italiangreyhound Tue 09-Dec-14 23:57:40

How bloody frustrating. Can you ask the manager that when you get next week's update? Good luck.

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