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Professional involvement - what to push for

(14 Posts)
meHoHoHoverhere Thu 04-Dec-14 11:35:07

Hi, me again!

DH and I are coming to the conclusion we need some professional input to help with DD, both at home and school. She has been placed 6 months and the honeymoon period is well and truly over.

I suspect she may have some sensory issues, and we definitely are seeing controlling/attention/attachment seeking behaviours. School is very challenging for her and I am of the opinion that we need some intervention sooner rather than later in order for her to reach her full potential.

We've spoken to both our SW and the placing agency who have said they'll fund assessment/support for 3 years. We have applied for AO but not received court date. Placing LA says they fund support for 3 yrs regardless of status of AO. In fairness, they did do a lot more pre placement support than I've heard about with other agencies/adopters.

Initially the placing agency is talking about sending one of their internal team who did life story work with the DC pre placement.

I'm not keen on this for 3 reasons.

1. Last time the DC saw their social worker for a statutory visit (early this week), they became massively unsettled. They are only just coming back down to earth. I don't think the, seeing professionals from their 'past life' will be helpful.

2. I don't know what her qualifications are (I know I could ask, but I don't know what to ask for... See below)

3. During the work she did pre-placement she came to the conclusion there were no serious issues. In fairness, there weren't then (obvious ones at least) but I'm concerned this will colour her view of any issues we're experiencing now.

I also just didn't gel with her particularly.

So, what should I be asking for? DD, to me, could have a range of issues.... Attachment, sensory, maybe ADHD (although teacher thinks not)...

I want someone with experience of all these areas (is that even possible??) to do a full assessment at home and school. Is this what I should be asking for as a first step? Can I insist on it?

Would this assessment need to be done as a first step to getting a statement of educational needs or would a different assessment need to be carried out.

Any advice on this welcome. It's such a minefield....

Thanks so much. Again!

Italiangreyhound Thu 04-Dec-14 12:00:10

Sorry *meHoHoHoverhere( I don;t know the answers but I do think you should go with your gut and get the help you need, and you seem to have asked reasonable questions here so could you ask your social worker these?

I agree someone from her past may not be best.

Also, re During the work she did pre-placement she came to the conclusion there were no serious issues. In fairness, there weren't then (obvious ones at least) but I'm concerned this will colour her view of any issues we're experiencing now.

I think when you say In fairness, there weren't then (obvious ones at least) I would be careful to say this because to my ear that sounds like you think these issues have come about since placement but really, I think IMVHO, as a non-professional, that the seeds of any issues were there. You have not created these issues, your child came with them and being in a normal, loving home (where she is more free to be herself than in a foster setting, which is not permanent, or with birth family) means these issues have come to the front. I am not blaming the social workers or you for not spotting any issues before because she may well have hidden things for her own safety, either consciously or unconsciously.

I guess I am just encouraging you in your language to reflect these are not new issues she has 'got' since coming to you but old issues that have surfaced in the safety of your home.

You do not say her age or what the issues are and if you feel able to explain more some people may be able to say more. But totally up to you.

I hope someone else with more wisdom will be along soon.

Good luck.

meHoHoHoverhere Thu 04-Dec-14 12:27:31

I think when you say In fairness, there weren't then (obvious ones at least) I would be careful to say this because to my ear that sounds like you think these issues have come about since placement but really, I think IMVHO, as a non-professional, that the seeds of any issues were there. You have not created these issues, your child came with them and being in a normal, loving home (where she is more free to be herself than in a foster setting, which is not permanent, or with birth family) means these issues have come to the front.

Thank you.

I think I have been subconsciously blaming myself and reading what you have written here has felt like someone reaching through the screen to give me an enormous cuddle. thanks

Quenna Thu 04-Dec-14 12:36:20

Not an adopter or a SW but have worked a lot with traumatised children...

Agree totally with Italian greyhound. These issues are coming to the surface because he/she is settling and feeling safe with you. Safe to bring out all the pain now and begin to recognise and deal with it.

Push for, and accept, all help offered.

Sounds like you are doing a brilliant job.

Italiangreyhound Thu 04-Dec-14 12:43:49

meHoHoHoverhere lovely, I love cuddles.

Please do not blame yourself. Our children have so much baggage when they come to us, it takes a long time for them to unpack it all.

HUGS! wink

Kewcumber Thu 04-Dec-14 12:45:24

Surely before you decide what support you need you need her properly assessed by someone. IME that someone isn;t a social worker but will be an EP or a psychiatrist ie someone in that line of work with a specialism in adoption.

I think she should be properly assessed by someone competent who should then recommend what support she gets.

Kewcumber Thu 04-Dec-14 12:46:34

Sorry I know thats kin of reiterating what you've sais towards the end of your post. I could have just said "I agree" but it wouldn't have been clear what I was agreeing with!

Mama1980 Thu 04-Dec-14 12:50:32

Hi I second Italian totally, these issues are not your, fault, you didn't cause them. It is only because she feels safe that they can surface. Ss often don't pick up on these things because they simply never get to build that kind of rapore and trust with a child that enables these things to usually unconsciously begin to surface.
My eldest now just 17 was place in my care at 8 following a hugely abusive background. She suffered from attachment issues, sensory issues, processing disorder..... The eventual diagnostic list was huge. If you have any questions I maybe able to help with don't hesitate to ask.
How old is your dd?
If you are not happy with this person assessing then trust your instinct and insist on someone else. I know it's hard and you don't want to hurt feelings etc but sometimes it's necessary, you know your dd best.
Have you tried approached your gp separately? To talk about assessments, I actually found it easier to go via my very helpful gp rather than battle everything single thing through ss. ( of course this does have financial implications unfortunately )
Push for help and take all and any that's offered. I tried everything play therapy, art therapy, counselling for her and me.......some worked some didn't and long term I won't lie, things got a lot worse before they got better but to look at my dd now you'd never believe all she's overcome.

Mama1980 Thu 04-Dec-14 12:52:47

Sorry in all my waffle I forgot to say the initial and most important appointment for her was with a clinical psychologist who simply observed dd and then spoke to her briefly, (no easy task at the time when she wouldn't speak to anyone but me)
I think this is what you should be pushing for first. From this things moved onto a diagnostic stage and then we were referred on.

shivermetimbers77 Thu 04-Dec-14 13:01:20

Hi there,

I'm not sure what part of the country you are in, or what the services are like, but it sounds like you could benefit from an assessment by a Clinical Psychologist specialising in LAC/adopted children: some local authorities have NHS LAC CAMHS (specialist mental health teams) attached to them. It's worth checking with the Social Worker if that is available in your area.)

I have worked in the field of LAC and adoption for 12 years and it is extremely normal for issues to only appear after the honeymoon is over: so, it is definitely NOT your fault and in fact it is great that you are so tuned in to what your DD needs at this point. Sometimes it is when these children start to feel held and secure that they feel safe enough to allow the underlying trauma to show.

I would also recommend reading this book (if you have any time!): www.amazon.co.uk/Nurturing-Attachments-Supporting-Children-Fostered/dp/1843106140

Good luck!

fasparent Thu 04-Dec-14 15:07:03

Suggest contact LA and enquire about the new adoption support fund some LA's are piloting this at the moment will unfold national may 2014 along side other's including assessment and support for children with foetal alcohol effected children, Early years pupil premium + £300 , from age two. alongside pupil premium+ £1900pa which you qualify for, too help with your child's need's at school. apply through school has no financial added restrictions. Adoption support fund apply via your LA, there also may be other announcement's later this or early next year. See www.first4adoption.org.uk for details and FAQ's

slkk Thu 04-Dec-14 17:28:19

Hello we also had issues with lo' s visits from his sw as the same sw was visiting who had prepared him for his move. Now finally they have agreed with us that a change was needed and he has a new sw for his visits. He has also been seeing a clinical psychologist specialising in lac though this was initiated after a meltdown was witnessed by sw. Go with instincts and request an assessment from a professional and don't return to previous sw as your dd seems to be struggling enough. Good luck xxx

BarbarianMum Fri 05-Dec-14 13:49:21

Hi there,

very much in two minds about whether to post this (don't want to add yet more stress), but if you are contemplating attachment issues, sensory issues and ADHD then maybe you'd like to consider an assessment for ASD as well. A friend's (adopted) dd was treated for attachment issues for years before being diagnosed with Asbergers last year. They are totally different things but can present quite differently. The strategies for dealing with them are totally different too, so applying the 'wrong' one can make things a lot worse.

Df's dd was assessed by a behavioural pediatrician (eventually), who gave the diagnosis. She has since heard of several other cases where autism and attachment disorder have been confused in adopted children, so not just hers.

meHoHoHoverhere Sat 06-Dec-14 21:07:53

Hi all

Thanks so much for all of the advice. We have put the request for support in and it seems to be being taken seriously... the various social workers are liaising to see what first steps are.

Will report updates as and when....

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