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Support (post adoption)(14 Posts)
We've just been linked with a little one with additional needs and his needs are a bit uncertain (under 2). We'd like to agree a package of support for the placement but I'm not sure what we will need? We will ask for the obvious like adoption allowance but has anyone else requested anything else? Would he be too young for things like theraplay? Even if we can't access things now we'd like to be aware of what's there if we do need it. All we know is his behaviour can be defiant/violent and he has a few health issues but they shouldn't be anything life changing. We hope!
Can you speak to his paediatrician and to his FCs and ask what support they think he will need? I think 2 is too young for theraplay, but there is no reason it couldn't be documented in the post-adoption support plan to be offered when he's a bit older.
Sharpen up your elbows and get your sturdy boots on - getting a decent plan down on paper will be hard work, but now is absolutely the time to do it, so well done for getting your heads round it.
Thanks Jam. So far he's got global delay so is having physiotherapy, speech therapy, regular checks with his Dr. His foster carers have said he can get aggressive when frustrated and will kick and hit. The biggest issue will probably be attending his appointments as I work full time and hoped to after taking leave. I don't know if this will be possible but I don't think I want to stay at home either. His attachment seems good but he gets upset when his foster carer isn't around so I don't know if he'll need support with attachment and the like. I'm not really sure what I should be asking and wonder if we should wait until he's settled with us, if we go ahead
You will have the period between placement and adoption order to really suss out his needs. He will change so much once he's home that it's hard for you to cover all the bases now.
Would going part - time be a possibility after your leave? Our adoption allowance is means tested, so although we don't actually receive it, it's good to know it's there as a safety net. If you're in the same boat, that may allow you to reduce your hours?
Thanks girls. When I asked about adoption allowance we were told we wouldn't be allowed it as he gets dla, so I'm trying to suss out what else we could hope for once he's settled. I'm a bit worried as have heard from other adopters that they end up a few months in with no support. I could request part time but there's no guarantees.
My LO gets DLA and we insisted on an adoption allowence. The placing LA weren't keen but we pushed and got a small one. It really means that I can be at home and available to attend my LO's many medical appointments and help him to keep progressing. He was also pretty well attached to his FC and has found the move to us difficult. He's far to young to understand what has happened and he finds it really difficult to be separated from me at all - basically I have a little shadow 24 hours a day. I honestly could go back to work with him being the way he is at the moment. He needs me too much.
Adoption allowance should not be affected by DLA. DLA is only awarded for a certain period of time (DD first got it for 2 years, then renewed for 3) so there is no guarantee he would continue to get it. However LAs seem to be more and more reluctant to commit to adoption allowance, so I can well imagine them using DLA as an excuse...
I think you should be realistic about being able to carry on with a full time job if your little one already has identified additional needs.
I tried to carry on working when I adopted but with medical appointments and meetings then difficulties with school and getting called away from work, I reluctantly had to give up. I would definitely have a plan b if that happens to you ie can you afford to live?
My dc didn't have any diagnoses at 2 btw.
The others are right - DLA is eff all to do with adoption allowance. DLA is awarded to LO, and the other is for you as a family to enable you to meet his needs if you are unable to do that AND manage financially. If there is a copy anywhere of the application for DLA, it might be useful for you to see it so you can see more detail about his day to day needs.
If you can get all the specialist health needs documented into one place, that will help. Get each specialist to give you a plan for supporting him, estimating the frequency and duration of appointments etc. You can do all this after he's placed but before you even consider applying for the AO (so you keep your leverage). Then the combination of all the specialists' plans will tell you how much impact it may have on your ability to return to work either part-time or at all. That will be the foundation of your application for adoption allowance.
It is possible that he will improve considerably, and it is possible that in due course if his speech develops, then his levels of aggression and frustration may reduce. But if you make your plans based on what LO needs right now, then you can always adjust afterwards if the needs reduce (much easier to do it that way than to under-estimate and have to fight for more later!)
Thanks for the replies. We could afford to live if I reduce my hours but every appointment we attend that falls in working hours would cost us money which would make life very hard. That's my worry but the jist is if that's the case we can apply for help when it happens?
We have a list of all the different conditions and how these affect daily life, presumably this would be on the dla form? We also have a rough idea of appointment frequency but the foster carers have already said these go beyond what the social workers predicted for him and they have argued that they will soon reduce. The argument we have heard from others is that birth families cope so why should an adoptive family receive additional funding beyond that?
That doesn't make sense. Social workers say the appointment frequency will reduce, the medical schedule says otherwise.
One thing to bear in mind is, depending on the nature of the physical conditions, we found that physio, physical disabilities, and speech and language therapists all came to us at home (and we had a fair amount of choice over the timings). LO was aged 2-3 ish when we needed all of those. So, theoretically, you could group appointments together if they were at home. Obviously, much tougher if you need to go to different hospitals etc.
I have to say it's not LO's physical needs that have affected the practicality of returning to work here - the emotional needs make it very tough for them to cope with nursery even for a few hours.
These are all things you'll figure out once you have had a chance to get to know LO - give yourself time, and go with your instincts
At present I know he attends speech therapy and physiotherapy clinics so these are at the hospital. i don't know if the schedule will change. I'm pretty certain theres no issues with his emotional needs as he is happy and confident when the foster carer isn't there and is often looked after by their extended family. Obviously that could change over time but it shouldn't be a problem. Part of his disability I believe is having an excess of confidence!!
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