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SW code in a CPR(50 Posts)
So if you read 'constantly needs to be reminded of boundaries' throughout CPR and Carer's report, would it worry you? There are many positive statements linked to how this area has improved during foster care but still the word 'constantly' crops up throughout.
Now, I know that the neurological syndrome this child has makes children prone to impulsive behaviour. So this fits what we would expect.
I'm actually feeling rather bemused by my own concerns that I'll have to constantly remind (nag) a child...DD has her own needs in this area so we are used to doing it, and used to the onlookers. I think that's the thing for me, I can see more of the same heading our way but magnified. I feel rather guilty that something so mundane could be worrying me. DH can't understand it. But then I would be the one doing most of the public parenting.
I tell myself that given the child's history, the fact that they are needing constant boundary reminders would look less of a big deal if we saw them as toddler-level in their behaviour (despite their age). But then I think, well that's fair enough but it will still need dealing with and obviously the FC saw fit to comment on it.
Argh! Sorry for waffling, just wanted a handhold/grip handed to me from the wise
"I tell myself that given the child's history, the fact that they are needing constant boundary reminders would look less of a big deal if we saw them as toddler-level in their behaviour (despite their age)."
I think that's a pretty good way to think about it (in so far as a random stranger, who doesn't know the kid, can speculate usefully). A lot of kids need very strong boundaries for a range of reasons: Autism, poor emotional development, FAS, many others. Often the practical solutions are similar: structure, routine, praise, patience and love. In my experience it really does work, though it isn't easy.
As a foster carer and adoptor i always see these statements as shorthand for a child with attachment disorder who is likely to be quite demanding of attention .
That is my experience so yes the child is likely to need a high level of supervision and attention as is the case with most of these children. But you say that you are used to that already so i guess it is a case of whether or not you want to take on more.
It is hard though to get a true picture of a child without meeting them. I would ask for more info personally to try and get a better handle on the childs needs,
It's hard to know what to ask without them thinking we aren't interested (believe me we've had enough SW experience to know a mere breath, glance or syllable in the wrong place is enough to shatter dreams/plans).
Oh i know it is a fine line but you should be able to ask whatever you want to as this is such a huge decision. You need as much info as possible. Any sw worth their salt should agree with that. Having said that what is your gut reaction to this little one?
You dont need to tell us here but can you see this child as part of your family?
I hope you are able to see past the concerns of what joe public might make of the behaviours though i totally get where you are coming from. I have kids with special needs and it is hard to be starred at when out and about though i have learnt to ignore a lot of it now. I wish you all the best with your decision Choccy x
Choccy, I've namechanged over the years but I remember well, and totally understand, why you are nervous about how the sw team will respond to a suggestion that you are unsure. Is this the same family finder as previous or a different team?
Could you try asking about that phrase and what it looks like in reality and position it as you wanting to work up strategies on how you both would best manage it? So, not so much "concerned" as proactively managing it.
I know you must be terrified of rocking the boat, but it sounds like it's something you will have to explore. Is that the only thing that is concerning you?
Such a hard one choccy because would it be fair to say that your circumstances might mean you are more prepared than you were (many many moons ago) to bite off a bit more than you meant to?
Can new SW have a quiet word with child's sw? And frame it as their concern rather than yours iyswim?
I completely get why you might be reticent to rock the boat but you can't take a child with this degree of uncertainty can you?
How old is lo?
I like the idea of asking in a way that we want to be prepared to handle it.
To be honest, our remit may have shrunk somewhat over the 3.5 years, as DH is more reluctant to take on certain issues now that he has had more life as a threesome with DD and knows this is a choice we are making (and could choose not to make). I think that's why I feed odd about my concern because frankly that's the only thing out of the CPR and it wouldn't be seen by many to be a big deal.
I did want to check that what they say and what they mean are similar, hence coming to ask you lovely lot. And giving myself away in the process, ke the fact that there is a glimmer of HOPE!
Oh and yes I think we could ask our new SW to ask about this area for us, that would be my plan.
I would see it as " a big deal " TBH and agree it might be a code for more.
It can be tiring and stressful to be constantly reminding about boundaries and it can end until with your avoiding going out certain places because it's just such a hassle. Which would mostly impact on you and DD, not on DH.
I agree you should ask for more information and don't be so quick to dismiss your gut feelings - they are important.
I agree with Kristina, it's potentially a big deal. They wouldn't have mentioned it flippantly or in passing.
So I'd start by letting yourself think it's potentially a big deal without having to try and justify why you're thinking it, then see what you want to do. (Max and conserve's ideas sound good to me.)
I would potentially interpret it as "needs a LOT of support to feel safe" (and in the meantime, behaviour could be challenging) and I'd agree with your reading of it that this child, more than most, will need a high sustained time and energy investment. I'd also wonder whether they are trying to flag "you won't be able to go to work" because this child will just plain need you there beside them... Perhaps there is a way of asking what the professional expectations are of how much there is capacity for this to improve? Medical Advisor maybe, if it relates to a specific condition and/or to trauma?
Is there a way your SW could find out how experienced the FC is? Because if the child needed way more than they were expecting and the FC has been doing it for decades, I'd take it very seriously. If it was a first placement / first time caring for a child with trauma or with this neuro condition, then perhaps I'd be still concerned but a bit less so.
It's an out of area child so SW wouldn't be able to find that out without directly questioning the team.
Am betting the medical advisor wouldn't have any more clue than the parents and uk support group I've contacted about potential improvement (I've read their latest report).From my research it can get better or worse. Children can become aware they have acted before thinking, apologise, then do it again. So the self-awareness improves if not the behaviour.
Looking forward to hearing more details about this from the team at our meeting soon. If it hadn't been for the FC feeling the need to flag it up, I wouldn't have been as concerned.
As it is, DH thinks it's nothing to worry about and I am well aware there could (and likely still will be) more difficult elements of life together to deal with.
Well it depends on why the child has to be reminded of boundaries.
Is he forgetting,because he can't retain information ?
Is he having to cope with a strong feeling he has eg he is fascinated by other people's hair so he wants to touch it ?
Does he have no empathy ?
Is he having to relearn unhelpful things that he has been taught or leant in the care system ?
Is he acting out abuse ?
Does he have poor impulse control or ADHD?
Does he have control issues /attachment problems and it doing it because he wants a reaction /to annoy people ?
Some of these things may improve with teaching or medication. Some may not. Some will probably get worse when he's settled.
The syndrome they have states 'impulsiveness'. So option 6 of the above!
And they may well have some of the others. Which can make it hard to detangle.
I think it's really likely the carers (and so also the FCs) will have observed the behaviour without having given a lot of thought to the cause (or long term remedies).
In my experience the CPR can underplay issues (significantly in our case) so if you are seeing red flags I would explore them fully. For me this sounds like it might be hinting at attachment issues/developmental trauma which can look just like ASD or ADHD. i think it is better to be prepared so do ask the tricky questions.
if 'constantly' crops up throughout....then yes i'd be concerned its code for - needs 1-1 supervision and firm boundaries all the time to feel safe and behave appropriately.
you could gently ask what does this look like for X? when you meet the SW....
impulsiveness is very hard to live with day to day - with no let up. Again ask SW what does this look like for X, how do the FC manage it best?
It seems that depite us and our SW picking up on these words throughout the documents that they really meant to say that the child needs reminding about the new boundaries they are now encountering in their more stable foster life, also that they would need telling a few times to put their shoes on etc. So despite probing there seems to be no real impulsive behaviour. May find out whether FC also meant this kind of stuff!
And would anyone be happy to PM me about matching as I'm having a 24 hour meltdown and need to get my act together. Thank you.
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