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starting school after placement(21 Posts)
How soon after placement have children started back at school?
We're aiming to have 6 weeks at home together at present.
That seems really early to me.
How old is child? And when are you expecting placement to happen?
Also seems very early to me, how old is the child?
With my eldest she didn't attend school for a year, she simply couldn't cope with being away from me. She was 8 at the time.
part-time (short mornings) after 6 months, then longer part-time (until after lunch) for another 6 months. So it was over 18 months total before standard school days. Was the younger half of primary school age and separation was a massive issue. Taking it one step slower than we thought LO could manage kind of "set them up to succeed" at coping with school. Happily school totally agreed there was no benefit to them attending more when they were so anxious - they weren't in a position to be able to learn or settle in. It was just too much "new" and LO needed the time to connect at home, and have that foundation starting to feel real, before tackling school as well.
Child is 5 and placement will be this month.
Honestly, I'd keep them home til Sept.
In your shoes (assuming this is first child you've adopted) I can see why you might think that that's nuts (and that they'll need their routine and you'll need your space and so on) and also that it's hard to argue with the SWs plan, but in all honesty, if placement is this month then you're looking at keeping them home til Easter anyway, which means starting them in school for just one term, then there's another transition into the holidays to manage and then another back to school and new class/teacher/classmates. That's a lot for a little kid who will still be learning how to cope with home.
Add to that that they'll learn nothing anyway if they're stressed and that they'd be a million times better off bonding with you than at school.
What are your thoughts? What made you post? Do you think it's short or do you just not know?
To give some context, I have two AC, one other side of your LO age-wise. Both seem equally bright. DC1 started school 10 months post placement and has struggled since day 1. DC2 took to it easily. How much I'd love now to be able to go back and keep DC1 home another year.
If you're nervous about raising it with SWs you can smile and nod for now and raise it post-placement when you have more say. (Or feel like you have more say at any rate!)
You could also consider having them repeat the year but again, it might be worth waiting til you have met/know your LO.
What PP said. I'd go as far as to say that you would be very foolish to send the child to school until after the summer at the earliest.
Do not kid yourself that he will be keeping his routine. He won't. You are taking him away from everyone and everything he has ever known. It's like being abducted by aliens . Adding in yet another new setting for him to learn about and cope with will be Hugely stressful for him. He doesn't need that.
Do not listen to anyone who says that he will be behind because he will miss a term of school. He'll probably be in education for 16 years. Another few weeks will make no difference in the long term to his learning . Most kids in care are behind anyway.
If he has emotional and behavioural problem and doesn't attach to you, you and he will have many many more problems in life than his being in the bottom reading group in year 1.
The only thing that matters in the first year or two is attachment . Meeting educational goals and developmental targets is not important compared to this.
I have to agree with others, They will learn nothing in the last term that will be more important than his mental health. Nothing Shopping you need
stopping you Introducing a bit of home schooling as summer approaches If you wanted.
I would say you have to decide based on how your child settles. Our DS started school approximately 6 weeks after placement and was full time from the start. He had already started school, ( a different one) done one term and then left when he came home with us. The advice we were given was to get him started at his new school as soon as possible. We lived literally round the corner from the school and agreed with them that if he appeared upset/distressed/confused they would call me and I would go straight up to the school. They were very flexible and our Ds really benefited from being with other children. This may not be right for your child and they may need a much longer time at home but you will need to gauge that and take advice. I wouldn't put any hard and fast plans in place but wait and see what works for your child and be prepared to adjust things quickly if you need to. It is really important to have a good dialogue and relationship with the school and teacher as well when starting school.
Thank you for your responses. We wanted a general idea what others had done.
We'll consider what's best for this child once he's moved here.
As well as having our time and attention we want to ensure child has regular contact with other children.
Another voice here saying wait till September. there are plenty of places to play with other children - go to the park, tap into a couple of home ed meet ups (where you stay with him), hook up with your friends DC.
the next few months are meant for you and DC to really start to attach and build your relationship - adding school in the mix is usually not helpful for most adopted children.
If your DC is really keen to go to school, then half days are a good compromise and school can offer those before building to full days.
we waited 6 months to start nursery half days 2.5 hours for dc1,
and 2 years for dc2 nursery 2.5 hour days.
dc3 has not been left yet - 14 months after placement
dc4 not been left yet - 4 months after placement.
Babies bond with their mother first, then their father or other carer. Then, about two years later, other children. That's how they are programmed. You can't change this , however much you might want to.
Your new child needs to bond first with you , not other children. They can't meet his emotional needs. With respect, you don't seem to understand much about attachment.
Can you just try for a moment to imagine what it might feel like to be kidnapped and lose everything and everyone that you have ever loved? How would starting a new job ( on top of a new family ) help with this ?
You must think about what your child NEEDS at a very basic level, not what you want for him. He doesn't need just your time and attention ( like some sort of new hobby ), he needs to bond with you at a very deep level and start the journey of recovery from all the loss and trauma he has been through in his short life.
If you ignore attachment for other short term goals, you may cause terrible problems in the long term. Sadly you can't turn back time when he's 12 and do those first few years all over again. You only get one chance - please take it.
I have to agree with Kristina, my eldest certainly couldn't and wouldn't have bonded with other children, in the first three years she could neither cope with them nor did she want them.
They simply don't need other children, socialisation, education, friends, all that can and simply must come as second to establishing a primary attachment to you and if you have a partner your partner. Being around another children in a school or otherwise socially is generally considered unhelpful in at least the first six to eight months of placement whatever social workers may say, they are often not trained in the nuances of attachment, psychology etc, I advise you to do your own in depth research (not saying you haven't already) but i found it very useful to have that to backup my decisions whatever anyone else said.
DD was younger on placement. She started nursery just two afternoons a week six months after placement and I really regret it. If I could do things over I would have kept her home for another year. As others have said, nothing is more important than a sure foundation.
Hi, I'm finding this all so so helpful, I'm heading towards the end of stage 1 at present. You all have so much knowledge and experience that I'm so greatful for. I'm keen to be matched with a child under 2, I'm a nanny so will have a lot of flexibility to really put little one first for the majority of the day. It's likely I will return to my current job 5 afternoons and full time in holidays. So will be with me all the time for as long as needed, I'm very much taking on board that preschool/school should not be rushed.
I would definitely not start school to September. There are plenty of other opportunities to socialise with other children but with you present which will provide a much more solid foundation.
Another one whose dc has just started pre-school nursery v part time, 2 mornings a week, 2.5 yrs post placement.
I'd say he's been pretty securely attached to us for at least a year (I think sws were saying he was secure about ten weeks in but that's because they wouldn't know good attachment practice if it bit them). But you do only get one chance and I don't ever want to look at my adult children and think 'if only...'
Just a quick other thought;
You'll have to do a lot of advocating for LO once they're at school. Even a kid with no issues will have issues that will mean they'll need to be treated differently at school, but 6 weeks in, you won't even begun to have the measure of those.
(I remember the horror after our DC had been with us a few weeks of of realising we were the people that knew them best and that we didn't know them at all.)
SWs and schools will all say that they understand attachment/trauma/loss etc. In reality, I've not found that to be the case, even though our school really wants to be good.
I'm not disagreeing with anyone, but this is so different to us 10 years ago. DD1 was in y3 (&DD2 only 2) and she started school 3 weeks after placement.
With hindsight I really don't know if that as good or not.
School really had been her only stability, and she wanted to go, and no one suggested otherwise. It helped her mix and make friends available for the summer holidays.
It also helped us get into a routine, and helped me mix and make friends.
But the bond with DD1 has never been as good as with DD2. But then, she was so much older so maybe that's not a surprise.
Personally, I'd play it by ear, and perhaps consider mornings only for the summer term if DC is settling well.
We are 10 years on. All 3 of ours went to school within 2 weeks of moving in! We were told we had get them in a routine. They started just before easter then had 2 week break and then back again. They were in reception, year 1 and year 3.
Although we had no problems, at home or school, with hindsight and knowing what I know now, we would have kept them off until September. Our eldest struggled at times with control and emotions that we eventually realised were linked to attachment. He was at grammar school by then and we just pulled him out.
We ended up removing all 3 from school (all for different reasons) and home educated instead and wished we'd done it from the start. And that's with boys who were very well settled (considering).
The routine of school and an education will never compensate for attachment and a family. Get your family settled and attached and the rest will follow naturally (IMHO)
Hi Emily, as well as the attachment / secure foundations issues (which I agree with the other posters on), a big risk is that you won't be able to separate out behaviours. Without knowing what your child's "baseline" is, you won't be able to judge how they are coping with the changes and what is driving anxiety. So, for example, we put my son in nursery after 18 months at home with me. I recognised his anxiety triggers which can range from a blotchy torso to a full breakdown. Often, he will appear to behave totally typically even as the blotches take over his body - we know this means his stress levels are rocketing up. However he would continue to appear ok until maybe several days later when he regressed into more infant behaviours. You will be on the receiving end of the child's emotional impact but won't know if it's school, home, missing foster care, fear of abandonment. If you wait a little, you will better understand what's happening in your child's mind (3 years in and I'm only now confident I get his emotional reactions)
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