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A question that I hope you can help me with

(9 Posts)
TheLastNameLeft Mon 20-Nov-17 14:43:25

Hello Adoption Board, I am shortly going for a job interview with an agency which offers Adoption Support, for which I have to do a presentation. I would really appreciate if anyone can take five minutes to answer what sort of support needs do Adoptive families have? I have a fairly good idea myself having worked with children and families for a number of years but I thought it would be helpful to actually hear some real post-adoption experiences. I hope this is ok and thanks in advance for any responses smile

OP’s posts: |
donquixotedelamancha Mon 20-Nov-17 16:56:57

That is a very big question. Perhaps a better question would be 'what help could the agency provide'? There isn't enough money anywhere in the system for the intense support needed by the most struggling parents and the needs of adoptive parents (and more importantly children) vary wildly. Most of the stuff you suggest needs to be easy wins that are already best practice elsewhere, not pie in the sky stuff.

Could you specify a bit more about the role; e.g. Are we talking about a VA supporting it's own adopters? What exactly would you be doing?

JustHappy3 Mon 20-Nov-17 19:47:48

I'd have a chart and split into 4 - Top half emotional support, bottom half - practical support. One half parents one half kids. That should cover the kind of support needed.
I'd stick money under practical - finding out about eligible funding and signposting websites etc that guide you how to fill it in.
Emotional for me is just someone to reassure that i'm doing a good job.
Emotional for my ad is access to psychologistsor working with school etc
Emotional for birth sibling is similar and worth noting.
Etc etc

Kr1st1na Tue 21-Nov-17 15:09:23

Hi last name

I suggest that you read through the various threads on this board, they will help you find out what needs adopters and adoptees have post placement . There are probably hundreds on threads going back years : it’s a great resource and I’m sure you will find it helpful.

If you have any specific questions I’m sure MNers will do their best to answer them. As Don Quixote said, it’s quite a big issue and I’m sure you are not expecting adoptive parents to write your interview answer for you smile.

Good luck with your application .

TheLastNameLeft Wed 22-Nov-17 16:37:23

Thank you all for the responses, much appreciated. Just to expand the question posed was a specific question from the agency itself (for me to answer) I am already aware that this is a massive issue that cannot be covered in a 10 min presentation, I just wanted to be able to state within the interview that i had asked real people for their experiences, recent experiences being the most important factor as I haven't worked in this area for 9 months.

I have had a few responses that have been helpful and sorry if anyone thought or felt I wanted to go more in depth than what their adoption agency offered, maybe I should have worded it that way? anyway, sorry again but thank you also for your time. Best wishes all X

OP’s posts: |
TheLastNameLeft Wed 22-Nov-17 16:38:04

My interview is next week so I'll let people know if they want?

OP’s posts: |
JustHappy3 Wed 22-Nov-17 17:37:07

One other thing worth saying is that the family doesn't always know or can articulate what they need. I said i was struggling and finding things hard. Social workers have been amazing in listening, reassuring, helping me to see and being so supportive. What i thought i needed wasn't actually. I'm very grateful.
Also i'm realising that for middle class professional people asking for help is second nature. It's always been met with a positive reception and going on training courses is a norm. There's nothing to fear. I can see that's not the case for everyone - people i've met on post adoption training courses with SGOs and kinship orders seem to have struggled through for much longer. There's definitely work to be done in letting people know there's support if they need it and most people do.
Finally from my very personal perspective i hate the phone anyway plus my ad screams if i pick it up. Can help be accessed by text/email? A breezey "just ring" deflates me every time.

Kr1st1na Wed 22-Nov-17 18:53:17

Just to expand the question posed was a specific question from the agency itself (for me to answer) I am already aware that this is a massive issue that cannot be covered in a 10 min presentation, I just wanted to be able to state within the interview that i had asked real people for their experiences, recent experiences being the most important factor as I haven't worked in this area for 9 months

Yes I understood that. I used to work in a large health authority and every year we got dozens of letters from school pupils/ students saying

“ I’m doing a project on health and I wonder if you could please answer the following questions ...”

Followed by the questions their tutor / teacher had asked them to research and write about.

So I recognise the format.

donquixotedelamancha Mon 27-Nov-17 19:33:26

Hopefully I've not come back to late. I understood the question (and don't mind contributing to your interview) but was hoping for some more specifics. To chuck some general ideas in:

- Provide lots of opportunities for adopters to meet up: Have a christmas do. Have experienced adopters who can make links with newer ones. Outdoor activity days can be fab.
- Provide a list of acronyms and of useful organisations. Try not to use jargon or assume knowledge.
- Put up to date, specific info about the support you provide, and how to access it on a website.
- Put courses on at the weekend as well as during the week if possible.
- Use the support provided by other organisations as a force multiplier: make sure you know how to access stuff like the Open Nest and actually help people apply as opposed to vague signposting.
- Be able to fight for extra support for those parents who really need it. Getting money out of LAs and the ASF can be really hard- expertise and support can make a big difference.
- Have links with (or on staff) qualified teachers who have expertise in adoption and can help navigate the education system and provide pedagogic support as well as practical understanding of behaviour management in schools.

Good luck. Let us know how you do.

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