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(20 Posts)
SLIMEWORKERS Fri 12-Oct-18 22:28:10

A Victorian system that requires major overhaul.
Desperate parents2be sign up and are ill informed that family members are exempt from the intrusive assessment that you’ve been subjected to!
Birth family/friends don’t have to be related to the child and it’s too risky, this process is not about the kids and never has been!
All the hypocritical attachment training is thrown back in your face when a dinosaur of the child’s disfunctial family is laid the red carpet by social services.
❤️ Love has been replaced by robot workers ticking the correct boxes at the expense of a secure family for yet another vulnerable child✅
1) Ask many questions before having your heart and soul ripped out!
2) “you knew what you where sighing up for’

OP’s posts: |
0rlaith Fri 12-Oct-18 23:12:54

Have you had a bad experience of Foster to Adopt ? You sound very upset and angry.

Yellowflowersgreengrass Sat 13-Oct-18 07:54:31

I think you are talking about a very small number of cases. I know 2 families who successfully did foster to adopt. We were advised of all the risks and that is why we decided not to do it. We were fully informed. I find your (extremely generalised) post actually very offensive. “Robot worker”? What a horrid thing to say. The social workers I came across put their heart and soul into it. You will always get rogues but the majority do what they do because they care, not because it is a box ticking exercise.

0rlaith Sat 13-Oct-18 08:06:23

The problem with FtA is that the statistics don’t matter if it’s you. You are either 100% happy bevause you get to keep the child. Or 100% devastated because you lose the child.

So it doesn’t matter that it works out in x % of cases, if you are that person who loses the child. One they felt was THEIR child.

It’s easy to be objective and logical about FtA if you haven’t lost a child and known that heartbreak. It’s a bit like saying to someone whose spouse has just died

“Oh well, you/knew that was a risk when you got married to a man 5 years older than you. Statically he was always going to die first. You were fully informed “ . Or

“ When your child was diagnosed with cancer they were given one year to live and they had two years so don’t be upset, you were fully informed “ . Or

“ One third of marriages end in divorce , stop crying because you knew the risk when you walked up the aisle “.

Everyone hopes that they will be the ones it works out for. You are allowed to be upset and angry when it doesn’t.

topcat2014 Sat 13-Oct-18 09:08:37

I hear you, OP. We ruled out Fta when on the training day - after hearing from an adopter whose first child had been returned.

All credit to anyone who can see themselves doing it though.

Thepinklady77 Sat 13-Oct-18 18:41:57

Op if this has happened to you please feel free to reach out to me by private message. I have been there and returned a child. We did know the risks, a very wise social worker said to us in the early days when we were considering f2a (concurrency) it does not matter what the percentage is of children who return what you need to know is if you are one of the small minority that have to support a child returning home could you do it. We thought long and hard and realised through our strong faith if that happened we would be able to handle it. When it happened and we were supporting the rehabilitation of our gorgeous lo who had been with us for 9 months our hearts broke but like we thought our faith helped us to see that this was right for the child. We are way down the line now and we are still in touch with the lo and their family and we are very much at peace with the situation. We do not dispute that they are in the right place. Yes undoubtedly had they still been with us they would have had very different life experiences but that does not mean they should have stayed.

F2a was designed with the child at the centre. It takes the risk of multiple losses away from the child and puts it on the adults who are in a stronger place to handle it. For some little ones if they remained in foster care while their future was being decided they may well face multiple moves. Early permanence without a doubt is best for the children at the centre of it. I know many people who have done foster to adopt and due to an advocacy role I have in my local area I am in a strong position to advocate for or against it. From what I have seen the difficulties that arise for adopters/carers in foster to adopt are with social workers lack of understanding of the role of foster to adopt and the carers, poor communication of proceedings and a lack of transparency throughout. More needs to be done in many LA’s to train all staff who are involved in child protection and family intervention. A specific training/prep course also needs to be rolled out in every LA to ensure adopters have a clear understanding of the process, the pitfalls and the possible end goals at the outset. This appears to be very hit or miss across LA’s. With all of this in place adopters should be equipped to better handle the rollercoaster that they will be on. It will not take away the heart ache that they will experience if the child has to leave their care but it should make it easier to navigate through.

OP please reach out to me if you think I can be of help to support you through what I know will be a heartbreaking time of grief.

Yellowflowersgreengrass Sat 13-Oct-18 19:07:25

*The problem with FtA is that the statistics don’t matter if it’s you. You are either 100% happy bevause you get to keep the child. Or 100% devastated because you lose the child. *

Hmm, yes, a tad patronising. I completely agree...Exactly why we said no to doing it!

Cassie9 Sat 13-Oct-18 19:57:48

I'm so sorry for your loss. It sounds like you have had a terrible experience with foster to adopt.

Italiangreyhound Sat 13-Oct-18 21:18:29

SLIMEWORKERS I am so sorry for what you have been through.

We met a family who had to give back a child, this was a relinquished child and was not, as far as I know, foster to adopt. It was very difficult and terribly hard I am sure.


Lambingtime Sat 13-Oct-18 22:15:48

I am so sorry for your loss. Unfortunately we too had a FTA placement return to family. The pain was absolutely dreadful! As you said heart and soul ripped out. We just loved her so so much and it came out of the blue. We were her parents for nearly 18 months. It is so so hard! If you lose a child through bereavement people come and bring flowers, they send cards. You have suffered the same grief but in many ways society does not recognise it. I was back at work after adoption leave so I was expected to return to my job really quickly. It has been nearly a year and we haven't seen our little one. I often wonder does she think about us. Does she miss us. She was older and had really settled with us. Honestly so so hard. One year later and at times I still struggle. If I can be of any help please feel free to pm me.

Thepinklady77 Sat 13-Oct-18 22:53:43

Lambingtime you are right in what you say about the grief being the same as the death of a child but without the public mourning. I remember the day after our lo went looking at my husband and trying to figure out what to do with our day. I said “if they had died our house would be filled with people right now!” But as it was the phones lay silent and the door remained closed. People just did not know how to react.

Op allow yourself time to grieve and go through the natural grieving stages. The hardest part for me was the telling people. A death the news tends to get out there. For me for months I was telling people who just thought it was awful that this lo should have been removed from such a loving and caring home. These comments are not helpful. It is draining. Perhaps seek counselling. If you want to get in touch my pm I can put you in touch with a counsellor who is from a social work background who has supported a number of f2a carers who have returned a child home. She will consult by telephone so geography does not matter. The key to counselling is getting someone who understands the process you have just gone through as opposed to just a general counsellor whom you will have to explain the process to before they get it.

Thepinklady77 Sat 13-Oct-18 23:04:58

Lambingtime you have my sympathy, our saving grace was the fact that we were able to remain involved with the lo and we saw them quite regularly. We were reassure that they were well and that they were not left thinking we had abandoned them. I can’t imagine how it would have been if the day they went was the last time we saw them. Even with that and the fact that they are still in our lives today three plus years later the grief still occasionally hits me like a sack of potatoes. Expect to have times of grief for a long time to come. We have since adopted two beautiful children and we can see how they were meant to be in our lives but were not ready for us when we did f2a. Had the lo stayed we would not have them. Parenting our first LO was the training we needed to be able to survive the early days of our now children’s placement with us. It all fitted together for a purpose. You may not see right now why you had to go through this but in time you hopefully you will come to a point where you can see how it fits together and bring a sense of peace.

incywincybitofa Sun 14-Oct-18 01:28:16

The judiciary hate f2a because they feel it is SWS trying to preempt their proceedings. Ultimately the family courts decide whether a child should be freed for adoption. Generally SWs are arguing yes the birth family are arguing no. F2a has been seen at times as SW trying to get the upper hand on child welfare without supporting the legal concept of the best interests of the child being served by being raised within their birth family. This concept is open to interpretation as being in the child's best interests but outside of loving adoption and foster placements there has been further work with children adolescents and adults raised away from their birth family it's a fragile and complex area, but the concept isn't plucked from thin air.
Adoption must always be the best resort after all other resorts have been exhausted. We as adopters owe it to our children to make sure we are the very best people to be their parents and we deserve to know through think and thin and all the crao many of us go through we are the very best for them
We had a po disrupted 48 hours before matching panel and both of mine have had unsuccessful birth families contest adoption orders. It has been horrific so I do get a fraction of what it is like a f2a placement shouldn't be used to divert the process all of our children have to go through to find the best possible parents of their childhood taking into account a broad range of factors beyond our control

Lambingtime Sun 14-Oct-18 10:42:33

Congratulations Thepinklady77 on your successful adoption. In our case the birth family were treated very unfairly by SS and in our hearts we know the child is in the best place for her. Incywincybitofa - you are right adoption has to be the last resort. However I think SS need to be careful who they place in FTA and provide support for adopters IF the child returns to birth family. We had no support whatsoever and felt very used by SS. That is so wrong as we made such a difference to that little girl's life. We built an attachment and she learnt to trust adults again.

We are at the stage due to our ages of giving up on adoption and that is very very hard......

hidinginthenightgarden Sun 14-Oct-18 10:49:36

Unfortunately I agree.
I know of a few people who have done it successfully but of 3 families this year that have returned babies. It is heart breaking.

incywincybitofa Sun 14-Oct-18 11:07:52

Lambingtime what happened to you was wrong. The borough we adopted from didn't used to do concurrency or f2a because of the impact on adopters who would be told take this child, love them make them your own because in a few months to a year you might be able to make them yours forever but don't get too close because it could all go wrong.
How are prospective adopters inexperienced people supposed to balance that?

Lambingtime Sun 14-Oct-18 12:39:54

Incywincybitofa - You know the worst of it is that we had to try so so hard to build that attachment. We had no choice. We needed to get lots of services involved. We communicated with the school on a daily basis because of behaviour. We had her nearly 18 months and then nothing. Just absolute devastation. Promises are easy and banded about much too easily by SS. To them we served a purpose. We stabilised behaviour through our devotion to the child and then there was really no good reason why she should stay with us rather than go to kinship. The birth family were determined and we respect that! Not to have her in our lives is heartbreaking. But until SS take on some duty of care to adopters our experience will be repeated.

incywincybitofa Mon 15-Oct-18 14:04:29

Lambingtime I agree and I am sorry.18 months is a horrific amount of time to have her with you without being able to formalise the adoption.
Lots of children leaving FC have contact with the carers built into their plan, but this would be impossible in concurrency.
I am genuinely torn about this, I can see the benefits but whilst adoption is always the best interests of the child it doesn't mean you can just rip someone's heart out, if the best interests are deemed to be elsewhere. Also that child is moving into a family that everyone is hoping will be their forever home, that takes a lot of explaining and will need a lot of support to recover from.

Thepinklady77 Mon 15-Oct-18 14:21:00

Incywincy, you said “lots of children leaving foster care have contact with there foster cafe written into their plan but this would be impossible with concurrency”. It is not impossible and a good social work team will work to ensure that in the short term continued contact is written into the transition plan. When our lo went home ongoing contact was written into the plan for the first couple of weeks to aid transition but also to keep an attachment for the child should they end up needing to come back to us. Through this we built up a very positive relationship with their mum and three plus years on we see both of them very regularly. The child was not just suddenly abandoned by us and was able to transfer her attachment from us to mum with our support and permission. It worked beautifully. It is not impossible and with careful thought and planning very benificial.

Lambingtime Mon 15-Oct-18 16:54:15

Thepinklady77 - ongoing contact without doubt should be best practice. Unfortunately in our LA it is rarely if ever used. In our case the transition was easy as the child knew the family member really well and had a close bond. I had a very good relationship with the birth family. However I think it takes emotional maturity to accept that the child had formed an attachment to us and it would be of benefit to them to continue the relationship. In some ways perhaps we were seen as being part of the establishment. What makes it even more painful for us is that our child was school age and no doubt wonders why we disappeared from their life. More loss for children who have already experienced so much. I think SS have an 'out with the old and in with the new attitude'. This is applied not only to FTA but fostering in general. It is good to hear that innovative practice is in place. It is just a pity this couldn't be disseminated to other parts of the country.

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