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Really worried(7 Posts)
I've been looking into adoption for a couple of years - just doing a bit of research and reading this board etc.
I have to save up and get a better job which is why I haven't actually started the application process, but I have been to a few adoption events and am pretty certain I want to adopt.
I find myself so worried about what is happening to all those vulnerable children that were under the supervision of social services before corona, or as the situation is evolving and continuing, should be under the supervision of social services.
I read that only 5% of vulnerable children are going to school - how on earth are social workers managing to try to keep these child safe during lockdown?
I might seem weird, but as I hope to adopt in 2-3 years time and am probably looking at age 3-5 (based on a social workers recommendation to me as I will need to return to work at least PT) then the child I will/might adopt has already been born and is already potentially in danger - I feel stupidly upset by this, and I worry for the consequence of this lockdown on that generation of vulnerable children, they are missing out on school/nursery and other social activities which their birth parents might normally have been capable of providing them? At least at school/nursery they will have been fed and if they required medical treatment that would be noticed.
Am I catastrophizing? Or under-estimating?
I know social workers are still working. Children in CIN or CP plans will HAVE to be seen by a social worker whether that’s via video link or in person. The statutory duties of social services have not changed. There will still be the team around the child meetings with professionals held via Microsoft office or zoom.
Also you need to consider that not all children on child in need plans are there due to neglect- some are there due to severe SEN or medical issues and it’s about supporting the family to get the help they need such as respite or referrals to relevant therapists.
children who were under supervision of SWs are still under supervison, that hasn't changed.
The definition of vulnerable children for these purposes is drawn very broadly, including all children who have an EHC plan or attend special schools, have medical issues. My son was offered a place because he has an EHCP, I declined it because he is not vulnerable.
I do share your concerns about what may be happening to some children, but to be honest the child that you end up adopting, well that won't be because the parents didt provide them with social activities, going to school or nursery is no guarantee that children will be protected. Plenty of children already slip through the nets.
Its really not uncommon for people to adopt children who had already been born and were being neglected when they started their processs.
Looking at the big picture, I don't think you are wrong to have concerns as such, but the only reason you get to adopt at all is because a child has been abused or neglected. Sadly, that is the reality.
The currect crisis will end, the real issue is the long standing chronic underfunding of children's services, overloaded social workers and the impact of austerity, Covid is just one more thing to deal with.
There were a few different parts to your worries but what resonated with me was your realization that the child you might adopt may well be born already.
I had that very same realization a while ago and it did really upset me. The idea that a child I would eventually love, one that would need me to be a different sort of parent due to their start in life, was potentially living that trauma right in that moment was just horrible.
I didn't let myself dwell on it. Partly because it wasn't a useful way to think and partly because it wasn't necessarily true.
I just wanted you to let you know you weren't alone in that feeling.
Thanks for the replies.
I am not an overly anxious person, probably the opposite if I'm honest! These replies have reassured me that social work is still continuing.
I also didn't realise that children with a ECHP were classed as vulnerable, which explains the high rate of absenteeism - I guess a lot of parents are managing at home, particularly if they have been furloughed.
Thanks for understanding hot, and yes ted of course I understand that a child is only available for adoption because they have been neglected. It's still upsetting. In an ideal world we wouldn't need adoption.
I have heard that for many adopters to hear the case file about their adopted child is the hardest part of the adopting process. I think it's quite a natural response to empathise, even if I haven't met the children who are suffering right now.
@terrigrey I don't think you were being particularly over anxious. Adoption is a big thing, its natural to have worries and fears and its ok to express and explore those feelings. Having been on various forums for about 12 years, generally I think its the people who are over confident who do less well.
Whilst on an intellectual level you know things, like hotwaterbottle said, its when you start engaging with things on an emotional level that it hits you. Yes it is hard reading about the things children have experienced, but thats also where your parent instincts can really kick in. I just wanted to scoop my son up and run away with him.
Children with EHCps are not necessarily vulnerable, in the sense of being at risk . Don't forget DfE is responding rapidly to an emergency situation, ( I work in DfE) there really wasnt time to finesse the criteria. My son is vulnerable in some respects, but not at risk. We are concerned about the low take up, though its probably not really surprising.
It’s not at all surprising that parents who were already struggling wouldn’t be managing to get their kids to school in a time of societal crisis. Social workers are still very much working and many of the processes used to keep children safe have been adapted and legal processes changed to accommodate the current climate. The reality though is that some children will be having a very hard time, home isn’t a safe place for too many children and some of those homes that were just managing will be tipped into not coping at all.
As @Ted27 says though the bigger issue is the long term, systematic underfunding of child protection teams who were overstretched before this case along. Public perception means that no one is clashing SWs heroes or clamouring for increased funding. Schools can play a big role in holding children safe but social workers are still doing their thing.
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