Our journey began a few years ago now.
We attended an event with multiple agencies. After the presentation we decided that this was the best path for us to go down and we saw a social worker. Months went by and then finally our agency approached us.
We went through months of visits and meetings. On the day we went to the adopter approval panel there was uncertainty if it would be delayed as something on my file came up they wanted more information on. It was nothing serious but it was not spoken about until that day because our social worker didn’t think it was a problem but the panel chair insisted they know more.
In this time we were left for hours! Not knowing if we would get into panel or not. At one point we thought ah its not worth the stress and we were ready to walk out. We waited and finally we got the go ahead to go into panel. It was a unanimous approval.
Months went by not hearing anything from our social worker, we attended an event that had multiple authorities and shared an interest about 2 with our social worker. We had been approved for a 2-3 year old but the children we had shared were 5. Our social worker said oh i didn’t realise you would go up to that age but from the start we said up to 10 years old. It just shows how much they listen.
Later that day she rang and said i have this child age 5 and told us the story. Instantly we fell in love! This was without a photo, we told her to go ahead and put us forward for matching. It seemed to take forever to get to matching panel, on the way to panel i get a phone call, there is another issue again nothing major. Form this point on we felt victimised by our social worker. Panel all agreed it was a perfect match.
We attended meeting after meeting. Our social worker put it out there that the foster carer was religious and may not like us as a gay couple. We met the foster carer at a meeting to find out more about our child. This was not the case at all we got on like a house on fire! Dates were agreed and we went to our final meeting the day of introductions. Our social worker left that day. The feelings we experienced on the way to the foster carers house were crazy. We could barley breath with the nerves and anticipation. What if our child doesn’t like us?! I think it may have been the longest drive we have ever done! We arrived at the house to find ourselves stuck to the seats in the car. We couldn’t face moving with the fear!Eventually we got out the car and walked up to the door of the house. The foster carer opened the door and there our child was waiting for us. Introductions went really well. We learned fast about what triggers were. It was exhausting travelling back and forth every day, but it was worth it.
2 months had gone by after our child had moved in and there was an uncontrollable accident that required surgery. That phone call to social services was one i thought i would never have to make. At this point our honeymoon period was over, our child has issues with control so you can imagine that after this accident for months the control had to be taken from them and given to us as the parent. Our child started to push the boundaries and push the buttons we never knew we had. Months went by injuries healed and behaviour improved.
We put our application into court we were so excited! This was authorised by everyone while our new social worker was on the case. She left after advising that we should apply to court and we got our original social worker back. Then a month or so went by with a really bad patch of behaviour issues. Social services decided that we would have a discussion about removing our application until things had calmed down. We obviously said no and said we will talk more about it at the meeting. We got into the meeting and they said we have contacted court and removed your application. We sat there in amazement! You have done what?! How dare they do that! That’s for us to do not them! We had no choice but to agree with them at this point.
We are just over a year into placement now and we have just been allowed to put our application into court again!We have our fair share of extreme mood swings and violent behaviours. We reach out for help and get none ie CHAMS as we are pretty sure our child is autistic and may also have ADHD. Social services put a block on this as they thought CHAMS was not the right team for an adopted child. Now to me that’s them trying to stop us finding something out that we dont know about our child that they do know. They are stopping a diagnosis of something that once known things can be done to help our child a lot more. Surely this is a safeguarding issue? The only thing that instigated help was when our parents contacted social services themselves to air their opinion about it all and demanding we get the help we deserve and need as there was a risk we could have sent our child back into care without the support from social services. Extreme i know but it got us the help we needed. We are now getting direct theraplay therapy.
Our application has now gone back into court. Our child cant tell a story how it was, things get added and things get taken away and at times it can cause some serous issues. To cut a long story short our child was in another incident and got hurt. He put himself in danger and one of us grabbed him to prevent injury and gt a scratch. Our child told school a different story to what happened and we were reported to safeguarding. The child’s social worker visited under safeguarding visit protocol. We were told nothing for over 24 Hours, we were at our whits end with it. It was totally not acceptable that we were left for that long! Kids dont know what words can actually do and the power they have. Everything was fine in the end and our child was spoken to about how words can have big impacts on families.
******* The next topic i am going to cover is schools. How they don’t and refuse to understand looked after and adopted children. They are thrown the tools needed but refuse to actually put the time and effort in to learn. *******