Cards on the Table

After the last blog post where I was waiting for a social worker to visit me on the Monday – they actually came on the Thursday!  No surprise really and that probably only happened because of my husbands skillful handling of phone calls and explainations.

Meanwhile, on the Monday, Biggey didn’t come home after school. School were so concerned about her they checked at4pm and asked me ring the police (again) and so we made yet another report of child missing. She rang home eventually from friends house and we collected her about 7pm.

On Tuesday whilst I was at work, school had rung hubby to say she had left school site and could he come.  It wasn’t even lunchtime. He had explain this to his boss too!  On his arrival at school, Biggey was back on school site but running rampage and managed to take a significant bite out of hubby when he tried to get her to car. As awful as this is, we were kind of pleased that school witnessed this.

Their final words were that they couldn’t cope with her in school and she should stay at home until after our (pre-planned) meeting on Thursday. Oh dear!!!!

Wednesday was difficult as both hubby and I were supposed to be working and in our type of work it’s not easy to just not go, to phone in sick or something else. Reluctant Grandparents stepped in from 25 miles away and juggled Biggey around caring for 90 year old Nanna.

Thursday arrived and so did two Social Workers. One from Safeguarding and one from Post Adoption. They were sorry that the Adopter Worker from last October was not available so sent someone else. Didn’t matter to me!  Turns out to be a bit of a result that we got this lady. She knew her stuff.  Saw us and Biggey could see the shame in Biggey straight away. I got Biggey to say a few words about how she was and what she thought of school. I then got Biggey to take puppy for walk. During that time I played them my videos of Biggey in meltdown. She totally got that we had a teen replaying early trauma. Yippee.   Poor Mr Safeguarding just sat and took notes!

We persuaded them to come along to the meeting at school that morning.

Later at school

12 of us squashed round the table (school were not expecting my entourage!). I’d even managed to get Camhs to come along too!  After introductions the new school Senco drafted outline of agenda.  I felt for her, she was new, was trying to make an impression. She would have done OK too, except recent events made this no ordinary review meeting.

I let her have about 5 minutes of her planned agenda the interrupted and explained that things had moved on significantly.

I played my videos, first of Littley saying how scared she was to live in our house at the moment. The second of Biggey in full meltdown. It lasted 50 seconds.  50 seconds until someone said can you turn it off.

I did turn it off. At the same time I pointed out that we are living with that noise, that violence, that aggression, that trauma, every single day. That particular episode lasted for over 3 hours the previous weekend and started again later in the day. I asked them to keep that sound in heir minds for duration of the meeting.

OK. So now I had their attention and I wasn’t about to let it go.

I reminded them that they had now said they couldn’t cope with Biggey. We were struggling to cope with Biggey. I wanted her at that school if they will still have her, yet we have to all acknowledge that she is struggling and currently plans are not working. I also pointed out that her Statement says it has concerns about whether she will manage Secondary school at all.

I was on a roll, I told them I was putting my cards in the table and it’s up to them to push back and tell me what can and cannot be done. (Deep breath)

She needs,

  • 2 days at school in higher support with specialist provision and more training of staff
  • 2 days in specialist therapeutic provision of (a local) farm school
  • 1 day at home with me to ensure time to re-connect / build attachment / work with Adoption support.

They nodded!  They bloody well nodded.

What? Really?  Surely it’s not that easy?

No, it’s not that easy!!

They did admit she is the most complex child they have ever had. (Wished they listened to me in first place then)

They also said its going to take time and need approval to get these things in place and that means protocol and red tape and Education Panels and places to be available. They did agree to make phone calls that day to speed things up.

In the meantime they will also request a provision for home tutoring (although home tutors do not tutor at home!!)  so that will need to be somewhere Biggey feels safe.  Libraries are often used apparently but may not be suitable for Biggey so I’m going to have to sort that out and pull some strings somewhere (slightly peeved that I have to sort that).

They have now asked that I go into school and talk to staff involved with Biggey – oh yes, that’s fine I said. (Slightly peeved that I offered last year and was told – by different people – that ‘it would not be appropriate’).

At my request, Adoption Support are going to begin an assessment in readiness for the Adoption Support fund rolling out in May.

I haven’t even mentioned the bits where I tweeted the Chief Exec of LA or emailed the Director of Children’s Services and Head of Special Needs.   I think they know who I am now. 

So the ball is rolling for change. A lot of this is what I asked for in October last year. Yet I asked different people with different evidence. Such a shame that it came to this.  So wrong that it all depends who you ask, when you ask, how you ask, how pushy you are and how bad it is.

That said, when schools go back on Monday after Easter holidays I have no idea where Biggey is supposed to go and I am probably left to sort that out myself too.

 

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9 thoughts on “Cards on the Table

  1. Wow, my heart goes out to you. You sound like a strong person who is doing her best for her child. I really hope that as you continue on this journey that people listen to you, take you seriously and offer you and your family the support you deserve and need. Thank you for sharing your experience.

  2. I could have written this about our 14 ys old adopted daughter 12 months ago – we were having the same behaviour at school and home and trying to juggle jobs and endless meetings. The secondary school said they could not cope with her and to be quite frank neither could we. She was continually running away, stealing and drinking and mixing with all sorts of people, she was very vulnerable and we were extremely concerned about her safety.
    We eventually managed to find her a small private school for children with emotional and behavioral issues where she is weekly boarding and paid for by LA. Its been the making of her and us as a family – the staff are excellent and our dd feels safe and listened to.
    I do sympathise with you its really tough and i hope you can sort out appropriate schooling for yr dd soon.

    • Thank you so much for commenting and sharing your experience. I’m pleased to hear you got something sorted that suits you all. It gives me strength and hope to keep going.

  3. Thank you so much for sharing this. I think using videos to show professionals the reality of your experience is a great idea – we’ve used audio recordings of J (6) talking about self-harming and that has been helpful. I really think it helps change the conversation from abstract pontification about the issues to ‘how are we going to help with this?’ Am cross on your behalf at the amount of stuff they leave you to work out for yourself. Hope you see meaningful results from the professionals soon.

    • Thank you. I share my experiences because I want people to share ideas and ways that are effective, also that others in similar situations know its not just us! Sadly we need to be drastic to get results.
      I appreciate you reading and sharing your experience too. X

  4. I am in awe of how you handled your meeting. Despite knowing what we need to say to professionals, sometimes it’s just not possible, especially if you’ve not gotten anywhere before. Well done for managing to get your points across, and get the support Biggey needs – I hope they can meet those needs sooner rather than later.

    Thanks for linking to #WASO

    • Thanks. I think it’s a case of having had a lot of practice (sadly). It’s also that I was fuelled by a general fed-up-ness of sitting in meetings and things not really following through!
      Not much happening yet and I will keep posting updates.
      Thanks for reading and commenting. Bigger thanks for running WASO xx

  5. Pingback: My Adoption Statistics | Adopting Safe Mummy Ways

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