It’s been a hell of a week and we’ve been increasing the adoption statistics.
I wrote a couple of weeks ago about I Can’t Believe It but this is the biggest time of disbelief I’ve ever had.
A while ago Julie Selwyn published Beyond the Adoption Order. The report showed that children from adoption and foster care who were most likely to become disruptive were
- Children aged 11 and up
- Who had come into care aged over four or over and
- Those who experienced delays and multiple placements.
The reality in our family is:
- She’s 13 and we’ve been struggling for ever really but definitely since starting secondary school at age 11! Tick!
- She went into care at 3 years 6 months- almost a tick
- She wasn’t placed with us until she was 5 years 7 months after 3 foster placements and a previously matched family who backed out at last minute. Oh I think that’s a big tick!
The report also talks about the harsh reality for the minority of families where placements collapsed under the strain with too little support from social services and adoption agencies.
Our Support History
Within the first 6 months of being placed with her sister we had running away, kicking, biting, punching, spitting and more. Our local (very good at the time) CAMHS psychologist told us they should not have been placed together! The placing LA told us it’s both or none. We delayed the adoption order to try and ensure we had the right support in place. It didn’t help in the end. The placing LA social workers were so obstructive that I began to wonder what their real priority was – helping the children or covering their backs?
We got no support, so paid privately for therapy. That business is now recognised provider under the Adoption Support Fund. Therapy helped and we discovered just how desperately and horridly neglected and abused my girls were. This came from their therapy, not from files and LA information. When we got to the really big stuff she got so violent that we were asked to leave! So therapy stopped.
Skip forward to the last two years when I started writing this blog. The list of blogs which highlight the issues, struggles and fights I’ve had to get support. All this takes effort and there have been times when I have to decide where my efforts need to go and I stopped doing blogs for a bit or stopped fighting for a bit.
In the last two years – since she was 11 (there’s that statistic again) her violence and difficulty have escalated and escalated.
She already regularly attacks me which I’ve written about in Child to Parent Violence. She’s re-enacting everything from birth family and she totally hates her birth mum and what she did yet now, that is being played out again but directed at me.
She’s threatening her little sister and that’s scary – for her and us. She carries out most of her threats these days.
School (her second secondary school) have said they can’t cope and even though I put my cards on the table with suggestions she ended up under the PRU- Pupil Referral Unit (for those who don’t know – that’s the school where children go if excluded or with severe emotional / behavioural issues when all other schools cannot have them).
Even when I am working with the Local Authority to try and get City-wide help for all adopted children in school, it hasn’t been fast enough for Biggey.
Part of the answer for schooling was to leave her home with me Monday morning and All day Friday’s! Didn’t help us at all. Where an entire school of staff cannot cope, the little alone me is supposed to! Its ridiculous.
We have repeatedly asked for support and mostly been offended by their responses. The latest request in March was a bit more successfully and we thought change would be coming when we persuaded Social Services to allow us to apply for the Adoption Support Fund (even to get to that was a struggle). I’ve repeatedly told our SW we are struggling, we need respite only to be told it’s not available under the ASF. I don’t care who provides it – we need it. No-one listening.
Earlier this week she stropped, kicked off and ran away (again). We found her, got her home but still violent and aggressive. I escalated (again) through Social Services and eventually two Social Workers came.
They asked her what she wants. She wants to go into care. She’s asked this before, several times.
The SW offered to see her daily if necessary to help her and us. Where was that when I was on my knees? When I kept asking for it? No matter, Biggey was adamant, we are knackered / traumatised / worn out and same as last September, wondering Why Bother?
So there we have it. We met the final statistic.
Placements collapse under strain with too little support from social services and adoption agencies.
She’s in “voluntary care whilst our family is in crisis” they said. I don’t know how long for, I don’t know what will happen next.
It’s calmer and quieter in the Safehouse, although Littley is still terrified Biggey will be home any day now to carry out the violent threats. I don’t know where this leaves us except feeling sad, let down, disappointed and failed.