Care and Support

  What is it about the system that is supposed to 

care and support

us, adopters and our children that ends up making things worse?

I know no-one can answer these questions and this may be totally rambling as I have neither time nor energy to create space in my head for this really. 

Biggey was 3 years 5 months old before being removed. They knew the mess going on the family for some time. In fact they knew when Littley was born. Some 22 months earlier, there was a load of emergency situations going on which meant Littley was born, and yet they put Littley right back into the family. Into a family already broken where it was heavily reported that there were huge issues; a family where Biggey was already suffering. What was that about?

What was it that meant they didn’t tell us all this? What was it that meant we only found out 8.5 years later that this was known and documented? How was that helpful to anyone?

Within 6 months of placement, when Littley was launching herself over the bannister, down the stairs, into busy roads, they still didn’t say. When we asked for help they said ask your GP for a referral to Camhs. That’s it. That’s the help.

At one year in they demanded the therapy was stopped because it was more important that Littley went to school. How is that helpful. 

At 18 months in they refused to support the adoption order and demanded a psychologist assessment of us. How did that help?  

At 4 years in when we asked to see the files they said “it will not be sensible”. What were they thinking?

At 6, 7, 8 years in when we asked for adoption support and they gave us leaflets. How is that helpful?

At 8.5 years when Biggey has been back in the care system, they’ve broken her, destroyed her self esteem, almost ruptured the only steady relationship she ever had (with us), and taken 7 months to agree to specialist schooling. How is that helpful?

7 months in 5 FC placements with 2 more schools which the LA had to PAY FOR – out of my council tax!!! Not helpful – a downright cheek (not to mention the cost to her mental health).

The FC rang last week to ask us for help. Biggey was smashing her room up. When I managed to speak to her she’d taken the broken mirror and cut her arms. It didn’t help her. 

Do you know what is helpful? When I called the SW last week and told them I was going to collect her from the FC. That she was staying with me – temporarily – until we find the next new school. The SW said

“Oh thank you so much, that’s really helpful”

Speechless 

So, Biggey has been with us a week. It’s been calm – ish. She has said she now knows that we are the ones who help her. The ones who are always there for her. The ones who really know what she needs. She feels safe with us. 

She gets eczema when she’s stressed. Her arms are red raw, it’s on her eyes, ears and even her scalp. Her head is so sore and itchy she thought she had nits but didn’t dare say. It probably reminded her of early days when (we recently found out) she had lice, scabies and impetigo. That must have been so uncomfortable. In fact uncomfortable is just not a strong enough word. 

She feels rubbish. Like no-one else wanted her or wanted to help her. Not helpful

She says she understands she needs a school that will help her. She wants to come home in the holidays, if we will let her. Now that would be helpful.

Did she (and we) have to go through all this to get the right kind of help and support?  It doesn’t make sense. 

Torn Apart by Trauma

TornApartBy Trauma

Biggey has been home for the weekend.  She’s been lovely.  Who would know, if you saw her these last two days, what had been going on these last few weeks.  Our family are torn apart by trauma.  This is the effect of adoption breakdown, disruption, lack of understanding, poor support, trauma, neglect, abuse and learning difficulties.

She’s been going wild, completely uncontrollable, running away, staying out with ‘friends’ all night, abusive and violent.  One person said she’s feral. She’s now suspended again from school and this time I don’t think the school will have her back.  The FC can’t cope and has been asking for more support and better intervention since November and still nothing.  I know how she feels.  I reckon the FC is going to insist on moving her too.

The authority are supposed to be looking at a special needs residential school. Finally!  We asked for this before the breakdown even happened; then again in August, September, December ….. There aren’t many of these types of schools in the country, they could be absolutely anywhere and even if they find one, they will need to do an assessment of Biggey to ensure they can actually accommodate her, her needs and that she will fit with the children they already have. That’s a big ask.  The LA are dragging their feet – probably because it costs a lot of money.

During This Breakdown Period

We’ve been accused of

  • spoiling her (with holidays and a pop concert!)
  • punishing her (by not sending her horse riding gear)
  • giving in too easily (when she was angry)
  • not putting firm boundaries in (when she ran away)
  • being angry (with social workers)
  • being too fussy and anxious (with Biggey and Littley)

and of course, the one we all wait for ………….

have you tried sticker charts?

She’s 14!!!   She has had 5 Foster Care placements in 7 months and missed so much school she’s 2 years behind.

How Does She Feel?

We had a chat with her this weekend and here’s what we discovered (these are her words):

She didn’t like staying out all night, she was cold and bored but daren’t say no in case her ‘friend’ dumped her.

The school don’t want her because she has a statement.  There are worse kids there,  just they don’t want to help her.

She’s sick of people sitting around talking about her like she’s not there (at review meetings).  It makes her feel useless, rubbish and that no-one wants her.

She wants to come home, she misses us, she misses someone caring and listening to her but she’s worried she’ll keep exploding and ruin everything.

She really wishes her SW would stop asking her if she wants to see her birth parents, it frightens her, they are not safe, they hurt her and she thinks the SW will tell them where she is.

Well, that’s a sad set of statements and all completely understandable.  Whilst I don’t agree with the way she is behaving and responding I can totally see the reason she is doing it – it’s textbook responses.

  • I’ll push you away before you push me away.
  • I’ll destroy this before you take it away.
  • If you think I’m rubbish I’ll show you that.
  • I’m actually really frightened but the explosions look like angry ‘choices’

So What Do We Do?

I daren’t bring her back home because the Social Workers are likely to leave us to cope with the mess of her trauma, along with Littley.  I don’t want her wandering the streets at night, she’s a prime target for exploitation.  I don’t want her to be moved again, and then again to a residential if they find one.

What a bloody mess.  No doubt I’ll be awake through another night and then spend most of tomorrow on the phone.

In other news

Littley has a horrid cold, sore throat and temperature.  She thinks she’s going to die because she’s poorly so that brings its own tantrums and challenges caused by fear and flashbacks to early life reminders.  The good news is that as she’s older I can get some adult medicine down her which seems to numb things for a few hours before it all kicks off again!

She was off school on Friday and is not going to get there tomorrow.  That will bring more issue when school talk to her about her attendance – that’ll be the least of our worries!

Thank god for half term coming up

and oodles of Prosecco!