Thanks Bop, Haven and Donatella. Bop, it sounds like you have been thru the mill with our colleagues ;-) (also sighs...) and perhaps its a bit of a lottery, depending on where you are. I completely agree about the assumptions made about our kids and the need to educate professionals, not just social workers. Sometimes professionals go the other way and try to normalise behaviours; if you don't see something, it isn't there. I would like to see PAS teams that listen to adoptive parents, that recognise that we are partners in trying to support our children, professionals who can recognise that we may be the experts on our child, professionals who are aware when they make value judgements and own that. In Adult services, users can access direct payments that allows them to be innovative in meeting their own needs and choosing the service that they want. Adoptive parents need a greater voice, we are separated, marginalised and often expected to put up with living conditions that are not acceptable, for example, child to parent violence. Ultimately adopters are the cheap option for society and if they struggle to manage, well they haven't done enough training, or therapeutic parenting or whatever. Sometimes I really question what we are being asked to do? Is it actually feasible, I'm not so sure? Sometimes I wonder, imagine you're a qualified therapist and I tell you I have this client here for you, you must live with this client and see them every day, you'll be doing intense theraputic work with them for about 8 hours of every day, you'll get no breaks, no supervision, you'll get the odd days training tho, you don't get to have any boundaries and you must provide unconditional positive regard for your client at all times, they may become violent or abusive towards you but you'll just have to manage that, but without causing any bruising etc because otherwise we'll need to investigate to see if you have abused your client, fancy the job? Any therapist worth their salt would tell you that this is inherently unsafe for the therapist and its not possible to work therapeutically like this. And yet how many of us do, day in and day out? Any therapist would tell you its really important for the therapist to have a life, have their needs meet, have boundaries, have time off etc. We talk about secondary trauma as adoptive parents, but are there any PAS teams out there that actually provide support to adoptive parents for this. We have lukewarm messages about looking after ourselves, how many of us would say that's a challenge on a daily basis? How many of us have sacrificed our mental well being for our child's mental well being? And why do we allow this to happen. I suspect that in a third of adoptions, adopters are being placed in an impossible relationship, one that is inherently unhealthy. I worry that what I role model to my son is putting up with an abusive and unhealthy relationship; if any other male treated me the way my son does I would be long gone, I would argue that would be the healthy choice!!
I complained to my LA, after they insisted on a S/W seeing my son for 5 minutes and then that S/W leaving that this further traumatised my son. The service manager offers for the new social worker to visit more frequently so that my son 'can form a relationship'. Does this not say it all, my son has an attachment disorder, he won't form a relationship with new social worker, he'll play games with new s/w and he'll be a lot more skilled at it than new social worker ;-)
Incidently, the attachment/ADHD/ASD thing is a challenge, my son presents with lots of symptoms of ASD but looking at the Coventry Grid I really do feel his is coming from the attachment side. I suspect that one day we will be much clearer that there is a biological basis to these all these disorders and that early abuse creates neurological damage that can cause all sorts of diagnosis like ASD, or bipolar etc.