This is my first post on the forum. Hello everyone and I want to apologise in advance for what is likely to be a long post 😄
I'm hoping for some advice and guidance. I have an 8 year old (nearly 9) adopted son who was placed with us six years ago. He is a wonderful boy who is often genuinely lovely, but he has some very significant issues. He suffers from Attachment difficulties and problems with Sensory Integration. There are also strong indicators that he suffered sexual abuse whilst living with his birth family. He may have a secondary disorder such as ADHD, although this has not been diagnosed.
All of this translates into some pretty shocking anti social behaviour which include an obsession with weapons, a complete inability to regulate himself emotionally and sexualised behaviours both at home and at school. Due to his obsession with weapons, we have to keep any dangerous items under lock and key and at all times. He has threatened to stab me or cause harm to himself on many occasions. He has brought knives into school and on one occasion he threatened our neighbours children with a screwdriver. We also have to look at innocuous items and assess their capacity to be turned into weapons. For example, pencils, paperclips and pencil sharpeners also need to be locked away as he will use pencils to stab, he will unravel paperclips into a sharp piece of wire and he will remove the blade from a sharpener. We cannot keep photos in a glass frame, as he will smash to glass to obtain a lethal shard. The list of things that my son can make dangerous is endless, and frankly we can't keep on top of it. He needs significant therapeutic interventions to overcome his issues and if he doesn't receive the help he needs soon, it is a foregone conclusion that he will cause genuine and significant harm to another human being. This is more than a likelihood. I would say it is a certainty.
His sexualised behaviours have also escalated. His school have created a report containing a long list of sexualised behaviours he has been displaying there for nearly a year and these behaviours include exposing himself and touching others genitals (both pupils and staff), but recently those behaviours have gained traction at home as well. Pretty much every day I have to stop my son from either trying to touch my private parts, or trying to force my hand down to touch his. I can now only have a shower when my son is not around or when my husband is available to guard the bathroom door, otherwise my son will unlock the door from the outside and barge in. When going to the toilet, I have to keep my foot against the door to stop him barging in. He needs help with this as well to prevent him posing a sexual threat to others as he gets older.
There is more. Pretty much every day since he was placed with us six years ago, he has physically attacked us. This wasn't so much of a problem when he was three, but he is now bigger and stronger and these days he does hurt us when he attacks. Now, after six years of domestic abuse and with the problems escalating, we are getting dangerously close to breaking point and our capacity to remain calm in face of it is rapidly deteriorating.
Two years ago when my son was 6, we got an psychological assessment done via the Adoption Support Fund (ASF) funding. However, the assessment wasn't done properly as the LA instructed the psychologist to do the assessment in half the usual time to reduce costs. Following that assessment, I then wanted to progress with therapy using a company called Family Futures, but the LA refused to refer us to Family Futures on the basis that they would be too expensive. So we found a cheaper alternative practice, and we progressed therapy with them. However, it did not go well. They did provide us with some excellent training in parenting techniques that have proven extremely helpful in containing our sons behaviour at home, but the actual therapy was a disaster and didn't help my son one bit. The therapist was not fully qualified in the therapy my son requires and was frankly out of her depth in dealing with his very complex issues. In short, the therapy was doing more harm than good, so after year we terminated therapy with that practice. This did not go down well with our LA.
We have since had another psychological assessment done for our son, and this time the assessment was done by Family Futures (the practice we originally wanted). However, their recommendations for therapy cost far in excess of the Adoption Support Fund fair access limits. The costs are estimated at around £30,000 for the total therapeutic package (i.e. not £30k per annum, but £30k in total). So we are now in a position where we need the local authority to match fund the surplus £25,000 with the Adoption Support Fund. However, our local authority have taken the position that they will not match fund under any circumstances. I had hoped that we might be able to suggest a three way funding partnership, whereby the match funding could be split 3 ways with us, the LA and the ASF, but it turns out that the Adoption Support Fund will absolutely not match fund with adoptive parents. They will only match fund with LA's. This is an insane position to take and it puts us in a terrible position, because we absolutely cannot afford to pay the full £30k for therapy. However, we probably could rustle up £8,500 if the therapy costs could be split 3 ways.
I don't know what to do here. Without this therapy my son will not improve, and given that he is fast approaching adolescence there is a very good chance that he will in fact get worse. I can clearly see a situation whereby in 3 or 4 years time, we are calling Social Services and asking them to remove our son from our home. It will then cost the LA £50k per year to keep him in care until he is 16. Yet here we are asking for a one off payment of around £12k (if the match funding is done entirely by the LA), yet they are taking the position that for financial reasons they will not match fund under any circumstances. I have considered offering to split the LA match fund on a 50:50 basis, so that the ASF pay £12K of the surplus and the other £12k is split between us and the LA, but I don't think they're going to go for it.
I'm sorry to send such a long post, but I have tried calling the Adoption Support Fund and our original Adoption Agency, but no one has been able to offer any helpful suggestions. I can literally see our family crumbling away before my eyes. Has anyone out there got any ideas?