We feel there needs to be a far greater appreciation of the impact of trauma, abuse, neglect, changes in care, and loss, on a child or young person. This appreciation and understanding will, we hope, lead to much needed changes in legislation, policy and practice, and will improve the lives of all our children, whether they are adopted or not.
Our campaigns evolve and emerge from our own experiences, as adoptive and special guardian families, and from our reflections on these experiences.
Some of our children are on the edge of care, or may have re-entered care again. The issues and difficulties we must deal with as families therefore have much wider relevance, and we hope that others that care for vulnerable children, will be interested in our work, and offer their support.
- To be part of any change in terms of having dialogue that will lead to needs driven support and services
- Greater understanding of the impact of trauma and adoption issues from education, health and social care
- Parity for special guardians with adopters in terms of accessing services and support – we would like to see a Permanence Board
- We would like to see a much stronger commitment to supporting our families, and a recognition that when our children re-enter care they are still part of our family.
- Help seeking for our children should be safe – this can be achieved through a crisis prevention/crisis support approach rather than child protection/risk management, which sees us as part of the risk
- Whole family support not division of parent and child. A recognition that our stress and emotional health and that of our children are connected.
- Policy infrastructure and legislation designed for the needs of our children and families
- Legal reform in regards to Section 20 and threshold for Section 31 Care Orders – our children should not have to re-enter care to get respite and the threshold of ‘Beyond Parental Control’ is problematic for obvious reasons
- Improved recognition of trauma related neuro-disability and sensory processing difficulties, and including autism and FAS.
- Adoption Support Fund and Match Funding, for all Special Guardian/Adopted Children throughout the UK, till the age of 24, if needed – we also feel that rigorous formal policy evaluation is needed of this fund, to see if it is sufficient and effective, and to identify potential gaps and problems.
- Assessment of a child’s and family’s needs at placement by a paediatrician and psychiatrist, with recommendations
- Use of language and terminology that is accurate and appropriately sensitive. We would prefer to see the term ‘child re entering care’, instead of disruption or breakdown, which are too loaded and can prevent consideration to reunification being given as an ultimate goal, achievable or not.
- Better financial support to take into account changing circumstances and challenges of parenting/caring from a distance.
- Proper support for the parenting/caring from a distance role – a recognition that we must, at times, live apart as families for periods of a child’s life.
- Dialogue about reunification and models of support to be developed to bring about successful well supported reunification after care separations
- The new Adoption Guardian role to support adoptive families and the families and children looked after by kinship carers and special guardians
We are arranging meetings with our MPs to highlight these concerns and will report on progress being made through our News/Campaign Updates page and Twitter feed.
Please send us an email if you are interested in joining our group, wish to offer support, or would like to work together with us – firstname.lastname@example.org