We are not alone, as adoptive parents, in finding a lack of critical support from the Children’s Services Emergency Duty Team, when it was needed, and no support or understanding elsewhere. Adoption support for us as an adoptive family was non-existent and it remains so.

The Selwyn Report on Adoption – Beyond the Adoption Order (2014) [Page 186]:

“Another parent talking about the response from EDT said:

Only thing that there was, was the emergency duty team, and I rang them up one night to say, “I’m really worried my son is going to hurt me, he’s threatening me with things,” and they said, “Have you had problems before?” And I said, “Yes, it’s a long history, he’s going to throw something quite heavy at me now.” It was a plant pot, and he smashed it against the wall, and I said, “He’s just thrown it at me, and I’m really worried,” and she said, “Have you tried after school clubs?” And I just thought OK there’s no help here either. So, every time it was so inappropriate, it was the wrong support, it was non-existent.”

  1. The Selwyn Report (2014) recommends [Page 290]:

“Raise professional awareness of child to parent violence (CPV) in adoptive families. Social workers and other professionals working with adoptive families need training on this issue. CPV was the main reason adoptions disrupted. (Chapter 11 and14)”

  1. The Selwyn Report (2014) recommends [Page 290]:

“Provide needs-led rather than service-led interventions. Too often, parents and children got what was available in-house and not what was needed (Chapters 13 and15).”

  1. The Selwyn Report (2014) recommends [Page 291]:

“Increase social workers’ awareness of the vulnerabilities and risks to adopted young people at the point of disruption. Social workers need to ask more questions and be more inquisitive about motives when young people move in with unrelated adults in an unplanned way. Structures and procedures when there are concerns of sexual exploitation should be used. (Chapters 14 and 16)”

  1. The Selwyn Report (2014) recommends [Page 291]:

“Identify young children who are aggressive in foster care and intervene to address the aggression. The message from research on aggression in general population samples is that most children will not ‘grow out of it’. (Chapters 10 and 11).”

  1. The Selwyn Report (2014) recommends [Page 291]:

“Include questions about CPV in all assessments for post adoption support services. Information may not be volunteered because of the shame and the stigma felt by families. (Chapters 11,13 and 14)”

  1. The Selwyn Report (2014) recommended that reunification is never ruled out [Page 292]:

 “Continue to work on improving child and parent relationships after a disruption. Reunification with the adoptive family should not be discounted. Even when young people are on a pathway to independence they would benefit if a way could be found for their parents to support them, although this may be at a distance (Chapters 14,15 and 16).”

The Selwyn Report (2014) has recommended reunification is always considered in adoption cases because of the poor outcomes associated with children re-entering care and never returning home. Yet no matter what we say, or do, we are written off. Our child’s wishes and feelings were not taken into consideration when he wanted to come home. The system goal was and remains to support foster carers. The approach is not working and is so detrimental to our child, who is on his 18th foster care placement within three years. How long this placement will last is anyone’s guess and plan B seems to be residential care at some distance from us. There is no dialogue achievable about our child ever coming home and because of this our child has given up hope. He is sometimes rejecting of us when we are allowed to see him, perhaps because it hurts to say goodbye – but the local authority doesn’t see this. The agency only sees us in a negative way as parents from whom our child should be protected from. We were supposed to be part of the solution and paid the local authority £5k to assess us for this inter-country adoption. Our child will have lived with us for only two years of his childhood if this approach continues – and his religious beliefs were not able to be supported in care, as we would have done as Muslim adopters, so he has lost his faith.