I haven’t written for a few weeks, I’m not sure if it’s because I haven’t had much to say, or because I have so much to say that I can’t find the words. Things just roll along here. I just made a typo with the word “roll”, I had to correct it from “toll”, which I think may actually be more accurate.
Around the time of my last post, we were in quite a state. I re-referred us to social services for post adoption support; we felt that Norman in particular was struggling with his anger. Thankfully his anger seems to have simmered down somewhat, although we still see flashes of it. On the whole I think we’re managing it a little better too, but it’s an ongoing challenge, and some days we do better than others.
With regard to post adoption support, this is my experience so far: when the boys were placed with us, it took a while for the adoption to become legal, for various reasons that I’ll explain another time. But because of that, we sort of hovered between the pre- and post-adoption support teams. The pre-adoption team were generally great, we had a social worker, the boys had a social worker (I say great, but again, I’ll elaborate another time!) – we knew who to contact when we needed something. When our adoption order came through in February, it seemed that the support went up in a puff of smoke. I get periodic emails from post adoption support telling me about various stay and play groups that are scheduled but are completely unsuitable for us with the boys both being at school, and that seem to often be cancelled anyway. There are also adoption support meetings held infrequently, but they’re topical – keeping our children safe online is the least of my worries at the moment! We have no allocated social worker at the moment, to my knowledge, and we haven’t done for nine months now.
I called the post adoption support team about three weeks ago now, poured my heart out to the woman at the other end of the phone, and was told that we would be allocated a social worker who would come and talk to us. As I said earlier, to my knowledge we have no allocated social worker at present. I have heard nothing more from them since.
I want to make it really clear here: I think social workers are excellent humans. With the exception of one, who will warrant her own post at some stage, the ones we have met during this process have been great, kind, supportive people who seem to genuinely want to do their best. There just aren’t enough of them. They are spread so thinly and have such heavy workloads that a brand new adoptive family in crisis must wait 3-4 weeks for a telephone call. We have a government harping on about adoption support and that the adoption support fund is available, who seemingly have no understanding whatsoever about the needs of adoptive families, and, most importantly, adopted children. The adoption support fund is a great resource, if only there were enough social workers available for the families that need to access it!
Because of Norman’s troubles at school last half term, around the time I referred us to social services, so did the school to see if they could access any additional support for him. Essentially, he is just about keeping his head above water academically, but his social and emotional skills are causing him a lot of trouble. But again, to our knowledge, nothing has come of that either.
Here’s where I get political: we live in one of the most developed countries in the world. One of the most well educated countries in the world. Yet we don’t support our most vulnerable members of society. We have rich politicians driving round in their big expensive cars with their numerous fancy houses, being able to claim a ridiculous amount of money as “expenses” while my family waits weeks for a telephone call from a social worker because there isn’t enough money for enough social workers. While other people don’t even have one roof over their heads, let alone holiday homes and rented homes and someone else to buy them a full English.
I know in so many ways my family is lucky. But my boys, and all of the other adopted children around the country deserve better than this.
What’s on the needles?
I finished the scarf a few weeks ago, here it is!
I also finished a lovely blanket:
And I’ve knit another scarf, which needs blocking and photographing. I’m trying to finish all of the things I meant to finish before Christmas, watch this space!