Though marred by a concern that I should of worn shorts I headed of across a hot and sticky London to the DfE building in the heart of Westminster. Though my concerns had been monitored previously on Twitter by the all seeing DfE worker bees my fears of covert monitoring were allayed/confirmed as we'd been furnished with air conditioned room.
We discussed the nature of transitions and some of the challenges they can bring. From the micro transitions that can present every day in a classroom to the more significant ones such as the transition into adoptive parent's homes from foster care.
I found this interesting that as we discussed this common themes around the preparation of adoptive families, advice and knowledge of attachment, dogmatic practice in relation to the isolation that some families experience in the first few weeks of placement were discussed. The limited or weakness of the research base that practice is drawn from and the willingness and lack of on the part of some adoption teams to be be flexible and responsive to families.
We discussed the challenges that the transition to adulthood can bring with the increased responsibility on young adults and the removal of responsibilities parents experience as they try to maintain their child's safety. Not an easily resolved issue but again one that many adopters face at a time when they anticipate their advocacy role reducing only to discover it is needed but not accepted.
The role of the Virtual School Heads was discussed again and it is clear that though the duty to support adopted children will be given to them the details of that remain undecided and with guidance being produced by all vested parties. It is a time for us to consider our experiences and perspectives and share them appropriately within the adoption voice forum.
We repeatedly return to issues of professionals training and of course that is an issue that we have limited control over
At the risk of repeating myself I always leave optimistic and impressed by the civil servants who are exactly that.
Is there a way to go? yes.
Will we see all that all adopters want? of course not.
My hope is that in highlighting what can be done better we will improve the experience of not only our children but those other children and adults that come behind us.
A brief report I'm afraid but if you want to participate in the Adoption Voice Forums then go to the Adoption UK website and follow the links.