Friday 24 February 2017

#BADlinky No.2

So, here we are the second week of the Blogs for Adoptive Dads linky #BADlinky

If you're a dad, fostering or adoptive, a mam who does the 'dad' stuff or just writing about dads then knock yourself out and post your blog up. It can be an old one or a new one.

Be kind, comment on the others posted, it's always nice to get a comment! Don't worry if it's an old post or a new post just go for it.

Have fun and remember it will close on Sunday at midnight.

Spread the joy

Thursday 23 February 2017

Fawlty Dad Lives

In my head I'm one of those hip parents that let embrace alternative paradigms about children. I try to talk to them like they're human beings and put big thoughts into their heads, and teach them stuff that floats round my mind, useful and useless stuff. Of course, that's only when we're not trying to avoid some sort of supernannyesque apocalypse.

There have been a few successes, Graham, being the most notable.

You see Graham's Number is an unimaginably large number . It's very, very, very big and strangely ends in a 7, Google it. I taught my children about big numbers and how they don't really exist etc etc. Part of it is the hope that the teacher will ask them for a big number one day and they'll say Graham, the teacher will look quizzically and they can say 'google it'. What a wag I am.

Anyway, this is how the conversations go round here.

Me: I love you

Peanut: I love you too

Me: I love you three

Peanut: I love you Graham

I feel warm and fluffy and we cuddle.......isn't that sweet.

Today I bought a new tool and Peanut was asking me what it was,  so in the interests of education and being no respecter of gender stereotypes I told her.

Every 5 year old girl should know the name of basic tools, she looked at me and I instantly realised that again I'd made a cataclysmic parenting mistake.

Carefully and thoughtfully she mouthed the words into a question, 'A bastard file daddy?'

As my blood ran cold I could feel Fawlty dad rise again.

Saturday 18 February 2017

Blogs of Adoptive Dads Linky No.1 #BADlinky

There are lots of adoptive dads out there so I thought I'd host a link up to pull us all together in one place.

So, welcome to the first Blogs for Adoptive Dad linky the...................#BADlinky

Serious, funny, sad, tragic, poignant whatever, if you're a dad and you've adopted or fostered, thinking of adopting or in the process of adopting then add your post to the #BADlinky through the button below.  Don't mind if they're old or new. Look at the others and leave a nice comment and we'll all be happy.

In fact I don't really mind if your a mum who does 'dad' things or a mum who has thoughts on dads all are welcome.

It will be open til midnight on Monday as this is the first one then 5pm Friday to midnight Sunday's.
I'll tweet them out and we'll have some fun!

Fostering & Adoption Podcast - Episode 10 Trauma & Attachment

This week we have an interview with Dr Marie Kershaw. She is an Senior Chartered Clinical Psychologist with almost 15 years experience working with adopted and fostered children and young people specifically in relation to attachment and trauma.

Scott and I struggled to rise to our usual giddy heights of banter sure to the interesting and engaging topic as well as being on our best behaviour, but fear not we'll be back.

We can also be found on the Apple App Store here

Of course if you were to leave a review there I'd be forever grateful.

Friday 17 February 2017

5 more minutes

I want five more minutes of your time.

I want you to ask you complete the following survey on Continual Professional Development for child and family Social Workers in relation to Permenance (Adoption, Long term Fostering, SGOs, kinship care and children who return home). Its looking to gather the views of families touched by the above. It doesn't ask all the questions I'd ask and some of the questions seem a little off point. However, there's some stuff that's relevant for many. 

I don't work for Mott MacDonald or have any vested interest but it is in my interests as an adoptive dad to fill this in

Every day I see comments on Twitter and Facebook that reflect on the skills of Social Workers, not all good and not all bad. I know where the gaps are and you don't have to look far in my blog to see where I've highlighted them.
I still wake in the night screaming with astonishment at the day we taught our support SW attachment theory. That was a long time ago.

We adopters often have to raise our voices and I'm asking you to give five more minutes. I can't promise the outcome but it's worth a try. If we can move the conversation 1% in the right direction then that's worth it. 

The survey is here

Wednesday 15 February 2017

2016 Child on Parent Violence Survey - The Impact on Parents

This week we're releasing the second report generated from the Child on Parent Violence Survey 2016. To be honest like a lot of research it often confirms what we already know and with this one focusing on the impact of living with Child on Parent Violence on parents, carers, guardians, foster carers and family members there are few surprises. But to say that is an injustice, many experience #CPV and the impacts can be insidious, enduring and destructive.

Dr Wendy Thorley has written up the data and produced the report. It can be downloaded here -

'CPV Exploratory Exercise- The Impact on Parents'

In our lives CPV precipitated me leaving work and a chain of events that leads me to where I am, that's a condensed version of events but only now can I reflect on the impact of that time. I'm blessed with a fairly robust psyche and can take some punishment, or so I thought. I didn't realise that there was a knot in my stomach every day 'til it had gone. I didn't realise that I lay barely asleep each night waiting for the sounds that would indicate that the fight was about to start 'til I had a nights respite and slept soundly. The ripples are lifelong, relationships are severed and physical and mental health is impacted.

CPV remains a taboo, with multiple, complex and nuanced reasons fuelling it solutions are not easy to find. However, even though solutions are not easy to come by even in discussing it in the open we are able to shine a light that will bring relief to many.

Read the report and share if you can. Share with your Social Worker and let's continue to push to raise awareness and to seek out affective and appropriate support and intervention.  

Again, thank you for participating.

Thursday 9 February 2017

Life Story

We returned to the story.

Another layer of the story needs to be revealed, same information, same story just a little more depth a little more context and a little more grit.

Like this post, I've been here before, same phrases, same analogy, same story, just deeper. We took a deep breath and talked, actually I took the deep breadth. For her it was nothing new just a progression. Bigger words, a more nuanced conversation leaving behind the simple euphemisms.
Her questions were new and they revealed a new understanding, the little girl fading and the teenager coming into focus.

We always said no revelations, no surprises, no shocks. I've had a lot of conversations, with a lot of children, we've never shied away from the truth but opened the door to it before it broke in.

A few years back when the eldest read her file she sobbed, not because of any revelation it was just seeing her story in black and white on paper, tangible, true. I dread to think what would have happened that day if we'd hid the truth.

Today went well, as well as these things can.

The next day I sat with Peanut and we laughed about the funny names she had for us the day she moved in, and we start the process again.

Friday 3 February 2017


I sat in a meeting this week and my daughters Psychiatrist looked at me and said one day you should write all this down.

I smiled.

I've realised that blogging is my primary self care, it's where I put most of my thoughts. I spill out all my feelings, thoughts and ponderings.  Just doing that is often enough, ugly, beautiful, raw, funny and frustrating thoughts.

Then I breathe, I feel better.

So I cut and paste, edit and polish, sanitise and fashion into something that doesn't offend, something that raises a smile or brings some hope. I protect the innocent and guilty alike and try to be fair.  Then I release it into the wild,  the internet, and walk away feeling better. My blog is about me.

I always had a hunch that losing my anonymity would present challenges of confidentiality and consent or worse. Right now that all seems very real and I don't know what to write anymore, I fear eyes are watching and looking for fault, picking up on words or intention. I've lots to get off my chest, perhaps more than ever before but as I sanitise my posts to the point of being bland, vague and indifferent they there's no catharsis just indifference and frustration.

There's stuff I can post, #cpv,  DfE and the like, but that doesn't scratch the itch.

So, I'm waiting and seeing and writing boring posts like this, though I do feel a little better.