Thursday 13 April 2017

They all go in the end

Lots of thoughts sloshing around this week, remnants of last week and being too busy perhaps.
We're ticking along ok. I mean like lot's of families our 'ok' isn't your standard cookie cutter Disneyesque ok with unfettered joy and squeaky clean behaviour. You know what I mean, no-one called the police, no-one got hurt. Result.

Anyway, I'm off the point. 

We found out that a professional is leaving our world. Another one gone.
Universally accepted as knowing what they were on about and genuinely stepping in at breaking point and holding it all together she will be missed. Her words brought hope to perhaps the least hopeful moment of our parenting lives. At one point I thought she actually was Nanny McPhee. 

But, she's off. No chance to say goodbye just gone, it would have been nice to say ta ta but sooner or later they all have to go. 

I started to count how many qualified Social Workers we've had across our door. 
18 allocated or involved. 

We cried with one when she left, went for a drink with another, slammed the door behind a few, recored an interrogation with one and in the beginning tidied up for them coming. Some have moved onto bigger and better things, others retired, others just went away. They all go in the end.

In my interview with Hugh T I asked what holds the future for adoption and he said many things, one that stuck was the need for enduring and potentially lifelong partnerships that adopters need to accept with services that support us and our children.  

That wasn't part of my plan when I set off, but it clearly is how the plan is unfolding. We're sad to see our latest go, I could have built a partnership with her, I fear it may not be so easy to build a partnership with a service rather than a person. I wonder if services have the capacity to build enduring and lifelong partnerships with us? I don't know. 

They do all go in the end but we remain,  I'll always be an adopter long after they've retired

Anyway, goodbye Nanny McPhee. We wish you well and thank you for what you've left, a belief that there is a way through. She pointed to it and left hope, a little hope goes a long long way. 

Yes, they do all go in the end but some of them leave a little something behind.  


  1. We have lost count how many we have had too. Years ago the Minis were terrified they were going to be taken away. Now they have learnt that doesn't happen, but don't even try to remember their names. We have seen so many come and go, one even came back. Passed from pillar to post. Me, I am still here!

  2. Lost count of the amount of social workers we were glad to see go....but frustrated by those we liked and wanted that working relationship with. We always felt that great social workers or those with great potential hesitated too much in legalistic bureaucratic nonsense and never relaxed with us.....come in and relax I used to think, we like you you are in the right job and you will learn so much personally as well if you partner with us.....such a shame when after 8months or 12 months they move on. I was struck by you interview with Hugh T....sadly I feel his vision does not resonate with The Departments...but it's a nice thought. What it has done is challenge me to consider how I connect with the people and families and children I work with. Nice blog Mr A thank you....and so for your loss, let's have a cup of tea.

    1. Thank you for commenting. I'd sit down for a brew with you anytime.

  3. A bit late to this post but it has resonated with what has happened to us in the last two weeks. A fortnight ago my son's social worker announced she was moving on after only 9 months - she got him, and kept me calm during the crisis that lasted much of last year. All I know is she's moving to another authority - but was too professional to say why. So in trying to set up a handover meeting with her team manager the post adoption psychologist also announced that she was moving on.

    Unable to get everyone in a room at the same time we had a child in need meeting on Friday to sort out the social worker issue. The team manager (who said her name so fast i had to get her to repeat it) took 22 minutes to decide that my son no longer needs his own social worker and there will be no more child in need meetings. Meetings usually last at least an hour. One plus for my son but a disadvantage for these situations is that his new (special) school is unrelentingly positive about him in all situations. Lovely but doesn't help when team leader asks "any educational attainment concerns?" they say "no" and its left to me to point out that he's actually done no academic work for 18 months as he is at the moment on a timetable of just PE as it is the only thing he'll go into school for. He has a reading age of 7 and is 14 years old.

    So today my post adoption social worker and the (leaving) psychologist met up. Turns out she is being made redundant because our adoption services are being merged into a multi-LA megaservice. This may be good in the long run but she's losing her job now and they're not starting to merge services until July. So we know there will be a substantial gap. They couldn't think of a single statutory service that was secure enough to refer us to (I said my main criterion was at least 6 months with no change of professional). Their solution? Use the adoption support fund to provide some behavioural support in the meantime. The psychologist said "it comes to something when the only way you can guarantee any continuity is to buy it in from the public sector".

    She's right - ASF as sticking plaster for crumbling social care and mental health services.