Actually, before I start I thought I'd better warn you this post is not a set of minutes of the Adopter Voice meeting today at the Department for Education. Reports and topics presented and considered hold specifics that will come out in the fullness of time when all the 't's have been crossed and the 'i's have been dotted.
If you want a blow by blow account stop now, go and make a cup of tea and read a good book or whatever tickles you.
Coming away and pondering the discussion I'm struck by the change in tone that has developed over the last couple of years in relation to adoption. Of course much had happened in that time with the coming and going of key figures in the adoption landscape as well as the changes in some of the structural elements of that adoption agencies are set into. Change is happening and like any time of transition there's uncertainty and tension. Not necessarily helpful if your local adoption support team is being shipped out to new offices and merging with another team from another county.
That's all well and good but sitting in your home with your children and 'experiencing' that system and trying to navigate those changes is a very different thing to talking about it and how to manage it. Nice conversations around tables don't necessarily translate to help and in fact may feel like a joke if you're at the sharp end of trauma informed parenting.
Talking today we touched on issues such as contact with birth families and the very real pressure on children and adults. With tangible benefits and the very real concerns, adoption cannot remain closed to the reality of contemporary life when small children can 'google' Tummy Mummy's name and have a world opened up to them before a life story book is even pulled from the top shelf.
Adopters are experts in what should have been said in preparation so we riffed on that for a while, the age old debate of how much truth it too much and at what point does that harsh truth become prohibitive to all but the brave few daring to adopt.
We talked about the ongoing relationships that adopters need with services, relationships with support social workers and even the thought of annual reviews for support and families.
Talk is good and of course adopters.
As I said at the beginning not a lot of specifics in all that and it can appear to be exclusive to not share in the nuts and bolts of some of the discussion. To say nothing and not even note the meeting is perhaps worse.
That adopters are around the table at the big house cannot be underestimated. There was a time in the not too distant past when we were not welcome. The last few years has seen a change and that has to be good. Of course, we'd like more varied voices but for now we take what we've got, keep at it and prove the value of our voices.