Saturday, 21 July 2018

A & F Podcast - Episode 46 - Suddenly Mummy, a wedding and an Equal Chance



This week we're really excited to speak to Becky AKA Suddenly Mummy as she gives us the low down on her recent engagement. We do get a little distracted by that but then manage to pull ourselves back on track discussing the recent Adoption UK initiative and report (Equal Chance) in relation to supporting adoptees in the education system. Becky recounts her expereinces with teaching as well as appearing on Radio 4, meeting celebrities in the Green Room all before her Fiance distracts her with a cup of tea and has to leave.




We then indulge in a little banter, touch on approaches to empowering parents and all kinds of usual stuff.
We hope you enjoy it as we look start the summer holidays.  

Thursday, 19 July 2018

2018 Child on Parent Violence and Aggression Survey - Summary

So, here it is, the findings of the 2018 Child on Parent Violence and Aggression Survey.

I'd be lying if I said it hasn't been a massive task and consequently produced a massive report, over 50,000 words to be exact. Fear ye not, we've condensed it into an extended summary that can be found here:




From the over 500 responses Dr Wendy Thorley has undertaken the vast majority of analysis and work and it's a testament to her tenacity and passion that it's come together at all. 

What does it say and what does it mean. Now, that is a question. There's lots to pull out and different people will find significance and use in different bits but to me there are few key issues that weave through the work. 

I now see Childhood Challenging, Violent and Aggressive Behaviour (CCVAB) that many families experience is an umbrella phrase that encompasses distinct behaviours beneath it, Child on Parent Violence (CPV) is one that is clearly defined and linked to intent and a desire to control parents and carers, on this almost all of the previous literature, guidance and research has been focused. However, from our respondents we found a much bigger group of children who's behaviour was described by them as linked clearly to dysregulation, anxiety, stress, not coping and being overwhelmed. The main point being that there was no prior intent or planning. Linked to that, over 50% of respondents noted that their children were diagnosed with a learning disability or autism and many of the children had compounded issues such as anxiety, attachment difficulties, mental ill health and ADHD. To then consider how the any violent and aggressive behaviour defined and described within this context leads directly to conditions as described in World Health Indicators 'Conduct Disorder confined to family context' and  DSM-V indicators that outline Intermittent Explosive Disorder.  Many of the respondent's children appeared to meet the diagnostic indicators for these conditions very different to the stereotypical CPV descriptions. 

This wasn't where we were expecting to be lead but its where we found ourselves with two distinct underlying causes and patterns to the behaviour under the banner CCVAB. 

Understanding this makes me consider workforce development, knowledge and responses. Historically, much has been pointed and directed to CPV when the survey notes this is the lesser of the two types. Food for thought across many professions. The need for effective informed responses is more pressing than ever. 

I know that the adoption community may be over represented in relation to CCVAB within the general population, however within the community of parents and carers living with children with like for like conditions (autism, ADHD, trauma ie. children with SEND) we share a similar level of challenge. We need to build strong links to that community of biological parents to strengthen our lobby. 

Of course there's a lot more to consider and that will be unpacked but I'd like to give a massive thank you to all that took part, have listened to me prattle on and have encouraged us when it got hard. 

We felt that the Extended Summary would be of most use to most people and that's freely available so please share far and wide. For a printed version of the full report then it can be found on amazon at a cost and we've made a ebook version for those on a budget.

This is another part of the jigsaw, is there more to do? of course but all in good time. 

Again, thank you. 

If you want a hard copy of the full report or an Ebook version please look here

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lets-Talk-About-Violence-Aggression/dp/1717725589/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1532019310&sr=1-1









Thursday, 12 July 2018

That's stupid

It seems odd where conversations come from and how they end up in unusual places.  I can't quite recall at what point this one started as we were driving home from some outing with Flossy, Lotty and Peanut.

Flossy and Lotty were somewhat perplexed/indignant at the legal technicality's of the adoption process. The kind of perplexed/indignant that adolescents do with such flair and verve it seems a shame that it's wasted on them. Fortunately, there ire wasn't aimed at me.

Peanut was listening but was also admiring the 'precious' stones that she'd acquired in a car park, I'd negotiated her down from two 'precious' half bricks and a couple of lumps of 'precious' railway ballast. We don't need any more 'precious' things hidden in her room.



Flossy and Lotty set about me.

So, you're saying that our mam* is not our mam when she clearly is my mam. 

Me: Only legally,  of course she is biologically your mam. 

But you're saying she's not our mam.

Me: No, I'm saying she is your mam but when the adoption order was made the birth certificate was changed and me and your mam were put on as your parents. 

But you're not our mam and dad.

Me: Well I am but I'm not...... 

Ok, what about Kasey** is she our sister?

Me: Well.......... yes of course she's your sister but from a legal position................(I trail off realising that I don't know)............Legally, you don't have the same mother.

But she is our mother and Kasey is our sister

Me: Yes, but not legally............. 

So, you're saying that she's not our mother?

This goes on for a while and blissfully is ended when we arrive home. After a brief negotiation Peanut agrees that the 'precious' stone can live with the other 'precious' stones on the drive.

Flossy and Lotty slink into the house and with a parting shot aimed with the brilliance of teenage girls they declared:

That's stupid


I agreed.
Increasingly, I'm at a loss as to how to hold all the needs of all the people in tension. Sometimes none of this makes sense.






* Birth mam
**Older biological sister



Saturday, 7 July 2018

Adoption & Fostering Podcast - Ep 45 an interview with Colourful Carwen

In this episode we interview Colourful Carwen, she was diagnosed in her 40's as having autism but throughout her childhood she presented with challenging, violent and aggressive behaviour to her parents and family. Carwen's reflective account of how experienced the world she lived as well as her feelings on the her behaviour offer a rare insight to the inner workings and thoughs of chldren who are sometimes challenging. 



Scott and Al discuss the news of the day, international adoption and LGBT predjudice. Needless to say there's the usual banter, a moment with a guitar and an interuption from a dog

Be advised there are a few adult words during the interview.