Saturday, 26 October 2019

The A&F Podcast Episode 74 - The Care Experienced Conference

This week we speak to Jamie Crabb and Rosie Canning representatives from the Care Experienced Conference. They give us some background in relation to the conference that was held earlier in the year, share some of the reasons behind it and being to discuss the recently released report that they have been sharing with a range of professionals and politicians.

You can download the report here as well as find out more about the conference, we'd really recommend doing that as they are an important and interesting read. You can also find the Care Experience Conference Twitter Feed here to follow their progress and updates. They are using the reports to influence fostering practice as well as spark a conversation.

We also have a little InfoBanter and there's a few thoughts on the storyline on the new film Joker.
As always, thanks for listening, share the love and peace out as the young people would say.

Saturday, 19 October 2019

Podcast Special - The Open Nest Cont. #PreservationOrSeverance

This week's Episode is a snapshot from The Open Nest's conference #PreservationOrSeverance.

Al managed to gather some contributors to the day's events and asked them a few questions. Adopted adults Catt Peace, form the PATCHES Family Foundation and Clair (@howtobeadopted) shared a few thoughts on the events of the day and Open Nest Trustee Fran Proctor also outlined the hopes and aspirations for the day. Added to that Sarah Phillimore (@SVPhillimore) Family Court Barrister offered a different perspective on the day.

Scott and Al chat about the interviews and add a little infobanter.

Monday, 14 October 2019

The A&F Podcast Episode 73 - An interview with Karen Bartholomew

In this episode we speak to playwright Karen Bartholomew in relation to her production 'Giving up Marty' a play that considers the reality of adoption reunion from a range of perspectives. Karen is adopted herself but this isn't her story but she hopes to offer an antidote to the fictionalised and sanitised TV versions of reunion that the adoption community often object to. We chat about that and the impact that the earlier test previews of the production as well as her hope to raise funds for a wider production run that would give more people the opportunity to see the play.

Scott and Al discuss Adoption Week and the usual challenges as well as Scott's temporary retirement from the head world of adoption.

Please check out Karen's Crowdfunding page can be found here and giving opens on the 14th October. Also, follow Karen on Twitter here and have a look at the trailer/teaser for the play.

Sunday, 13 October 2019

National Adoption Week 2019 - Beneath.

National Adoption Week has never been for those who've passed through the fairy tale forest of the adoption system to the evergreen pastures of post Adoption Order life. It's for people that know little or nothing about adoption, it's about recruitment and on a level I'm fine with that. Well kind of.

Clearly, I've had other thoughts on NAW but I'm not sure what I can add in relation to the complexities of feelings it provokes that I haven't already said in previous year's blog posts. National Adoption Week does feel like some guests have come into our house for the week and are redecorating, moving the furniture and retuning the telly only to slink off at the end of the week for another year. Maybe that's just me.

This year it's all about finding parents for children of colour, now there's an emotive subject to kick into the national media for a open and healthy debate, well perhaps not. More likely we'll still see the smiling faces of children with heartbreaking stories rather than the usual headlines like:

'too fat/thin/old/young/black/white* to adopt'
'social worker snatches baby' 

Stories that raises the ire of the readership with the usual adoption tropes laid out. Perhaps I'll spend another year looking in the other direction.

I hope that the theme this year scrapes beneath the 'find an orphan a home' headlines and starts to ask the questions that it deserves. Why are children of colour over represented in the cohort of children looking for permanence? Why are adults of colour under represented in those coming forward to adopt? Why are those children waiting longer to be placed for adoption? Lots of questions that, probably, won't be answered this week. Right now the data we hold on this is sketchy, who are these children being placed with, do they reflect the children's ethnicity?  Raising this issue is positive but there's certainly a need to develop our knowledge of the issue so we can consider an appropriate response. Clearly, that's a systemic change that need to be driven from the top. We measure what matters and right now this is a sketchy area of the system with limited facts but it does matter?I think so, there are hundreds of children of colour waiting for new parents and we need to know more about the context and practice that impacts on them and the children that have gone before.

There are so many questions that need to be asked in relation to adoption set in the context of children needing permanent and stable replacement parents. The debates around contact are growing but I'm sure that the blood runs cold in the recruitment and comms teams of the adoption agencies as we consider the need to modernise that element of this world. We'll not be talking about that this National Adoption Week. That we need to consider the ethics and human rights of families as well as children is growing in the consciousness of many but that's off the mainstream agenda.

Family breakdown in adoptive homes flashes through social media again and again, another area with no data, it is collated but not to a quality that can be published. It's a significant issue for many families with older children that are adopted, how do systems that are focused on traffic flowing one way manage it when the flow reverses. Not well I'm sure as we don't have any reliable data mostly anecdote and individual stories. Families, children and adults, traumatised by re entry to a care system that sometimes struggles to care. We need to know more but perhaps we can talk about it next week?

There are glimmers of progression to my eyes, The Open Nest and the Adoption and Special Guardianship Board's consideration of future needs. The media will print the photos of children needing homes and run out the same tropes. I guess that I've learnt to live with it but I know that it stings many people as they deal with the reality of adoption in their lives.
It's a tricky week so stay well.

* adjust to suit the particular flavour of paper

Saturday, 12 October 2019

The A&F Podcast - Adoptee Conversations - Cat Theresa

In this episode, we chat to Cat Theresa an adult adoptee  and she shares her experience of being adopted in late 60's.

Cat describes her experience of growing up and the impact of adoption on how she felt as a child and adolescent. Cat went on to reunification with her birth mother at 19 then later with her birth father.
Cat speaks about some of her challenges and the life long impact of being an adoptee so please be cautious as she shares some difficult experiences that she had a child.
The usual warning if you’ve any doubts get a friend to listen first.

We hope you find it interesting and if you’re an adoptee and would like to share your perspective or experience then please do direct message us at our twitter feed hereor on our facebook page here.

Music by
Together, We Can Make It by Neutrin05 |
Music promoted by
Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported

Saturday, 5 October 2019

The A&F Podcast Episode 72 - Helen Bonnick talks Child to parent Violence and Aggression

In this episode we talk to Helen Bonnick in relation to Child to Parent Violence and Aggression and her book here

We chat across the topic and cover a broad range of issues including definitions, underlying causes and how practitioners from different services perceive the phenomenon. We also consider some of the interventions and look at one think that can really help.

Helen has a fantastic website 'Holes in the Wall' where you can access a broad range of resources.
I must offer an apology, there's a few audio blips and the final ten seconds the signal went haywire. It certainly isn't prohibitive so hang in there.
As always, thanks for listening and if you get a change a cheeky review wherever you get this podcast would be appreciated.

As promised in the podcast, here's the front cover.