Saturday, 4 April 2020

The A&F Podcast Ep 85 - We chat to Cat and Pol about when to talk to children about their Adoption.

It this weeks episode we have a little banter and then catch up on an interview we had with @bantam_polly and @CatTheresaUK. We discuss the what seems like age old question of when should you talk to children who are adopted about how they joined your family and the challenges that can present parents with. It follows on from a heated twitter moment several weeks ago, prior to the Covid 19 lockdown, when someone asked the Adoption Twitter community if you should tell children or not if they're adopted. It raised some heated debate at the time and it an issue that many parents struggle with.


There is a hiss on a part of the audio and we apologise as it didn’t become apparent until after the recording was completed and we’ve done all we can to clean it up. Hopefully it’s not too distracting.

As always your views and thoughts are appreciated, you can contact the podcast through the usual routes and if you'd like to find out a little more the Adoption & Fostering Podcast's Facebook page is here, or our twitter feed here.

Listen/subscribe on iTunes here
Spotify here
Google here


Saturday, 28 March 2020

The A&F Podcast Ep84 - All things lockdown and interview Rosie the Adoption Social Worker

With chaos and uncertainty abounding the normal grasp on reality and all things normal has well and truly slipped out of the back door and left us all adrift. So, to add our full peneth to the mix we've cast aside the scheduled podcasts on all things tricky and refocused ourselves on the lived reality now.


To that end Al has chatted to Rosie the Adoption Social Worker, she shares her views and thoughts on the challenges that the current situation has thrown up for adoptive families and the SWer no less. This is part one with Rosie as we also talk about her day job supporting adoptive adults connect with their birth families and walking through that process with them.

Scott and Al also unpack some of the challenges thrown up this week indulge in some distracting banter as well as discuss Scott's crocodile hands and Al's selfish hoarding tendencies.

As always your views and thoughts are appreciated, you can contact the podcast through the usual routes and if you'd like to find out a little more the Adoption & Fostering Podcast's Facebook page is here, or our twitter feed here.
Listen/subscribe on iTunes here
Spotify here
Google here


Saturday, 21 March 2020

The A&F Podcast Episode 83 - An interview with Special Guardians and Adopters Together

In this episode of the adoption and fostering podcast we speak to Sylvia Schroer who is the chair of the Special Guardians and Adopters Together (SGandT) campaigning organisation.
 We consider some of the issues that the organization campaign about specifically and discussed the challenges that's many families face as they try to access support in difficult situations as well as the accusations that can often be levelled at parents and carers. We also discuss the difficulty in raising the issues, lack of accurate data and the changing nature of adoption and kinship care/special guardianship.


You can go to their SGandT's website here and see some of the research that Sylvia mentions in the interview.
Scott and I keep the banter down to the bear minimum, though we do get drawn onto the rocks of name calling on twitter and if you listen to the very very end there may be a child hygiene related retching incident.


We recorded earlier in the week so all the latest Corvid-19 developments aren't commented on.
Stay well y'all.


Saturday, 14 March 2020

Adoption & Fostering Podcast - Conversations: Clarissa

In this episode Clarissa shares her story of growing up in challenging circumstances, becoming a mother and then having her child removed, then adopted, by children’s social care professionals.
Clarissa is now a relational/parent activist and works to support other parents the have similar experiences and social care involvement. This is a really honest account and Clarissa doesn’t shy away from some very challenging experiences, events and situations that she was part of.



Consequently, this is a hard listen and contains an honest account that some listeners may find upsetting, so please be wise and listen with caution.
If you’ve a story of care or adoption and would like to share your perspective or experience then please do direct message us at our twitter feed here or on our facebook page here.

Listen/subscribe on iTunes here
Spotify here
Google here


Saturday, 7 March 2020

Adoption & Fostering Podcast Episode 82 - Scott & Al chat to Solicitor Sarah Brown

In this episode we chat to solicitor Sarah Brown from Ridley Hall Solicitors who specialises in all legal matters pertaining to adoption. We chat in relation to the reasons people resort to legal representation, such as challenging support plans or amending wills to name a couple. We take a little time before the interview to consider chat and set the interview up so bear with us.


We also discuss Andrew Christie stepping down from the Adoption & Special Guardianship Leadership Board and argue over which one of us should apply as well as the issues that we look to consider in over the next few months on the podcast, mainly when things don't go as expected.
As always your views and thoughts are appreciated, you can contact the podcast through the usual routes and if you'd like to find out a little more the Adoption & Fostering Podcast's Facebook page is here, or our twitter feed here.

Listen/subscribe on iTunes here
Spotify here
Google here


Saturday, 29 February 2020

The Adoption and Fostering Podcast: Conversations - Andrew

In this episode Andrew shares his experience as an adoptive parent of a child with complex medical needs, with his wife they chose to adopt rather than becoming parents through traditional routes. Andrew discusses a long preparation and approval process and some of the specific challenges that they have all faced.


If you'd like to share your story then please get in touch through the Adoption & Fostering Podcast's facebook page here, or our twitter feed here.

Listen/subscribe on iTunes here

Spotify here

Google here


Friday, 28 February 2020

Where to start

Friend: 'Hi, I know we've not spoke in a while but we're thinking of adopting and thought we'd speak to you............what do you think?'

Me: 'Oh, well where to start'

It's a question that I don't get asked every day but it comes around not too infrequently. I try to offer balance, I try to find out why, I try to present the big picture and the small picture, I try to wrap it up in language that makes sense. I try to summarise my last 20 years in an honest and meaningful reply.

I think it sounds like a scattergun gallop through a thousand thoughts tumbling our of my mouth at a hundred miles an hour, I'm not sure I'm the right person to answer this question.

#YouCanAdopt, yes you can but.......... My days of being an apologist for adoption are over.

I think my answer is laced with a huge dollop of pragmatism, adoption has worked for me, adoption has kind of worked for some of my children. I say kind of because it's offered them something that the other forms of permanency could not and can not offer. It's a sliding scale and it also comes with a knowledge that their views may change but they don't get to re write history or have a say.

I've the nonsensical twitter argument over if adoption is trauma fizzing around trauma still rattling around my head and that's not helping at all. I try to reflect that.
The answer to my friend is complicated and ends up with me asking them to visit specific websites, read this book, listen to this story, think differently. More like a stress test on how serious they are and how this is a landscape in transition. You don't want to be on the wrong bus when it leaves town so to say.


When I record the podcast's with adopters I often ask 'would you adopt again' and all bar one said yes. Maybe that's the wrong question to the wrong person.

The question seems more complicated now. As well as 'would' there's a 'should' and the best I seem to have now is.......it's complicated.

Again more questions than answers.



Saturday, 22 February 2020

The A&F Podcast - Episode 81 - Scott & Al talk #YouCanAdopt, Marketing and #InfoBanter

This week we take a moment in the busy schedule to reflect on the #YouCanAdopt marketing campaign and air a few thoughts on that. We also chat through a few thought on some upcoming stuff that we're up too. We don't want to slip into infomercials so we'll not mention it again but we're busy doing lots starting with the Adoption East Midlands Regional Adoption Agency's first annual conference. From the 1st March it's open to all adopters from beyond the RAA catchment so check it out here and come if you can.




As always your views and thoughts are appreciated, you can contact the podcast through the usual routes and if you'd like to find out a little more the Adoption & Fostering Podcast's Facebook page is here, or our twitter feed here.

Listen/subscribe on iTunes here
Spotify here
Google here


Saturday, 15 February 2020

A&F Podcast Ep 80 - #LGBTHistoryMonth Satwinder Sandhu on Social Work Process

In this episode Scott has a chat with Satwinder on his experience and perspective of a range of interesting and important issues that social care has faces with the change in legislation in the mid 2000's. It is a really interesting discussion in relation to the challenges faced by the LGBT community as they navigated what was a process built around the assessment of heterosexual couples and the questions that this posed for social workers. Sat raises bigger questions in relation to applicants showing authentic selves and asking what is an acceptable lifestyle for any adoption applicant.




As always your views and thoughts are appreciated, you can contact the podcast through the usual routes and if you'd like to find out a little more the Adoption & Fostering Podcast's Facebook page is here, or our twitter feed here.

Listen/subscribe on iTunes here

Spotify here

Google here


Saturday, 8 February 2020

The Adoption & Fostering Podcast Conversations - Bea #LGBTHistoryMonth

In what is #LGBTHistoryMonth we continue to focus on LGBT adoption and fostering. This week we talk with gay foster carer, Bea.


Bea, along with her partner, have been fostering for 2 years, and now have a longer term placement. Bea explains some of the process to becoming a foster carer in recent times, and it felt rather a standard assessment process, that anyone can relate to. Bea also shares some useful thoughts about selecting an agency, whether you are a same sex female couple or not.

If you’ve a story of care or adoption and would like to share your perspective or experience then please do direct message us at our twitter feed here or on our facebook page here.
Listen/subscribe on:

iTunes here
Spotify here
Google here


Saturday, 1 February 2020

Policing Childhood Challenging Violent and Aggressive Behaviour April 2020

Back in 2015 in a fit of pique in blurted out a snippy frustrated blog about our experience of trying to get some real world practical help from our local post adoption support team for us as a family as we tried to parent a child that sometimes struggled to contain their inner world. It would spill in to challenging behaviour and sometimes violence.



We were lost, we wanted help, we didn't get it.

The blog snowballed (You can read it here) and within minutes messages and comments from families poured in and kept coming for the days the followed.  People sharing their experiences, their fears and more often than not their frustration at the lack of help and awareness from professionals. It was humbling and shocking in equal measure and I just kept talking, to the DfE, to social workers and to other adoptive parents. As I've talked I see that his is not an 'adoption' issue but an issue that impact on all families of all type and variety but there are themes and patterns.

From the early days of me seeing it as an adoption issue the scale and nature of the challenges faced beyond this community dwarf my initial concerns. Special guardians, kinship care, domestic violence (in all it's connotations) early adversity and trauma, ASD, ADHD, LD all play into children's perceptions of themselves, the world they live in and the people in it and consequently their capacity and ability to regulate and control their behaviour. The need is often hidden behind adult shame and fear of blame, isolation, anxiety and fear of professional's views.

Our family story has inevitably moved on but I never thought an angry blog would set me on a journey that has led me to meet some amazing professionals and parents/carers as well as opportunities not only in the UK but beyond. More importantly it connected me with Dr Wendy Thorley who helped me release a survey then wrote up the findings in an array of places (see here) I may be boring you now so I'll cut to it.

A few years ago I spoke at a thing and that led to the Dr and I chatting to a few police officers who wanted to do more and help. We made some plans and in April this year we're looking to share the findings of almost a years police call outs to homes where adults have called 999 because they're frightened of their children's behaviour and need help. It feels like a step change for me and we're looking at a range of issues with those that work at the sharp end as well as looking at the experience of those living this life.

Things are changing, I see more light being shone on this issue than ever before and the shame and isolation are being driven back, options and support for families is more available than ever. You may not be able to come to this event but perhaps you could share the flyer and get the right people there. If you want to come you can book here there are also plans afoot to hold a similar conference in North London in the early summer.

Many thanks.


Adoption & Fostering Podcast - LGBT History Month with Scott & Tris

It’s LGBT history months so we thought we’d add our bit and Al has a chat with Scott and his husband Tris about their perspectives and experience of being amongst the cohort of adoptive same sex couples in the mid 2000s. They straddle a time before that was a possibility and we discuss their journey as well as some of their positive as well as less positive experiences being adoptive parents. We also chat about the implications for them as a family as they encounter and visit other cultures and countries and precautions they take to keep the children and themselves safe.


We start with a chat about the BT Halo advert, the language used and the following twitter storm and response from different parts of the adoption community.

Finally, we reveal that we’re chairing a RAA’s first year anniversary conference on the 4th April for Adoption East Midlands, until the end of Feb its open to families from that area, after that anyone can attend if there’s space. BOOK HERE The conference is going to cover a range of issues that are ever present including contact, developing children’s resilience and adopter resilience. There will also be discussion in relation to school support and peer mentors within the adoption community. Take a look here and if you’re free then we’d love to see you  as well as the night before when we’re having the Adoption and Fostering Podcast Pub Quiz (details to follow).


If you'd like to find out a little more the Adoption & Fostering Podcast's Facebook page is here, or our twitter feed here.

Listen/subscribe on iTunes here

Spotify here

Google here


Sunday, 26 January 2020

Ep 8 Let's Talk About......Developing your emotional intelligence

In an experiment Ruth gets Al to complete an EQ questionnaire and then show how that can be used as a tool for helping people develop their emotional intelligence.


We hope you find the Podcast interesting and if you want to ask questions or suggest topics please DM us on our Twitter feed here or email CELandT@Celandt.org
The hosts are Ruth Whiteside ( @RuthCoaching ), a teacher and trainer with 20 years experience, and Al Coates MBE ( @Mr_Al_Coates ), a social worker and trainer, and they will discuss specific topics as well as interview guests and practitioners across the podcasts. They're both Directors of CEL&T and you can find out more about them here.


Saturday, 25 January 2020

The A&F Podcast Adoptee Conversations - Fran

This week we speak to Fran Proctor an adult adoptee. It comes with a warning it's a hard story to hear & one that challenges many views. Fran is open and honest in sharing her experience and it provokes difficult questions that are struggled to be answered in easily. Of course, we'd recommend caution as this contains some especially difficult issues that some listeners may find upsetting.
If you’ve a story of care or adoption and would like to share your perspective or experience then please do direct message us at our twitter feed here or on our facebook page here.



Listen/subscribe on iTunes here
Spotify here
Google here


Saturday, 18 January 2020

The A&F Podcast Episode 78 - Live Podcast, Recruitment and a new Government

In what can only be described as an experiment we attempted a half live podcast with us streaming on FB for the first half of this podcast and answering various questions that came up. You can decide on how coherent it was! We answered a range of questions including issues around training in schools, attachment and working with professionals. Some familiar faces chipped in so it was rather interesting!

After that had a chat about some of the fostering and adoption recruitment missteps that have been in the media #DropTheMop as well as the new governments focus on adoption and a meeting with the minster. It was prior to the recent letter sent by the children's minister so we don't reflect on that only on what we knew at the time.

If you'd like to find out a little more the Adoption & Fostering Podcast's Facebook page is here, or our twitter feed here.
Listen/subscribe on iTunes here
Spotify here
Google here


Sunday, 12 January 2020

Ep 7. Lets Talk About...Isolation Booths

This is the start of the winter term and we're going to start putting the podcast out once every other week, six at a time to coincide with the academic term.

Isolation booths remains a contentious issue with a highly charged discussion to be found online and amongst many parents. We try to consider all this with no attempt to come to a solution but to unpick some of the issues that float around the debate as well as drawing on some personal and professional experience.




We hope you find the Podcast interesting and if you want to ask questions or suggest topics please DM us on our Twitter feed here or email CELandT@Celandt.org
The hosts are Ruth Whiteside ( @RuthCoaching ), a teacher and trainer with 20 years experience, and Al Coates MBE ( @Mr_Al_Coates ), a social worker and trainer, and they will discuss specific topics as well as interview guests and practitioners across the podcasts. They're both Directors of CEL&T and you can find out more about them here.


Saturday, 11 January 2020

Podcast Special - Adoption UK Scotland's FASD Hub

Hello, in what was a rather unusual turn of events we were asked to showcase through the medium of Podcasting the work that the FASD Hub Scotland do. We aren’t always that helpful but the work that the Hub does is progressive and offers an excellent practice model and as such we were more than happy to chat to the team. The Hub is linked to Adoption UK Scotland’s work however the advice and some of the resources available through the website are helpful and of use to families regardless.
 In the podcast Aily Brown the FASD lead co hosts with Scott and they introduce the Hub and the work that is undertaken. Scott also takes time to speak to a few professional and parents(Jessica, Judith and Jen) that have roles in the hub as well as a parent (Gemma) that has received support through the services that the Hub provides.





We hope you find it interesting and would like to get in touch with comments or suggestions then please do direct message us at our twitter feed here or on our facebook page here.
Listen/subscribe on iTunes here
Spotify here
Google here
You can access The Hub website here FASD Hub Scotland.



Saturday, 4 January 2020

The A&F Podcast Episode 77 - New Year News Round Up

This week we took the opportunity to have a brief round up on the year as well as consider some of the interesting news articles that had come up in the last few weeks of the year. We chat about the reduction in the adoption statistics as well as the high profile discrimination case won by an adoptive couple against a local authority. The rather incendiary tweet in relation to the financial benefits to local authorities/government was also discussed with no controversy courted here!



We also consider our re branding and hopefully that's all been done with this episode.
As always thank you for listening, we think it's been a good year for podcasting with a whole raft of interesting guests, co hosts and individuals who've been generous with their stories and experience. Thank you.

If you are feeling warm and fluffy a review wherever you download the podcast would be much appreciated and bolster our delicate egos. Again, many thanks to all who have done that already.
Listen/subscribe on iTunes here
Spotify here
Google here