Wednesday, 29 April 2020

Northumbria Police's press release for the CCVAB report.

Here's Northumbria Police's press release for the CCVAB report, worth a read even if it is to look at the comments. They reflect a range of views that so many families come up against again and again. It refreshes the vigour in which we need to raise awareness.

Note to self: Never read the comments.

We want this to influence other forces as well as give the Home Office food for thought, please share wide and far.

Sunday, 26 April 2020

A&F Podcast - Conversations: Nicola

In this episode Nicola shares her story of adoption. It’s a difficult story to listen to as with limited or no support Nicola and her husband supported children with challenging and aggressive behaviour for many years. Nicola shares the impact on the whole family as well as on her mental and physical health.




This is a  personal account with personal views and at times is hard to listen to but reflects the experiences of an increasing number of adoptive families. We advise caution as this is a challenging listen but we hope you find it thought provoking and interesting.
Nicola writes:
'Our experience of adoption has not been an easy one but it is far from unique. Many adoptive families have had similar experiences, particularly with their local authority. My original reason for telling my story was to help improve the understanding of any social workers who are stuck in a child protection mindset and don’t have the training to understand the impact that early childhood trauma has on family life.  Or that parenting  children who have had very difficult starts in life is extremely challenging  and even the best parenting may not be good enough in some circumstances. I want them to understand, that in these cases, support not criticism is vital. 
More recently after our complaint to the local authority was upheld I have been working with them. 
I have been very impressed that they have now heard this message and are working extremely hard to provide additional training around whole family support. They have accepted that things were not done well in our case and although a little too late for our family have been receptive to making essential changes to avoid this happening to any other families. So if you recognize your struggle in our story please don’t give up. There are people in local authorities who do want to listen and make a difference.'

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.
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Saturday, 25 April 2020

Episode 88 - Police Report on CCVAB & New Regulation

Adding to the other podcasts this weekend Scott and Al discuss the newly released report on Policing Childhood Challenging Violent & Aggressive Behaviour (CCVAB) and you can download it here. Al gives a quick run through of the key findings and point and the potential impact for developing understanding of behaviour. They then unpick some of the aspects of the The Adoption and Children (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 that were put in place today and what that may mean for children, adopters, foster carers and social workers.


We hope you enjoy and 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
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Friday, 24 April 2020

Adoption and Fostering Podcast: Conversations - Sophie

In this episode Sophie shares her story recounting the challenges that the impact of early adversity and trauma drew into her family life.



We’ve worked hard to protect her son during the interview and we focus on the challenges that Sophie faced working with the  services that she looked to for help and the challenge of keeping her son safe at that time. This is a hard listen and contains a personal and  honest account that some listeners may find upsetting or worrying so please be wise and listen with caution. Though Sophie’s story isn’t that unusual it remains uncommon.

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


Policing Childhood Challenging Violent or Aggressive Behaviour: Responding to Vulnerable Families

So, here it is the Policing Childhood Challenging Violent or Aggressive Behaviour: 
Responding to Vulnerable Families report. You can read the Executive Summary here with the full report being available on the 27th April.

It’s taken some time and right from the off I need to thank Dr Wendy Thorley for all the work that she has done, not only in liaising, organising, chivvying along different folks (mainly me) but in also crunching the data and writing the report up. The report draws on Northumbria Police’s 500+ call outs from parents and carers over a 9 month period in crisis due to the violent and aggressive behaviour of the children in their homes. 

The report builds on what is a steadily growing body of research that considers the underlying issues that impact on children who display extreme aggressive and violent behaviour. For us that culminated in the  2018 Child on Parent Violence and Aggression Survey but in this report we worked in partnership with the police to consider the current interventions they undertake and how to improve them.   

During this process  I’ve been given access to records and though I thought I’d become hardened to the challenges that children and families face I confess to being rendered speechless reading some of the incident reports. Stories of incredibly vulnerable children, their mental ill health, SEND, adversity, trauma, substance misuse and more all playing out in homes across the region. 

I'll not pre empt your reading of the findings, however that the report was written offers me hope for the future of this issue. We measure what matters and this is an issue that matters for many families, for every police call out there are multiple incidents that don't reach the extreme of a 999 call hidden in a veil of silence. There are many untold stories of families struggling under fear of social care intervention, fear of violence, isolation, shame and mental ill health. This report is not the end of the issue but it is another light shining into a dark room of many families lives. 

You can read the summary to the report here 



Saturday, 18 April 2020

The A&F Podcast Episode 87 - Sally Donovan

In this episode we chat to Sally Donovan about a whole raft of things. We discuss the transition from adoptive parent to author then campaigner and chat about some of the challenges on the way both personally as well as with the professionals that she worked with. We also think about Sally's latest book, The Unofficial Guide to Therapeutic Parenting the Teen Years and the challenges that adolescence, and beyond, can bring to families as they look to make sense of the world.




It's a lighthearted conversation but we do talk about some of the challenges that Sally's faced as well as life beyond writing and parenting. We also mention Ron the cat, use occasional grown up words and have a brief but predictable foray into yet another vomit story.

We hope you enjoy and 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:
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Saturday, 11 April 2020

The A&F Podcast Episode 86 - Rosie the Adoption Social Worker (pt2), Pol and the lads

In this episode we catch up on the second part of Rosie the Adoption Social Worker’s interview and this time it’s all about tracing. Drawing on her own experience she shares some of the challenges of the role, to help we got ‘friend of the show’ Pol on to offer a little insight from her own experience.
Again, its our views and our perspectives so take that into account.



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

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Tuesday, 7 April 2020

Podcast Special - Martin Barrow, Corvid 19 and Foster Care

In this special edition we speak to Martin Barrow, foster carer and journalist, about the implications and impact of the restrictions on public services and private lives in light of the Corvid 19 virus.
There's a lot to cover and we open up a wide range of issues from the really practical of managing children during a lockdown, how to facilitate contact with families and the implications for supervising social workers in fulfilling their roles.  The impact on services is broad ranging we discuss the regulatory challenges as well as some of the measures to speed up approval for carers or waiving approval statuses. We could have talked further but kept to an hour, we hope you enjoy and find it helpful.



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, 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