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Help pls - our AD has turned violent

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Our 15yrs AD returned in Dec16 after 10 months of being in FC after disruption in Feb16 and court procedures of being accused of being bad parents by LA. We fought the LA as AD


The day before the final hearing AD decided she wanted to live in care home, but we still persuaded at court for her return which she did.


We did this for AD and half sibling who is fully attached to us (now 10). We have had attachment problems with AD from the onset when she came to us age 8 (back in 2009) but not half sibling (age 18 months).


Reconnect Therapy from last May16 ends at of Jun16 and AD has never really engaged but we parents have found it useful. The sessions have been quite tense as AD has just got very angry in them and pre/post the sessions.


Since returning AD has constantly being pushing us away with her behaviour, abused her phone privileges by allowing herself to be groomed but discovered in good time and increasingly being disruptive at school.


Her very aggressive behaviour and constantly telling us for last six months she wants to leave home resulted in her turning violent yesterday when we tried to remove her MP3 player. We did this as she has been excessively aggressive for the few months (daily basis) which concerned us and so we self referred to SW yesterday, saying we were increasingly worried about her behaviour and the adverse mental impact it was having on the whole family. This did please AD. The SW dropped a note to Adoption SW who is due to see AD this week for her monthly visit. They said we did the right thing as we need to put some support plan in place. We were desperate as the mental impact it was having had reached crisis point for us as a Family.


I normally 'playfight' with AD as it usually deescalate her anger but this time she just turned and started to punch and kick me, ripping my top. In an attempt after about 1/2 to calm her down, she went for me again trying to bite me, I did not react and had to restrain her down and then leave the room, again my top was torn.


We are very shocked by this behaviour as something has triggered inside her, we are not sure if it is the school or therapy but we have never seen this in her as she gets older AD and bigger our concern is could she become violent towards her half sibling??


There is a school meeting scheduled next week which AD is included as they have some big concerns about her downward spiral towards schoolwork and behaviour. We know AD likes all adults discussing her negative disruptions.


We simply do not know what to do?!! Were we wrong to dispute the LA who wanted to remain in FC? We were doing this for her but since returning it has been very difficult for her to accept our Parental boundaries and authority which has led to this crisis point.


HELP PLS, ANY ADVICE?? WHAT DO WE DO, WE NEED TO MAKE SOME DECISIONS ON THE SUPPORT NEEDED.


WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE, WE DO NOT WANT IT TO GO WORSE FROM HERE IF SHE REMAINS AT HOME, HER ANGER AND VIOLENCE COULD ESCALATE.....


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sorry I was meant to say Reconnect Therapy ends this Jun17


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sorry another correction,


....'We did this as she has been excessively aggressive for the few months (daily basis) which concerned us and so we self referred to SW yesterday, saying we were increasingly worried about her behaviour and the adverse mental impact it was having on the whole family. This did NOT please AD'....


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Ones children are back in care it is unlikely they are able to live at home again. Your daughter got the chance, it does not work out, Now it is time to take a different direction and find a new place for daughter to live with the help of ss.


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Hi. I think the playfighting in the circumstances is unwise. It clearly triggers for her. I'm glad to see sw is involved and seems supportive. If you feel in danger of assault you must ring 999 and get the police. They can remove your daughter to a place of safety.

I don't understand the term 'disrupted' to me it reads like you're like any family with a child who has extreme needs (pre adoption related obvs). They went in fc for respite and now home. It's just not working as it is.

Going forward you need to think about a plan with the professional group and your supports. nvr might help but it's not a quick fix. Might be worth a look


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Grandma was nominated person as part of the reunification 'safety' plan.


She tried to talk to AD this evening. AD is still adamant she wants to leave and is acting like no care in the world. When quizzed by Grandma about behaviour at school and why she is not listening to teachers, her response was because I can and what is the point. In fact when my wife & I were talking in the lounge, AD quietly came and sat in the kitchen, my wife caught her on the side of eye and saw AD with massive grin on her face.


We have had similar experiences just before she came back, and when quizzed why she did not say anything during the reunification assessment back in Oct/Nov, she said 'because FC was always present when SW was talking to me'.


We think AD is enjoying the negative attention and exerting control........she is craving the disruption and resultant focus and actions by LA.


We wonder how they will deal with it this time, will they point the finger or actually support a reintegration back into FC....


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I also feel playfighting is a no no esp with a 15 yr old child who as i remember from your previous posts is an extremely confused girl who has been at the centre of legal wranglings between yourselves and the la.

If i remember rightly you are dad and are not only blurring the lines between acceptable and unacceptable behaviour but also leaving yourself open to all sorts of allegations.

I am sorry to hear things are so bad for you all at present . Hope you get some support from ss asap


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Thank you wizzy. You said what I was thinking. I have a 15 year old son and it would be entirely inappropriate for me to be playfighting with him. For all sorts of reasons. You have to find a different way of de-escalating.


Maybe as much as you wanted her home, it isn't the right thing for her. Not all children can live safely and happily within a family. Time to rethink options possibly.


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All,


Thank you.


What us support group you mentioned? We really cannot go through another statutory assessment? We are asking for support, I have no idea if the LA have learnt anything about our from last year?..


They should be aware of AD stating she wanted to stay in care the day before final hearing. Surely they would be wrong to go through the whole process again. We are simply asking for support to deal with her aggressive behaviour, even school have big concerns about her downward spiral behaviour, but if AD at getting of 15 1/2 wants to live elsewhere and after a year of Reconnect Therapy what would be the point if she will simply cause greater disruption.


As I speak now, AD is acting without a care in the world, excited at the disruption, attention from friend and no doubt distraction this will cause at school, we are almost playing into her hands; but what other option do we have if she does not want to be with us, what is the point of making her stay?...


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Hi, just a quick note to say that I've read your post and my guess is AD thinks things are going to go wrong in the family and her go into FC/ Become LAC again so she's going to do it and on her terms.

It's about surviving and she will feel angry empowered and a jumble of things at once. She's conditioned completely to survive the trauma of her past. Desperate for control over her situation she will make what to us seem rediculous poor choices. But to her make total sense

1) why do well in school when in a day or maybe a week you have to leave anyway? What's the use in even trying? I'm sh*t anyway and won't ever get anywhere in life so why prove To you all I'm crap by taking exams I'm going to fail anyway.

2) defensive cock sure behaviour is rude and awful to you but to her, well, she's having a pop before you decide to move her (I'm Not judging at all btw just wondering if there's a clash of perception.)

My own experiences tell me that sometimes is isn't possible for some adoptees to manage in a family home. Once a young person starts the 'road to leaving home' it's impossible to stem the tide, but you can in some case alter direction.

We have one example of each in Blossom and Partridge.


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I vaguely remember your posts from last year, It is not so much what the la has learned, more what they see, a family in crisis despite therapy. I think the la will take over now and find a permanent solution, that is not disruption but return to care, the adoption order is not undone but you loose a bit or eventually all parental responsibility (as I get the impression S 20 is no longer indefinite).

I think there are bigger worries than school right now.

I agree with everyone else, playfighting is a big no, no. Really as soon as children are past 7 or so. You do not want to measure strength, you can easily touch private parts unintended, etc.

Safe caring is now very important, bathroom doors locked, no nudity, not going alone into her bedroom, not being alone with her etc. Did she made false allegations before? I'm not total sure.


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AD has make lies up before which the LA are fully aware of. She is not that nasty to make up serious allegations, the LA know this from past experience of dealing with her. The trouble is AD knows exactly how to play the system and SW.


I spoke with AD this morning before school and asked if she was still adamant about wanting to leave and the reasons why. She said she just wants to, and even though she has felt better once returned it was something she really wants to do.


If you recall, this was her view the day before the final hearing, at 4pm at FC she was spouting all kinds of hate at us and since returning she has been saying she was 'forced to return', has not engaged in therapy and constantly has been getting more and more aggressive, which is her indirect way of saying she wants to leave (i.e. causing disruptions).


Since AD return, again she has tried to the boy online, made up lies at drugs she has been taking drugs and being generally disruptive in class (as she sees not point in working). It could be her anxiety of education but the her reactions to it is to cause disruptions in the way she knows best.


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AD (like her birth mum) is very strong minded and thinks she can do as she pleases (a victim of being in the care world for so long) and wants to continue in any family environment i.e. she struggles with boundaries which need to be there for her own protection. This is what makes her a vulnerable child. When things do not go her way, she does not engage and connect with parents/caregivers but causes disruption, she has many years of experience of this and it is getting worse as she gest older.


What she sees as protective measures, AD sees as being caged in, as her rationale brain is underdeveloped - here lies the conflict and stress of being in a family environment. Because the issue is mental health, it is hard to detect and the 'expert' support is not there...the LA would rather spend money on accusing rather than on supporting the issues around past trauma of an adopted child.


We shall see how they will support this situation....


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Remember your posts from last year.. I know you seemed sure that the LA were not supporting you enough as a family, but you were desperate to have your daughter home even though SS weren't sure it was the best time, and your wife seemed unsure also.

I am sorry this has not worked. Our 15 yr old daughter wanted to leave us, and went into FC, following much unhappiness within the family and school. We were devastated at the time,but SS told us teenagers vote with their feet, and so she did.

However, 10 years later, we have a reasonable relationship with her, and she is able to live independently. Sounds like your daughter wants to leave again. Let her go, but keep the door open on the relationship, if you possibly can.


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Remember your posts from last year.. I know you seemed sure that the LA were not supporting you enough as a family, but you were desperate to have your daughter home even though SS weren't sure it was the best time, and your wife seemed unsure also.

I am sorry this has not worked. Our 15 yr old daughter wanted to leave us, and went into FC, following much unhappiness within the family and school. We were devastated at the time,but SS told us teenagers vote with their feet, and so she did.

However, 10 years later, we have a reasonable relationship with her, and she is able to live independently. Sounds like your daughter wants to leave again. Let her go, but keep the door open on the relationship, if you possibly can.


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Thank you Fenwick


We have said the door is open if she wants to return or visit.


I agree it is hard to make someone stay if it makes her feel unhappy to do so. For her long term happiness it might be the best, we are not saying goodbye, we just want her to be happy and we thought last year that would be in the family. During proceedings last year we just never got a chance to have real open discussion with AD, nor the LA themselves as they were hiding behind the court process and were only willing to discuss during the advocates meeting (last July they just provided an update of their intentions and were not willing to talk with reasons why).


The judge concluded that going forward we need to have an open and honest dialogue with the LA and since AD has been back, that is exactly what we have been doing, we have an excellent relationship with school who are more open with their concerns and we parents have had no concerns from raising issues with police and SS in order to protect AD. I think AD sees all this as a 'closing of the net'.


Hopefully we can continue to ensure we receive the right support and outcome going forward for our AD. If she is to thrive in life, she needs to be happy wherever she is, we will support her in that.


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The thing that springs out for me is "allowing herself to be groomed" - I don't think "allowing" is the right term for this - she is extremely vulnerable and the person doing the grooming is engaged in criminal activity. What can be done to protect her? There are specialist organisations which can advise here too. I agree school is an unimportant issue right now - she needs intensive help - mental health help - so push for that. It is quite possible she would be better off living somewhere else but its hard to say as she will feel rejected especially after you fought so hard for her return. What sort of help are you getting for yourselves? I don't mean SW help (though its good they are involved) but counselling / therapy or similar ideally from one of the specialist organisations - especially to discuss / advise / support you on how best to work with your daughter - it may help with unraveling the issues and identifying the triggers for you all as well as practical ideas and other options which may work


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Safia,


We have been seeing a highly recommended psychodynamic therapist for about year through the Reconnect services provided by Barnardo's. We have a good relationship and contact through WhatsApp as well. The therapist was a LA SW for many years and now is a CAMHS mental health worker, she see us on Fridays for private work funded by ASF. Unfortunately Barnardo's are now not the main service providers but now changed to Quorum.


AD though has not engaged really since onset and when left for an hour last Fri, she spent playing on therapists mobile phone. AD has not opened up and if anything the therapy while useful for us parents (and contributed to her return from last years lengthy court process), has been a stress and conflict for AD - she does not open up easily. There is very limited records from AD past prior to coming to us, as she was from diff LA (which post Adoption team SW is trying to find out but I think the doors will be shut based on Data Protection. I tried to find out myself back in 2010), and if there is, the current LA certainly have not been shared anything with us. I think there may be more information but it may have been deliberately kept from us.


We are where we are and the main thing to understand is what will be the best outcome for AD, but for that we need to be INVOLVED and have transparency in all discussion being held at LA.....


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Hi

Am in support of above posts.

There is a balance between how much you can take as a family and how far you can remain as a unit. There was a period when our young teen was in birth family/ foster care and she came back to us but it did not resolve.

Technically she is still in foster care but it is now called share care except she is mostly with us through her own choice.

This seems to work. We have always been involved in meetings.

It has had difficult patches particularly at first because she had anger issues and other complications.

Now the SSD sees her needs more accurately.

It is better for her and we do not get the flak for educational issues as in their care it became appalling and they then had to tailor a package for her needs which beforehand they refused to see. One meeting I remember was the sw worrying about being taken to court by education .... you cannot make it up!

Hoping things work out for you all as a family. Sometimes parenting from a distance or shared care can work.


Johanna


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We plan to use 'mentalising focus approach' which is used to treat personality disorders.


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Of course you want to be involved as much as possible and so you should be. You may find SW have more luck in bypassing data protection than you do - hopefully they should be able to at least arrange to read the files and make notes - such information is really vital. Sounds like you have very good therapeutic services set up for yourselves - have you tried art therapy for your AD or drama therapy? My daughter found art therapy really easy to connect with and had problems before with an organisation (Rape Crisis in fact) which were putting a lot of pressure on her to talk - they have no understanding of diverse needs I don't think - they eventually refused to see her as she missed 3 sessions in total (their cut off point) due to this. She is now with a specialist organisation but asked for her therapy to be art therapy based as she had had this at school too and they found her an art therapist to work with - she hasn't missed a single session with them since. I have also heard positive things about NVR though have no experience of this myself. Another thing to remember is that MH services should be involved - perhaps as an emergency referral - just saying this as if your previous therapy was through the ASF it may not have involved them and you may be worried about funding and delay


School issues can be stressful especially as they can threaten the parents but I have found that kids won't engage unless the necessary changes are made at school to make it possible - again get anyone who can support you there at the meeting. As far as the MP3 player is concerned - I would try to avoid anything confrontational at the moment - school had told us to remove xbox from my son on one occasion and this let to a violent outburst - it didn't do anything to force him into school - quite the opposite - whilst creating unnecessary stress at home. My son said the xbox helped him to deal with bullying and for some kids music similarly can be a great stress reliever too. They cannot be forced to do anything they are not ready to do and have to have the right changes made first. Are you familiar with Bryan Post? Well worth reading if not.


Another thing to remember is that she is a teenager of course and however bad it is for you it must be so much worse for her


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Hi


I have skim-read the above comments so sorry if this is wrong, but what jumped out for me is that you have expectations of this girl which cannot be met - you expect her to be able to 'get with the programme' as it were, but that's just not going to happen. I was on a course once where it was described as 'left brain thinking', where you are completely logical and base everything on what you think is reasonable and lots of Shoulds - but it is often completely inappropriate when dealing with young people whose thinking is not logical, who don't care what they should be doing. Instead they are chaotic and spilling out all over the place, and so things that you see as being the obvious thing to do (like taking her mp3 player away for being cheeky) don't have the desired effect but instead make everything worse.


It can be hard to learn new parenting styles. I guess it depends on how much you want to keep her at home and how realistic it is that it will work. For some children, it's not going to work, no matter how hard everyone tries. For others, a change of parenting style might help a lot. NVR, as safia suggested, is what I would suggest - at the end of the day it's a parenting intervention and requires a completely different way of parenting. It's a lot of work and you need to go on a course, but I would recommend it to you.


And I agree to stop the play fighting - I can't see that having a happy ending, sorry - you are really leaving yourself open to all sorts of allegations.


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let me tell you what has been going on..


AD had a good talking to by school, we also had a good meeting with them. She informed them she regretted what she did, and since then AD has been calmer. Maybe she realised no point playing games, my parents really do want me here. We spoke with therapist and it could have been a 'release' which she took out in front of those close to her. We have not had a repeat since then.


AD has decided to abuse her phone for the 3rd time, contacting strangers. We only discovered this when a 'men' from abroad started ringing her and leaving messages. The police came round and gave her a good talk and the good news is they took her phone! Since then we have caught AD trying to use Facebook messenger in the local library, which again the Police were notified of. It may feel we are using the Police to parent AD, but in our experience AD tends to listen more to 'strangers/authority'.


AD enjoyed her work experience before end of school and the good news is we have found her a similar placement for the summer. Hopefully she will enjoy the sense of routine and independence.


We have also been granted ASF funding for some further Barnardos Attachment Focused Therapy and PAC UK parenting advisors which we will start both in Sep. So we are prepared for AD GCSE year; and as long as the police keep her phone things are calmer.


I would welcome your views on why AD had the violent outburst (which hopefully is the only time)? Was it because she felt so empowered by what happened last year


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Update 25Nov,


Second incident of violence by AD now just turned 16 last week. On Thursday morning before school AD was in her usual way provoking her sibling (now 10) which continued at the front door when my wife was trying to kiss sibling goodbye for school. I was in car waiting and saw sibling waving to me to come in.


My wife simply prevented AD to stop her proding and provoking (typical sibling rivalry behaviour and instilling a parental boundary to stop it). AD turned on wife holding both her hands up and kicking her between legs. This was quite violent, we think an outpouring of anxiety over her final mock exam. My wife was quite traumatised by this and went upstairs and AD went to school.


I spoke to school student support teacher and after having a word, AD was not showing remorse saying she was now bigger than mum and blaming her sibling,


Later that day my wife spoke with therapist who recommended to reconnect and repair later that day but still as of today no remorse. I connected that evening told her it was wrong and told her to apologise to wife for criminal assault but again none received.


I know what AD is doing, trying to control and enjoying it even though deep down she knows what she did was unacceptable.


Last night I spoke to the Police (not SS this time) and were totally understanding of the risk this behaviour could escalate if no remorse is being shown. AD does not openly show regret this time.


The Police are visiting us this evening to discuss and provide various options should we wish to peruse it further.


We do not want AD having a criminal record but at the same time we do not want this behaviour to get worse, what could she do next time if she thinks she can get away with this type of behaviour?


At this stage we do not want to involve SS but use the Police to record the incident and speak with AD.


Are we doing the right thing?


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I believe that you can ask for incidents to be "notebooked" where it is recorded and can be used if further incidents occur.

We found that our girls did not show remorse at the time but years later have apologised for the behaviours which were unacceptable.

Johanna x


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Violence is unacceptable and I don’t condone her actions. However I’m not sure that expecting her to show remorse is helpful. You say she’s probably stressed because of exams etc so maybe see that as a starting point for talking and reconnecting. Presume you’ve come across toxic shame? Maybe that’s how she’s feeling right now.


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How will this continue? your daughter is actively abusing your wife who can not stand up against her violence. Before anyone gets seriously hurt it is time for your daughter to move in my opinion.


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I think you are totally doing the right thing asking police to speak to her. If they can record it and speak to her without action being taken then so much the better on his occasion, but she has to realise that violent behaviour has consequences, and you will not put up with it, and will act if necessary. It's testing your boundaries. Other wise she grows up to abuse a vulnerable partner. I am not sure you can expect her to show remorse at this stage, but at least you have made the boundaries clear and she will know that. Remorse is just feelings, it's a change of actions you want ( i.e. not attacking your wife) and no repeat if she wants to continue living at home. Your wife has a right to feel safe in her own home, as has your other daughter.

Best Wishes

Pingu


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I think getting the police involved is a good idea. I've never called them in those kind of circumstances but have had several dealings with them and have found them matter of fact and non judgemental. I imagine your dd won't be charged with anything unless your wife wants to press charges.


I too think expecting remorse is not helpful. Remorse either comes from the heart or it isn't there. Possibly it is well hidden and your dd is unable to show you her true feelings due to feelings of toxic shame.


But to discuss and understand the consequences of her behaviour might be helpful as would some exploration, if she'll let you, of her underlying feelings. Year 11 is very stressful to children with low self esteem and possibly no real expectation of success. 16 is also a difficult age but also a time in life when perceptions can start to shift.


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Police round this evening, was the same guy who saw earlier this year re mobile phone incident.


Spoke with AD who admitted she was 'violent' but after several attempts by policeman provided a code of silence when asked about kneeing wife. We were both present. AD was quite happy to fabricate her version of events which policeman picked up immediately and said to AD, who responded putting up a front (with tears in her eyes) saying she does not like the Police or SWs.


We believe AD is finding this all funny and does not understand the implication of what she was saying. Policeman said to us in front of AD if future incident of violence occurs, to ring 999 and they will remove her.


Police report will now feed into Multi agency service hub teams who assess if AD poses an increased safeguarding risk not only to family members but to herself. We provided names of Post Adoption Support manager and Therapist.


Policeman advised AD she is not seen as a victim but suspect due to her comments. Think something sunk in, but AD will need a few days to reflect what she has done and we are seeing therapist this week.


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Our AD keeps pushing us away.


Police single agency referral to MASH resulted in no further action as deemed low risk.


Two days ago AD was being overly aggressive towards wife and threatening to smash up room, being very thuggish. It has been a year now and AD is still insisting she never wanted to return and forced to do so.


Yesterday we reported her aggression to SS.


Enough is enough, we have said prevention is better than reporting third incident which could be much much worse. There is definitely a risk as no one knows what is going through AD head.


AD is now 16, she has done her research, these acts of violence is what she is seeing as a way of leaving on her terms, even though we do not want her to, there is a risk next time she could something quite bad.


What will SS do? Do we have to make her 'homeless' for there to be action? In our opinion, the risk of violence is there but will they listen to us?....


....we do not want to be in a situation like Bop for AD to do something drastic....it is mutually beneficial for us now to be away from each o'ther as that is what AD wants, but will SS listen, how long will it take?...


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Look for a similar project as this one: http://www.onestepatatime.org.uk/ Maybe you can get her in (with the help of social services). Or you might be able to create her own appartment at your house, a caravan in the back garden, the loft converted to independent unit etc. Maybe you can rent her a room somewhere, family, friends? If she has no trouble in school you might be able to plan her exit and come to compromises before she moves out, maybe push the moment forwards?

If you really think she can be dangerous, make your house safe, sleep with your door locked, have a back up plan, be pro active.

Nobody can tell you the mysterious ways ss operate, you have had them involved and you

know a bit how they work in your area, asa general rule don't expect wonders.


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It is New Year's Eve, I have woken up in the middle of the night reflecting on the 2018 year ahead and what it will bring to our family. I have a horrible sickening feeling in my stomach...


...my Head is saying we are doing the right thing (by progressing with SS for AD to go back into care) as the risk of future incident could be much much worse; and my Heart is saying the opposite! It is bringing back feelings of 2016 court proceedings again where the heart certainly won...


Has anyone else had this dilemma? Are we right this time to follow the head?


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Yes absolutely in my opinion. You have tried again to make it work at home and things have escalated into violence . I have followed your story and all the tooing and froing and legal stuff is helping no one. I think personally that you have to make a decision and stick to it and if your gut feeling is that your daughter leaving the family home is best then hold fast and move forward. It is horrible but you must keep everyone safe otherwise you might have bigger regrets down the line. She will still be your daughter and it may improve your relationship as it seems to have done before.

Though having said all that only you as a family know when you have reached the end of the line. What does your wife think ?

So sorry it is so hard for you all at the moment and hope 2018 is a better year for you all . Best wishes


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Thanks Wizzywoo, my wife is of the same opinion but she is not so animated or articulate her opinion as me e.g. she made note of the recent assault on her but had concerns about raising with Police or SS, as their bureaucracy causes her stress and she does not want to go through it all again.


However I can see the bigger picture and the potential risk of further disruption once AD starts mixing with peers at school and thereon after once she gets older and mixes with people outside of safeguarded space of school. We think the long court process in 2016 and delaying tactics by SS really did impact the little attachment AD had, this made the Reconnection very difficult, AD is still saying after a year that she never wanted to return and was forced to do so. She have never engaged in the therapy and when she has, she bullied and abused us.


It was SS strategy to keep her in care, this empowered AD to treat us badly and they knew it, they just did not admit it. It only came out in court on final hearing when the consultant SW said to us in the advocate discussions they know AD will 'bad month' us parents when they tried for AD to remain contact with FC.


So in my opinion, how could SS now disagree with what is best for AD now she has escalated to violence to get what she wants?


I would be interested to hear from others that have failed Reconnections (Johanna?) and if/how SS supported you? Or did you face another bureaucratic nightmare?...


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You have tried all avenues to live positively as a family.

If your gut feeling is that your AD is not modifying some of her behaviours then maybe it is time for other options.

All I can say is that in our family we maintained our relationship through parenting from a distance.

Our girls spend a lot of time with us now by choice.

You can only ever create opportunities and it is up to AD to make her choices. If she makes poor choices she will live with and hopefully learn from the consequences.

It is sad to realise that chronological age brings responsibility and rights which a lot of adopted children cannot manage at this time but this is what Society decrees.

You have built up family memories of years together and this counts for a lot.

Our relationship with the girls has evolved and changed. When they left we all had to work through a lot of intense and mixed emotions but things are more settled now. There are dramas at regular times as their approach to life is not the same as ours but we get on.

All the best for the New Year for you all ... There will be changes and I hope that these have good outcomes.


Johanna x


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Completely agree with Johanna.

Our girl left at just turned 16 following several years of ( ha) challenging times. TBH there was no support from SS, she didn't want them in her life, made it impossible for Foster Care ( threatened FC children) and often didn't return to the Residential home she was offered. They basically washed their hands of her, but it was hard to see where they could go..

It sounds like you have tried very hard but in the end you have another child and your wife to think of. I was bullied and threaded for years and trust me, you don't forget it. I remember crying with anxiety in the supermarket because AD had asked me to buy her something and I wasn't sure which product if I got the wrong thing. Crazy now when I think back.. even now, when we have a reasonable/ good relationship, when I hear her voice when she calls I feel sick until I know it's all ok.

Give yourselves a life and let her go


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I'm another one who called time/ called EDD's bluff and agreed she should move out (aged 15). Our relationship has gradually improved, as she no longer has the means to manipulate me - she is welcome to visit whenever she likes, but has to keep the house rules (fairly basic!) or she has to go back to her current home.


Yes, she bad mouthed me right left and centre, including to YDD who I was trying to protect from being in caught in the middle. And it was very painful to be treated as though I had 'failed' DD - when I had gone to the point of losing my job and my own mental health being affected. The real end was realising that EDD was more invested in 'winning' than being in the family, and that I couldn't trust her not to make false allegations, which as I work in the sector, and had YDD to think of as well, would have been catastrophic.


Once I was out of the picture, though, and the next placement broke down, I think the SWs and support workers had a wake up call. Funnily enough, all the 'rescuers' disappeared quickly when it was a matter of DD needing somewhere to live Biggrin


She also had a year/ 18 months of various placement breakdown after moving out, and has since turned 18. There's no extended support here - once you're 18 you're no-one's responsibility but your own. Suddenly she found that the SWs and support workers weren't all that sympathetic and stopped seeing her as a victim.


So for us disruption has been a good thing (she even helps with the housework occasionally!). The reality is, while you care about having your daughter at home more than she cares about being at home, she's going to do whatever she wants. And she will probably be happy with Mutually Assured Destruction rather than not 'winning'.


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First thing Tues, we rang SS and SW visited AD and wife on Weds morning. AD was quite happy to strongly express her views to move out, admitted she was violent towards both parents and also said she was threatening to smash up her room. Wife also spoken to where we said this feeling was os from Dec16 court case where AD was forced to return.


After school yesterday AD was angry as she was expecting to go to be taken away and was again threatening to do something to make it happen. We reported this to Police who noted and also recommended to call out of hours SS, which I did and stressed the risk. They notified SW and Manager but I did not hear anything....after leaving several reminders to get an update and requesting respite for FC to be found ASAP.


...hear we go again...closed door discussions....


I decided to call Head of Safeguarding. After several chasers, I eventually got a call after he had a quick update from SW team. I asked him about the process and what happens next. He said he chairs panel meetings weekly and will need team to perform assessment. He said if AD is adamant to leave then team will need to explore options available but she would be too vulnerable for the local YMCA, I agreed, and FC are not forthcoming for 16yr olds. I suggested the previous FC were willing to have her till 18 but they have moved house since so this may not be a possibility. He is also mentioned another possibility was supported lodgings, but it needs to take time as any move will need to planned for it to successful. I said AD wants to move ASAP.


It was news to him to hear she came to us nearly 8, I said no one knows her history or past life from a different LA.


I also briefly spoke to him about the way the court case was handled by LAC team where there was no open and honest communication (something judge should happen going forward), and the underhand way they promoted their agenda. Making internal decisions with no engagement. He said well I am being open and honest with you now. (...?...). I said the actions of LAC severely impacted the Reconnection therapy and gave example of how LAC team stopped us from seeing AD during summer of 2016, even though we had 100% PR!


Also what has happened this year since with escalation to violent outbursts and phone incidents. I said my wife being assaulted meant enough was enough. To me this behaviour is directly attributable to the way LAC empowered AD to abuse and bully us when in FC. This behaviour has continued and AD gain is being very divisive to get what she wants now she is 16.


I thanked him for ringing me and taking time to listen, I was pleasantly surprised such a senior person has done this.....watch this space....do I think the SW assessment will be any different, or will it blame us. I don't think I will be pleasantly surprised again.....I expect the usual code of silence, lack of engagement and blame before anything happens.


I explained this conversation to AD on her return from school and she is still adamant nothing will happen quickly. As I write this we are getting verbally abused.


I just might on Monday, tell SW again, that she is not to return from school. It is miraculous how quickly a FC might be found! However at this stage I will take the advice of Head of Safeguarding and wait a week, but as I have his attention, I am certainly prepared to contact him again rather than his frontline staff who have no authority and always 'need to speak their manager'. I even might actually invite myself to his weekly panel meeting!


People at the top need to be made aware of adoptive issues.


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Sorry to hear about all this. You need to be persistent and keep the pressure up. You may also have to be realistic and accept a less than ideal placement for her. Do not hesitate to call the police if the situation warrants it. They are good at putting pressure on other agencies to act.


Lily x


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Surprise Surprise, SW has not progressed assessment or done anything for panel tomorrow, against what I was told last week. After simply chasing to get a progress report, SW rang saying they have 45 days and saying impression she got from last week was AD does not want to leave....the BLAME GAME HAS STARTED


I said she does and there is risk of another violent incident a FC needs to be found. She then started delaying tactics. I asked do you know what we through in 2016 and she said No (!!Unbelievable!!).


I rang Head of Safeguarding, left message, got no response and chased, the SW Manager spoke to me, who confirmed assessment will be done for next Thursday panel and asked me what we wanted. I said for AD to be way from family so she can reflect if she wants to be with family. I then had to provide overview of 2016 court case and 2017 violent incidents....you could not even write this! Do these people not read any case history!


SW then rang wife to be divisive and will be seeing AD at school tomorrow, no doubt to get ammunition for her assessment....BLAME.


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Not surprised but sheesh it’s blooming awful. Why oh why can’t they try honesty integrity and some flipping humanity ?

Sending you lots of cyber support


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Thursday panel and asked me what we wanted. I said for AD to be way from family so she can reflect if she wants to be with family.


I hope I understand this right, you say you want her to be awayfor a while so she can 'reflect'. You have to know ones children have been back in care they seldom return home. Your daughter was in care and returned home, it is not working out. Unrealistic to think that it will after she reflect, she's likely to say 'yes I come home', but this would not be a wise decision.

Maybe that's confusing for ss as well, is it not better to say what you want is that a long term foster placement is found where she can live until she moves into some sort of independent living arrangement. What you also would like is a workable relationship with her and the possibility that she is allowed to visit, maybe even sleep over or celebrate occasions in your family. Important to say you want to work with the foster carers together so the best interests of your daughter are met.

Having said this I understand how fustrating it must be for you to deal with ss when they are so secrative and unprofessional.


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It is very hard to say we want her to be in long term FC as the knives will then come out! There are two key factors here 1) She was and still of feeling that she never really wanted to return, this appeared even 'beyond control' of SS during the court process as not identified in their reunification assessment, and has not been resolved even after a year of being back in in care; even though as we think our relationship is little better, the length of time in FC as had its affect on attachment. 2) Violence, this will only escalate if 1) is unresolved.


I have written to SW Manager to be more sensitive and be aware of the ordeal we went through in 2016.....so normal procedures do not apply in our opinion. This again is stressing my wife as she does not like the SS phishing or criticisms, rather than myself who can rise above it all, is more resilient to their processes and will try for the best outcome not only for AD but our family as a whole. We have said our AD will door is open for her to visit anytime, but we suspect AD will enjoy her time apart before having those feelings to be part of family from afar.


This all is outstanding from 2016, simple as that, it was SS agenda to keep her in care but I have no doubt they will still BLAME us this time again. It is not in their interest to own up to their own failings.


Was any sympathy shown by SSS for those that had failed Reconnections?


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I'm not really understanding what you are looking for..excuse me if I have misunderstood. I think you fought hard to have your daughter come back to live with you, though she didn't really want to come back, and your wife was also not sure if it was the right way forward. It hasn't worked, and now you and she wants her to return to FC ( difficult to find placements for 16 yr olds) .If she is anything like my daughter was ( and still is) " reflection" is a mental process totally beyond her! The SS may well need the background explained again ( sometimes their paperwork is lamentable, they sent a letter to a neighbour who opened, read and "shared") and you may feel " blamed" and judged. If you end up with what you want, so what?


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