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Placement Breakdown

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Dear all,


After ten years I have had enough and made the decision that I want my eldest adopted son removed from the home. He is 15.5. I cannot go into all the details but it has been hard with him from day one and I need to put the needs of the younger siblings ahead of his.


I have told social services and they are coming today to start their assessment, however I want him removed as quickly as possible, I do not want him in the house anymore. Has anyone any experience of this and what happens next? Also any advice please. Please don't advise me to try and work through it with him at home, we have been through all that before. There is only so long one can live under this pressure. I am heartbroken but my decision is made.


Many thanks


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Dear TeaandToast


I'm very sorry to hear this. I do have personal experience but am about to go out to take my AD's old dog to the vet. Will reply later.


Lily x


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t&t (((((())))))) gentle hugs coming your way. with two of my three the decision was made for us as their bail conditions said that they could have no contact with us for our safety. SS will do all they can to keep him with you or with a family member, you must reiterate the long term damage being done to your other children, reiterate your concerns for their safety. they should carry out an risk assessment, be clear on what you want and why you want it. Will you have someone with you at this meeting, try to get as much written down about his behaviours and the effects it is having on family. so sorry to hear yet another family going through a crisis with teens.


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If this is what you have to do you need to be very clear that he is not able to stay tonight, you are making him homeless. Phone SS and and also email them and their bosses so it is also down in writing.


Sadly it's going to be tough and you may well be guilt tripped. When I put my daughter under a section 20 when I was told there were no foster placements for 16 year olds( for 10 days before she went in to care) but she was completely off the rails and putting herself at risk so going into care was the lesser of the two evils.


In our case we didn't let daughter know what we were going to do, sent her off to school and hubby made the calls to SS as I felt so dreadful I couldn't do it. We told them she couldn't come back home so they collected her from school brought her back to collect her bag and took her to their offices. I made an inventory of everything we sent with her and anything extra that she took. Our genuine hope at the time was that section 20 would be temporary and we could be reconciled. I wrote a letter to daughter expressing this and that we loved her, kept a copy for myself, gave her a copy and gave the SW a copy. He looked at me as if we were barking mad but we had no trust in SS, no trust in daughter and realised we had to be very focal in presenting ourselves as the parents we are.


Daughter was shell shocked but went calmly. It sounds awful but the relief in the hour after daughter had gone was palpable. There were a nervous four hours before we got the call to say she was with foster carers who wer experienced with teenagers.


The days and months afterwards were very tough as daughter decided she was only interested in getting her Christmas presents, wouldn't engage in mediation, made false allegations which were taken seriously, and banned us from reviews. SS never engaged with us but wrote inaccurate reports on us. The senior SW actually said " we do not have time to listen to you" . Basically they just listened to daughter, who is a compulsive liar and thief . Sadly I believe daughter has shot herself in the foot as their assessments that we as parents are the problem means she hasn't got the expert therapy she desperately needs.


If you need something from the doctor to help you sleep, get it. Get as much emotional support for yourself as you can. The guilt and condemnation your own mind puts on you can be a killer without the stress of interaction with SS.


If you want to pm me please feel free, it's a very tough road to travel


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Dear T&T,

Also have experience of this AS went back into care at 15. Was a very long and hard road, months of fighting with SS. In the end the volume of Police reports (they were called to my house pretty much every night for about 2 months) still weren’t enough for SS to remove him, on the other hand Police were very concerned and had an "immediate response" flag on my phone number. In the end I was living on my own (both husband and daughter had to live elsewhere) and I just locked the door one day and refused to have him back, the guilt was enormous but I stood my ground. SS started muttering about “abandonment” but in the end it came to nothing and months later after various court proceedings he was no longer “allowed” to return home.

We are a few years on now and I feel like I am still licking my wounds at times but home life really is lovely and so different from what we had been going through, we have all re-built our relationships and in some ways value them more after nearly losing everything.

My heart goes out to you and your family


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I would not even suggest to SS that you might hurt him- they would be after your blood !


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I'm with Nancy - suggesting you might hurt him would lead you down the Child Protection route and could result in all your children being removed.


I would emphasise the risk to the younger children from him - and make sure you show you are doing all you can to protect them. If he is violent, call the police as that is further evidence to back up the need for change.


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TeaandToast, we know that this is decision that you are taking with a heavy heart. Only you know what you have been through and what needs to be done to protect everyone, including him


Be gentle with yourself


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Many thanks for your valuable comments. I am trying to write down all the impact on my younger children but as many of you will know, everyone in the house normalises the behaviour and we have just got on with it. If anyone has any ideas on how to articulate these things I would be grateful. Its all much the same as most adopters experience - aggression, swearing, stealing, lying etc etc.


There are reams of police, school and post adoption support notes about what has gone on but I still feel I am going to be looking at a massive fight with SS. He doesn't attend school or college at present so no respite in the day either. I would never suggest I was going to hurt him - I love this boy, I want him to be part of the family but sadly I don't think he wants to be other than as a roof over his head. I had a chat with him today and I have spoken about us taking some space from each other and looking at therapies that we could work on whilst having that space but he isnt interested in any more therapy. He has ADHD but refuses to take medication. I am exhausted, I feel beaten. I honestly don't know what I could do to help him anymore.


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Hello TeaandToast


Your best hope is to emphasise the safeguarding issues with regard to your younger children. Record all aggressive and violent outbursts. The police can help you a lot by visiting, speaking to your son regarding his behaviour, and passing on concerns and demanding action from social services. I found the police most helpful when I was awaiting a residential school placement for my AD when she was 14 and had been excluded from school. She was an alcoholic, abused solvents and shoplifted at the time. Make sure you keep pressure on social services by informing them of every serious incident. That includes the out of hours team. I remember phoning EDT and just letting them listen to her on the phone while she ranted and raged.


Sadly I had to put my AS into care when he was nearly 16. (Both my adopted children had been diagnosed with ADHD too. My AS was not taking the medication either.) I had been struggling for a long time and was exhausted. He truanted from school, lied, stole, caused damage and had burgled the house. One day he menaced me in the car with a cigarette lighter and, when he refused to give it to me, I took him to the social work department and said he could not return home with me. I was a single parent and I was not prepared to allow him to menace me in the house. He went to foster care. I was annoyed that he was categorised as having been abandoned when it was his menacing behaviour that precipitated him going into care.


Unfortunately on account of his behaviour all his placements broke down and he eventually ended up in a homeless hostel.


My AD is now 31 and my AS is 32. Life has been a roller coaster for them both. And for me. I am sad that I had to take the decisions that I took but I have never regretted them. I believe I had no choice and my conscience is clear.


You are going to have to be persistent and strong. In my case I could not personally take any more. You have younger children to consider.


Wishing you well.

Lily x


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I’m very sad to hear that, Tea and Toast, but understand completely.

SS will not want to take him away but I think you’ll have to be very forceful in saying that he has to leave and not have it turned into a long round of meetings.


I don’t normally criticise other posters openly on here, but I have to say, Pluto, that suggesting she tells SS that she will hurt her son is the most irresponsible and stupid thing I’ve heard. They’d have her arrested if she suggested that!


.


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Hi tea and toast.

I'm ever so sorry to read you've got to this position. MyAC are now young adults. But when blossom was 12 we had to make the same awful choice.

She was so violent and increasingly disturbed and I realised the next time we could well be talking about a child's death or serious injury. I just couldn't do that.

So blossom moved to live with my parents in the very short term.

Crisis meeting offered no placements and we told them she needed a therapeutic community. We were laughed at. Then told she needed a 3:1 level 5 fc situation at least. Which made me choke as they expected me to manage for years with no support and mostly at our house the ratio was the other way around.

But there followed a placement support meeting where CAMHS and our excellent gp presented reports saying blossom needed a THerapeutic community

It took a few months to organise

We visited several and wrote reports

Then social care refused to meet with health to agree it, until the mp got involved and then,funnily enough, meetings were held, money agreed

We held out within the family until her move, but she could not come home.

We continued to visit and be very involved in her life until she was 17 - having fallen though a number of placements and then ss decided she should go back to her 'real family' (which is another story)

Her moving was heartbreaking but aIt enabled our other children to move on in life, make some connections and have a life not governed by total fear.


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I see it more as a desperate attempt to show ss how bad the situation is, I wrote might not will. When I read what the hunderd steps are for adopters to be taken seriously I think that's quite bad. Maybe I should have written 'in self defense' as I pressume he might be very agressive at times.

I do not think anyone will be arrested, it's just how you bring it. Nothing wrong with letting them know that you too as adopter are very stressed by the situation, and that he's challenging to the point that you might not be fully in controle of unpredictable situations, as again I pressume there are plenty.


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Pluto - I know of an adopter who was arrested after her daughter made allegations that she had hit her....that part did all get sorted out in the end, but she also nearly lost herr son at that point and I could never recommend anyone to "choose" that route, as once you are viewed as a perpetrator, you are disbelieved on everything and even now her opinions around the best option for her daughter are ignored.

It is fair to say that when she asked for her daughter to be accommodated there was "no space" but a place was found very quickly once they thought the daughter was at risk after making allegations against her Mum, so in that sense it does move things forward, but I think the cost is too high, especially if there are other children involved.


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They came. They offered no real solutions except family therapy. Said they don't do respite. Shes gonna do her report. I just don't know what to think.


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You need to keep pushing.....keep a diary, video incidents if possible to do so safely, look after yourselves....sadly accommodating a child is expensive so its very much a last resort, so keep pushing the short and long term impact on the younger children....


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If you don't want your son in your house it does boil down to telling them he is not able to stay there. You have to be that clear and direct with them, I know it feels awful to do but if you are sure you need to give them the ultimatum.


It is surprising how foster carers suddenly appear when SS decide they need them.


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I have know parents who have warned school they won't be coming to collect their child. Then ss are called and an emergency placement is found.

It would've nice if simply by making requests ss acted and found a placement, with our dd it was awfully tough


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Again the ss mutter about charging parents with abandonment but I've never know a parent charged let alone prosecuted in these circumstances.


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I am going to keep a diary so that I have a record of incidents. Its more stressful when SS become involved then when you do things on your own. It felt today that she was trying to put the blame over onto us when she talked about the family dynamic. There are no real problems with my other children and a catalogue of issues around my eldest and yet somehow this is my fault? Maybe I'm being overly sensitive but it felt that way. She also said that she needs to make sure the children are safe and I felt like I was being put under some kind of scrutiny. Maybe I am imagining it but it felt like she was looking at us as me v the kids rather than us as a family. She also asked me to sign a consent form - whilst I was crying so not in a good state - which she said was in relation to gathering information. I am now worried as to what I am agreeing to. She gave me a leaflet but its not particularly clear. I have emailed her and asked her to clarify and send me a copy.


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It is in their interests to scapegoat you as much as they can.


You are just a resource who has the nerve to challenge them and they won't like that. You are making their job more difficult. I remember begging them for help on the brink of tears yet desperately trying to be calm and rational. I may as well have been speaking Chinese. The total lack of compassion and empathy was mind blowing. In my case I felt like the SWs primary goal was to do everything possible to with hold help.


You are not the problem here, they are at fault. I hope you are able to get some sleep tonight and that you get the help you need.


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Dear TeaandToast. I have no experience, but just wanted to send you hugs and add to the support you have here. It's great that you are recording incidents. It made me wonder if you should write down what you want to say to SS, so they don't blindside you when you are upset. In general, people seem to be waking up to the fact that an adopted chid can be so traumatised that they can't be helped just by being loved by an adoptive family. It beggars belief that so many in SS aren't doing the same. Hxx


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I can't sleep at all tonight. I really felt that the sw asked my daughter leading questions and that she also had no understanding of our situation and the pressure our family was under. I may have said this previously but I have been going over things in my head and I felt like she was blaming me. I didn't feel she had any understanding of how EY trauma is demonstrated in children. I feel completely let down and frustrated. Can I ask for a different social worker?


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Also should my children always have someone with them when spoken to? We've had lots of dealings with schools and therapists and social workers but I've always felt they were on our side so have felt perfectly fine about letting my children speak to them alone if they are happy to do so. After today I'm not so sure. So what am I required to do? If the sw wants to speak to the child alone can I say no?


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I'm sorry if I seem naive. I'm feeling a bit lost tbh. Up until now everyone has felt like they're working with us to a common end which was to help my son.


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One further question! Do you think I should email the SW's supervisor with my concerns from today's meeting? Thank you!


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Hi. Sorry you can't sleep. I can keep you company if nothing else! ( I am in hospital with one of my daughters). I wondered if you have come across the potato group ( stands for Parents of Traumatised Adopted Teens ). They have a website. I am really sorry for what you are going through and I hope you get more support as a result xx.


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https://thepotatogroup.org.uk


Please do contact them, Tea&Toast.


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In my experience, I found that Social workers went straight into blaming the adopters. Hold fast to what YOU know is the truth: your son was damaged by what was done to him long before he arrived with you.

Xx


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This is really a time where you have to trust your own judgement because you are the expert on your son because you have lived with him day in day out for all these years.


I am so sorry you have had such a rough night but I completely relate to how your mind has gone into hyper drive looking for a solution. The reality is the SW isn't going to be your best buddy in this because they don't want to take on the problem. Maybe I'm too cynical but I don't imagine changing SW if that is even possible will bring about a better result. You need to leave a paper trail. Every phone call email them reiterating what you said, what they said and to cc in senior bosses. I'm not sure it actually makes them more helpful but atleast it keeps track of what is going on when you are going through all the trauma.


I had always thought of myself as quite a strong person. However when you're fighting for what your child and family need and the more you say the more SWs look at you as if you are insane I think your mental state can become understandably fragile. The lack of sleep alone has you questioning yourself .


If you do get him into care and have any meetings with SWs try and take someone with you who can take minutes of the meetings. If you end up on a section 20 it feels like you have little power as an angry child seems to call the shots and can decide not to let you go to the LAC reviews. We successfully with held our daughters passport from SWs as we were worried if she went abroad with foster carers she would run off with any handsome waiter and put herself in danger. SW was completely annoyed and frustrated with us. They threatened to send police to collect passport so we said, ok, do that. Had a few more emails about how we were depriving daughter of a holiday, being unreasonable to which we replied, " so if she ends up trafficked you will take responsibility for that?" It all blew over and we won that battle.


I honestly don't know the answer to your children speaking to SW on their own. If you say they can't I can envisage SW saying you are being controlling and abusive. If you let them speak on their own they could be manipulated into telling the " story" that best suits SWs agenda. Regardless of what any of you say to the SWs they will write in their reports whatever suits them anyway. You can add your own amendments to these reports but they are attached to the report ( I expect that helps with the "getting lost " process ). The report apparently can't get rewritten even with factual mistakes in it ( ours had dates wrong and a catholic group that our daughter attended within the Protestant church ! ). There were dates in our report that hadn't even taken place at that time. Need an emoji for laughing and rocking like a demented lunatic right now.


Try and eat something today . I hope you have some close friends who are supporting you.


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I also think you should write to manger and state your concerns , nothing to lose, and if you are lucky and she is a good one, she may involve herself or at least check what the SW er is doing. If nothing else, they will have to be a bit more careful how they do things. Definately take someone with you to meetings who knows you and can challenge things if they twist it. Keep emphasising its for your sons sake, his needs.

Best wishes


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Woken to see you've had a rough night. In our experience the ss will try and find anything to white wash themselves and make you look like you are to blame. It's a revolting practice. But plough on. Your children are at risk from their sibling an not you. We had a very similar set of circumstances sadly it seems ss are just as punitive to adopters as they ever were.


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so sorry about this - yet another traumatised child and adoptive family being put through hell - causing damage to everyone. Definitely look for POTATO as many (most?) members have been through something similar


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So sorry to read this. I have no experience of trying to get a child removed but can totally relate to what you are describing as the situation that you have been living with.


I'm not sure how old your younger child is but I wonder whether when it comes to having her talk to a SW you could request (insist?) that a friend of the family stayed in the room with her in order for her to feel secure and ensure that the SW doesn't try to manipulate her or, if they do, make a note of it.


It is an awful situation and I really feel for you.


Peahen.


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Thanks so much everyone xxx


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TeaandToast are you a single parent?


You have had some great advice from those who have been in your place. I would only add try not have any meetings with SWs on your own. Have someone with you as a witness, to take notes so you can focus on the meeting, and moral support


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Agree with friend Serrakunda.


Also I’d say from experience that SWs won’t give you what you want and is right for you and your family: they have a tick-box mentality. It includes blaming adopters - which seems to be their default position. Their tick list also includes/


Family therapy

Therapy for us (as it’s clear to them that you’re the problem)


And, that good old staple favourite.....wait for it......


A parenting course.


Yes.


Well.


If you haven’t been offered a parenting course, I’m sure that gold nugget will be on it’s way to you fairly soon.


I’m sorry to sound cynical, but I’ve been through this.


You will have to be very forceful about what is required. You’re the expert on your son and your other children. You know what is needed.


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I have a partner but hes not the childrens adoptive father - their father lives 250 miles away so he is as supportive as he can be from that distance. Our marriage collapsed under the strain of the adoption etc. My eldest son won't speak to him, their relationship broke down earlier this year because my ex husband simply won't put up with our sons abuse - our son is much more abusive to him than me.


We've been under post adoption support until now so we had some art therapy and my son had 26 therapy sessions with a creative therapist who was very nice but completely under qualified for what my son requires in my opinion. I was offered 6 weeks parenting sessions with worker from post adoption support which I declined. I completed attachment training which I found to be very good. The tone of post adoption support team was actually quite supportive but they just don't offer the kind of EY trauma counselling I think my son needs.


There is an altogether different feel now we have moved under the social services umbrella. It is so wrong that I should feel like withdrawing from adoption support groups provided by the LA as I now feel under scrutiny, vulnerable and unable to speak freely about how I feel.


I am also cynical about the whole process - the support just isn't available. If it had been from when he was placed, maybe my son would be in a lot better place now. There is a massive lack of foresight re the savings there would be to resources if given when parents request them versus the actual cost to society and resources in terms of school, police and social environments when a child with trauma grows up and hasn't had that help. Its not rocket science, its just common sense.


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Yes as you say it is common sense but that is in short supply in this day and age imho!

So sorry things are so awful for you at the moment ! X


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Can relate to your situation. It is so hard. We had to use Section 20, having been told there was no respite and offered a parenting course. I signed for Section 20 consent and was given a leaflet ...I asked what it was and was told it was for amounts to contribute to the cost of fc. I said that I was sure her birth parents had no money to contribute ... the sw looked puzzled so I explained that under SGO we did not have financial responsibility. The sw took a step backwards and said " Do you mean WE have to pay" to which I replied Yes.

I am so cynical of their practice ...It is not about the welfare of the child. I

It would have been much cheaper for them to give us the respite and support we begged for.

We are very much a family and love our girls a lot. Relationships have improved and we see them most days. We would have preferred other options of support but in the end the false economies made by SS proved an expensive mistake for bureaucracy in so many ways and we used the LAC status to provide as much support as possible for the girls.


It is different and not what we wanted but somehow or other we managed.


We took a lot of support and advice from this forum . It helped us enormously as the isolation and loss was very painful but under Section 20 we exercised all the rights we had in order to maintain family. Yes there were many powerful emotions but we could address them from a safer place.


Johanna x


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I have woken up this morning after a good nights sleep (thankfully - felt dreadful yesterday!) and decided o need some legal advice so I have emailed the firm that worked on my divorce as I know they deal with social services cases and children in LAC. I need to know my rights and I don't see why I am feeling scrutinised. I felt the SW used language to make me feel uncomfortable and as if my other children were at risk and that was somehow my fault. It was very subtle but I know I didn't imagine it. She was exercising a threat of power over me at a point where I am at my weakest. I can't allow her to do that. Sorry, I'm not being very articulate! But anyway, I can afford some basic advice so I am gonna arm myself with some.


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On the contrary; you’re being very articulate.


Write down exactly what the SW said to you and keep very detailed notes, with dates, times of conversations and their content. It will be tiring by very worthwhile. Your solicitor will want this information. Make sure you have support to talk through this information with and also to support you in meetings. I suggest you select someone who’s used to attending and conducting themselves in business meetings and who will not be overawed by SWs and other agencies.


Good for you.


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Good on you TeaandToast, you are preparing yourself for the fight.


So glad you slept, eventually you do crash. A good nights sleep is an absolute gift in times like these


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Don't let them bully you! The solicitor is a good step, they do not like letters of solicitors. I got a solicitor involved after they threatened to remove the child just before the adoption, it really got things moving and that's what you want.

Stay strong!


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Well done Tea and Toast


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Well done from the Haven household too! xx


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Keep strong and focused..

All the very best to you


Johanna xx


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Good luck. Keep going x


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