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Julie and Leila

Single parent Julie received much-needed help from the Adoption Support Fund for issues faced by her daughter, Leila.

Five-year-old Leila was adopted at the age of two. Prior to this she had suffered significant abuse and her angry and aggressive behaviour was escalating. It became increasingly challenging, particularly following her transition from nursery to school. She was angry and lashing out at her mother and this was having a detrimental impact on their relationship. There was a concern that Leila had anxious attachment.

Julie approached Leila’s school towards the end of term, concerned about how she would cope over the school holidays.

Following this the adoption support team at Sunderland City Council undertook an assessment and applied to the fund.

Initially a specialist assessment was requested and, following this, dyadic work, art therapy and a parenting programme were put in place via the fund. The assessment focused on the parent and child engagement and relationship.

Julie said: “The work has had a significant impact already. Our relationship has improved and I feel I have a strategy to support my daughter with. I feel very supported and no longer feel that I am on the journey alone.”

An adoption support team member said: “Without the ASF there would have been delays in being able to arrange the required assessment and support. The family do not live within the local authority area and it would have taken time to liaise with the other local authority and universal support would have been harder to come by in such a short timescale. The ability to provide support quickly was important in this case as the mother had only raised her worries near to the end of the school term and she was worried about the holidays.”