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Steve and Gill

Adoptive parents Steve and Gill were on the verge of placing their teenage son in foster care after struggling with his difficult behaviour and attachment issues. The assistance they received through the Adoption Support Fund helped avoid this situation.

The couple adopted their son Daniel when he was four and he is now 15. His birth mother was alcohol dependent and took drugs. She did not know who Daniel's birth father was. Daniel witnessed domestic violence between his birth mother and her partner. He was adopted along with his two younger half siblings.

Steve contacted Gloucestershire County Council's adoption team saying that if someone did not go and collect his son he would drop him at the police station at 6pm that evening. David and Gill were very clear that there were no family members who could care for Daniel and he would have had to go into foster care. He was stealing from his parents, going out a lot and not eating with the family. There were issues at school as he had taken a knife into school and threatened another child. He had also attacked another child.

Steve and Gill were struggling to empathise with Daniel or understand his behaviour. They also said that they did not have any attachment to him or him to them.

The family were offered Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy  to try to improve the relationship and attachment. Steve and Gill also attended an Adoption UK parenting programme to help them to parent Daniel therapeutically and be more empathic.

The family have remained together and at the local authority’s last meeting with Steve and Gill they were more empathic towards Daniel and are no longer saying they want him out. They said: "We understand that Daniel's life would have been very different if we had not given him a stable home. Although he was excluded from school he is attending the pupil referral unit and is enjoying it and engaging. We still find it hard that he wants to be so independent of us and would like him to be more a part of our family. Without the therapeutic support we would have placed him back in foster care."