I've been awarded a Churchill Fellowship!
Misadventures of an Adoptive Dad
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3w ago
So, what on earth does that mean?  For several years I’ve bumped into ‘Churchill Fellows’ in different places here and there and the short answer is that the Fellowship is:         “to connect to leading experts internationally in a fellow’s field of interest, to gain insights and knowledge and to then use that to drive positive change in the UK.”   Simple, or so it seems!?   Born from my families experience and all of the learning, studying, research etc. I’m quite comfortable with the notion that helping families/parents/carers to support and manage ..read more
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Side Eye and a Elbow to the Ribs - Relationships and Tricky Kids
Misadventures of an Adoptive Dad
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1M ago
She dug him in the ribs with her elbow and he gave her the side eye.  I ignored them, though it was clear across the room other couples were giving each other knowing, withering, disapproving, ‘see I told you that you were wrong’ looks.    I’d been explaining, so one parent looks at the other and thinks:  ‘They’re far to soft on our kid, how are they going to function in the real world, I’ll tighten up some boundaries, rules and expectations to get the kid back on track.’   The other parent looks back and thinks: ‘They’re like a camp commandant, I’ll cut the kid a ..read more
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Peer support - An antidote of sorts.
Misadventures of an Adoptive Dad
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8M ago
Sitting with parents of children with challenging, violent and aggressive behaviour this week was an absolute pleasure in the worst sense of the word.  I wish we did not have to be there, but we were and we made the most of it.   It’s an easy group to facilitate, in that people just talk to one another and that is often enough. We supply the coffee, biscuits and a roof over their heads.  We don't need to begin because immediately people relax and start to talk to one another and genuine and warm connection happens.  The moment of eye contact and the ..read more
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Shut up and listen.
Misadventures of an Adoptive Dad
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9M ago
The desire to be heard seems fundamental to who we are. In the book 'Sapiens' Yuval Harari explains that the telling of stories defines us and sets us apart from all other animals. It allows connection and helps us organise and co operate.  It's clear to me for that to be true then our stories need to be heard, we need to be heard, we need to be able to tell our stories.  Scrolling and occasionally doomscrolling through the various social media feeds I’m connected into and the need to be heard and to be listened to bounces off the screen. So many of those that post articula ..read more
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Collateral damage by Mumdrah
Misadventures of an Adoptive Dad
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1y ago
 This was originally posted by Mumdrah nearly 10 years ago, it remains heartbreakingly prescient. I've reposted with permission but also with a request.  If you've cared for and parented children with additional needs, complex beginning and more then the idea that you become lost in that is too familiar. Mumdrah is a solo carer and looking for a little help you can see her just giving page here.  I remember it like it was yesterday.  Clear and distinct in my mind. My social worker during my prep phase sat on the brand new sofa that had arrived and said “And what happens ..read more
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Adoption Crisis: The Jarring Reality Of Adoption - Update
Misadventures of an Adoptive Dad
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1y ago
Been a really interesting and busy week in terms of the Adoption Crisis report that Fiona Wells et al. produced. We've spoken to the great and the good across several meetings and had some very informed and productive meetings.  There's not one person that doesn't see the issues or isn't aware of the challenges that many families face.  The Julie Selwyn 'Beyond the Adoption Order' report from 2014 loomed large over the conversations, are we still looking at one third of adoptive families in crisis, one third with some struggle and one third doing ok. I'd say probably that's ..read more
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Roll the Dice..........Who will come?
Misadventures of an Adoptive Dad
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2y ago
Childhood Challenging Violent and Aggressive Behaviour is complex, it's emotive, its scary. It's challenging for professionals to walk into a home and unpick the murky soup of trauma, behaviour, biology, history, family etc.  It seems like a little overstatement but picking up the phone to ask for help can be one of the hardest things we do as a family. Beyond the usual barriers, shame, guilt and embarrassment, the uncertainty of what the response will be can strike absolute terror into the heart of any parent or carer.  This picking up the phone and 'rolling the dice'  ..read more
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System Literacy
Misadventures of an Adoptive Dad
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2y ago
I'm being chased by a metaphoric and actual storm. On my bike heading to the station to catch a train a day early as LNER have informed me it's all gonna go 'Pete Tong' due to storm Eunice.  The phone rings, I pull up and take the call.  It's early help, the duty social worker is calling back after we called the duty team to ask them if the duty social worker that came out to see us after the allocated social worker had been unavailable after they'd not come out for two weeks after they had promised cos a thing had happened to them, anyway this duty worker has spoken to that duty wor ..read more
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Adoptee Representation
Misadventures of an Adoptive Dad
by
3y ago
In most every way it's obvious, any group that has a significant life altering legislative and policy framework dedicated to them which has lifelong fundamental implications for them and their dependents and forebears should have some influence over it.  Well, apparently it's not so obvious.  Adoptee representation within the system has been missing, of course there's individuals that have worked within the system and brought personal experience and perspective to bear but rarely do we see systemic representation of adoptees in policy context.  We do get 'adoptee of the month' i ..read more
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First day at a new school for a fostered or adopted kid - A guest post by Phil Watson
Misadventures of an Adoptive Dad
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3y ago
Kindly re posted from Phil Watson's blog which you can view here- Fostering & Adopting with Phil “I’m not going”. My wife and I were not surprised that The Little Man didn’t want to go to a new school. Anything new, anything different, anything out of the ordinary set his ‘survival brain’ into overdrive. We’d learnt his preferred response to ‘anything new’ if he was in public was ‘to freeze’ or ‘to flop’. If a stranger spoke to him, for example in a shop, he’d simply stare until they went away. It’s quite effective, even if it appears a bit rude. If the stranger continued to probe, he’d pu ..read more
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