AdoptResources's Blog

blogging about adoption, attachment, parenting & family life

We’re moving…

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In the interests of keeping all my online stuff under one roof, I am moving my blog over to the AdoptResources website. You’ll find it at www.adoptresources.co.uk/blog/
The blogs will be the same, just under a different address. I’ll keep this one live but there won’t be any new content added… Looking forward to seeing you in our new home 🙂

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October 30, 2011 at 11:13 am

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Blogging carnival 2011

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blog flipchartLast year I hosted a blogging carnival for National Adoption Week and was amazed at the response. I’m hosting one again this year and would love to hear from anyone who’d like to submit a post related to adoption.

I’m looking for posts from all perspectives in adoption – adoptee, adoptive parent, birth parent, prospective adopter, relative through adoption, practitioner… and from all viewpoints-good/bad/indifferent…

If you’d like to contribute, email details of your post to fiona@adoptresources.co.uk by October 28th. You don’t have to write a post specifically for the carnival.  You don’t even have to have your own blog and if you’d like to submit something but don’t want to post it on your usual blog, email me the post and I can include it as a guest blog.

Looking forward to hearing from you…

Related posts
Adoption stories
Adoption Blog carnival
Be my guest

Written by adoptresources

October 11, 2011 at 2:20 pm

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Adoption: targets and figures

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calculator and graphNew figures on the number of adoptions in England and Wales are reported in the media today with the general message that there needs to be more adoptions and the process needs to be speeded up.

I’m always wary of these calls to action. Adoption figures can be related in so many emotive ways… “languishing in care” or the contrast “forced adoption… child snatchers”, leading to calls to increase or decrease the numbers of adoptions.

Focussing solely on numbers means you miss the factors that create those numbers. More exploration of the figures is needed to see where the bottlenecks are and what part of the process can be improved to address these.

There are faults with the adoption process and care system and these need to be addressed by improving systems and processes and offering the right support to professionals and families. But a rush to change everything and speed things up could lead to important steps being missed.

Myths about who can and can’t adopt need to be debunked and the process of adoption demystified.

Most importantly for me, the support of families and children is paramount. The ongoing impact of early abuse and neglect on children who go on to adoption is not given the same recognition as that of the looked after child, with some families opting for a long term foster care arrangement rather than adoption so that they don’t lose specialist services for their child.

Regardless of the numbers, the end result of all these processes should be that a child is living in the family setting that is best for them and that they are given the best chance to thrive.

Related posts
It’s not about the numbers

BAAF statement 28/09/11

Written by adoptresources

September 29, 2011 at 1:16 pm

Containment

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holding handsThe title of this post didn’t mean much to me until last week when I listened to a presentation from Laura Steckley at a Scottish Attachment in Action conference. Laura talked about the concept of containment and how it relates to the regulation of emotions from early infancy and beyond…

Containment in this context describes the process where an infant seeks out emotional regulation from their carer by projecting their unmanageable feelings to their carer to manage. The carer absorbs the feelings and reflects them back in a more manageable form. It is an important part of the infant, caregiver relationship and links closely with the attachment process.

I really liked this way of thinking about emotional regulation, especially in adoption and fostering where children might not have had much emotional containtment in their early years and could still be projecting what’s unmanageable for them and chucking it your way to process. It helps make sense of those situations where ’emotions run high’...

Another important point that was made is that carers can become ‘uncontained’ in trying to contain the emotions  of children in their care…

All of this got me thinking about ‘containment for containers’. For practitioners that can be in the form of professional supervision, for parents and carers it might be one-to-one support, a chat with a social worker, support groups, online forums, friends and family, or a book and a cup of tea. Whatever works for you, it’s important to recognise that you’ll need to find ways to help you feel supported and ready to deal with whatever emotions might be thrown at you.

On a professional level, I have regular supervision, and on a personal level I rely on my network of friends and family, and lots and lots of tea… What works for you?

Written by adoptresources

September 14, 2011 at 3:47 pm

What’s in your lunchbox?

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ham sandwichI listened to a feature on packed lunches vs school lunches on the radio this morning. I’ve started off this school year with packed lunches for everyone – in previous year’s my initial enthusiasm for packed lunches has been replaced with the convenience of what my kids like to call a ‘pay lunch’.

What’s your preference? I can see the benefits of both – the school lunches can offer a hot and healthy alternative, but they can also present children with choices they’re not ready to make. On the other hand, packed lunches can contain carefully selected healthy options, but if you’re anything like me, the repertoire of offerings can get a bit boring.

Nutrition is so important both in terms of long term health and wellbeing and also on a day to day basis to keep energy levels matched with the physical and mental requirements of the school day. Trying to get the right balance can be a struggle some days, especially if there are any food fads on the go!

I’m going to stick with the packed lunches for now and throw in the odd ‘pay lunch’ for a bit of variety. What do you like about packed lunches or school lunches? Do you have any tips on keeping lunch boxes healthy and interesting?

Related posts
If you’re looking for ideas, Netmums have a good feature on lunchbox ideas.

Written by adoptresources

September 1, 2011 at 1:31 pm

Making faces

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We learn about emotions from our earliest interactions as babies with our parents and carers. For lots of children who have experienced early trauma or neglect, understanding and expressing their own emotions and reading others’ facial expressions can be difficult.

Not knowing how you feel, how to say how you feel or how to work out how others feel leads to misunderstandings in lots of areas including at home, with friends and at school.

cartoon emotions We used to play a game when the kids were younger to help with naming and understanding emotions and facial expressions. It’s really easy – you just need a mirror, you and your child…
Step 1 name an emotion – happy/excited/sad/angry etc
Step 2 both look into the mirror and make the face!
Step 3 back to step 1, taking it in turns to name the emotion…

Dead easy and lots of fun. I still do it with the kids now that they are older – we don’t need the mirror, we just make faces at each other!

Other things that can help are naming emotions for your child… ‘it seems to me like you’re angry about that…’, it helps them name what they are feeling and build their vocabulary of emotions.

What things have you found help make sense of emotions?

This post was inspired by Misreading Facial Expressions written by my friend, Naomi Richards aka The Kids’ Coach

Related posts:
Noticing

Written by adoptresources

July 22, 2011 at 8:43 am

Support over the summer…

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summer written in the sandSummertime is associated with relaxing, taking time off, having fun and recharging batteries. But it often doesn’t live up to the expectations, especially for those of us who are parents to children who’ve experienced early neglect or trauma. The thought of all that free time can seem like a dream come true for some kids but ironically, the lack of familiar routine can lead to more confusion and the occasional meltdowns.

I’ve written about some tips and strategies that can help over the holiday season: Surviving the summer holidaysChecking inA weekend away

For a bit of extra support, this summer I’m running an online ‘Adoption summercamp’. It’s a 6 week programme that can work around your schedule and includes:

  • weekly video blogs and teleseminars to introduce the topic for each week and cover some key points on attachment and parenting and look at tips and strategies for dealing with issues that are important for you.
  • a weekly group Q&A call for you to discuss any issues with me
  • downloads of supporting materials
  • access to all the recordings to listen to/watch when it suits you best.

rabbit figures in classroom settingOver the 6 weeks we’ll cover:

  • finding your holiday friendly routine
  • troubleshooting – what are your challenges
  • working on what’s behind the behaviour
  • tools and strategies
  • the ‘back to school’ transition
  • looking after yourself

There are some bonuses for early birds who register before 9am on 18th July, including your first week for free, a copy of the Boosting Self Esteem in Adoption ebook and, for the first 5 who register, a one-to-one call for more individual attention.

I’m really looking forward to running the course and hope that you’ll join me for a bit of extra support over the holidays… I’m sending out more info later today, in the meantime, email or comment below if you’ve any queries.

Written by adoptresources

July 15, 2011 at 3:52 pm