BAAF Blog

12 Jan 2015

This week BAAF is holding a conference “Aiming higher – Improving educational outcomes for children and young people in care”.  One of the speakers, a young person whose life was turned around by the family she went to live with and is now a Doctor, shares her story” 

 

A jolly chap with a waistcoat and elegant prose led the ward-round that morning. As I introduced myself as his new “junior” (doctor), he glanced fleetingly down at my identity badge. Then I saw his woolly, eccentric eyebrows bounce…”Collette”? He rolled the name around his tongue, playing with its sound…”Collette”? “Now then, with a name like that, Collette, tell me, in which of the Home Counties were you raised?” It was the double jig of those eyebrows rather than his intonation that was most rhetorical. I stood…taken somewhat aback by the hugely presumptive nature of his comments (and also slightly panicked, thinking: “can I...


05 Jan 2015

Today, we hear from Erica who reflects on her experience as both an adopter and a teacher…

My partner and I are both teachers at the same secondary school. We already have a birth child, but wanted a brother or sister for our son.  Adoption felt the right road for us and just before Christmas our adopted daughter joined us, completing our family.

We found the adoption process a very positive experience.  Our social worker was brilliant.  We were impressed by how transparent, honest and informative the process was.  It took a year to become approved, and then we waited a further six months to be matched with our daughter.  Although this seems like a long time, we felt that it was the right length.  It gave our social worker enough time to get to know us thoroughly so that she could match us with the right child.

Both of us being teachers also gave us a great foundation to build on during the adoption preparation and...


22 Dec 2014

I love singing. There is no better way to get those endorphins flowing than by belting out a good tune. The only minor problem is that I really can’t sing, just ask my husband.

My singing should really be confined to those solitary moments in the shower or car, when I am completely out of ear shot.

One day earlier this year I went to a fostering training course on educational attainment and supporting looked after children at school. Whilst there the local Schools Music Service gave a brief talk on the benefits singing can bring to looked after children. And they mentioned about the local foster carers choir. This was a great way of meeting other foster carers socially, which I didn’t have. Did it matter that I couldn’t sing, I tentatively asked. Can I still join? Yes! Woohoo! So I became a fully committed member, and I love every minute.  Our small group, led by the wonderful Becky from Bullfrog Arts, a fabulous singer, meet every week term time and sing a range...


16 Dec 2014

Sarah Lucas is the mother of three boys – her eldest is severely disabled with cerebral palsy. As her children grew older she began to think about what she would do once they were all at school. Having rejected the idea of returning to the workplace due to the lack of out-of-school care for her oldest son, she decided to become a foster carer, with a particular interest in pre-adoption placements for children with disabilities.

Following a casual remark at a fostering review about fostering a child with Down’s syndrome, a tiny, floppy and very poorly baby came into our lives. Jenny had been rejected within hours of her birth because she had Down syndrome, and many initial problems caused by a serious congenital heart condition, Fallots’ tetralogy, which would mean major surgery in early childhood. As we talked with her paediatrician, we realised that this was a very serious condition and that without surgery Jenny would die. The hoped-for plan was that Jenny would grow and...


27 Nov 2014

Hands holding

We all know how important it is to give children the right support as they are growing up.  This is especially true for children who have a difficult start in life. Research is one of the ways in which we come to understand how best to support children and their families.  

Professor Brigid Daniel from Stirling University, explains about an important new research project called Permanently Progressing?  which she will lead with Professor Nina Biehal from University of York. The study has been funded by a bequest given to BAAF Scotland.

Nina  and I feel privileged to be collaborating on leading this new research project for BAAF. We have brought together a team of people from Stirling and York Universities who are united in their commitment to improving the lives of children and young people who have had a difficult start...


24 Nov 2014

Family holding hands

Adoptive parent Bruce tells his story...

The adoption training started in January and took around six months. By August we had been accepted as prospective adoptive parents by the adoption panel. We were so pleased with the speed we were trained at and how quick the panel were able to make a decision. In October two children were matched with us and the plan was for them to join us in the following January – just 12 months from starting the adoptive journey we were to have two little ones in our lives!

It was actually late February when our two came to us. We had to foster them initially because the legal process of adoption hadn’t been completed. The handover period from the former foster carers was short. This helped the children, as it was difficult to say goodbye, but it left us in a whirlwind! How strange must it have been for them to start anew again? We...


10 Nov 2014

Siblings on beach

As National Adoption Week comes to a close, we hear from a couple who adopted two sisters and their brother. They share why they decided to adopted a sibling group….

Why Adopt a Sibling Group?

We adopted our three fabulous children nearly 2½ years ago now. At the time they were 3, 4 and nearly 6 years old. Why did we adopt a sibling group? The most obvious reason was that we had always wanted a big family and it seemed logical to us that if we were going to adopt more than one child then it would be nice if they came together and had a shared history. Maybe a less obvious, but probably more emotive, reason was that we both have fond memories of growing up with our own siblings. When we read that sibling groups that cannot find adoptive placements together can be placed separately, it really broke our hearts. And finally we felt that we had so...


07 Nov 2014

Today we hear from an adopter who has adopted two brothers and talks about the importance of keeping in contact with their four other siblings who have been adopted by another two families….

The decision to adopt siblings was a very easy one to make for me personally. I had always known I wanted a big family and despite a few setbacks, adoption was definitely the way forward. During initial telephone discussions with adoption agencies each would ask about how many children we wanted, as well as what age and gender. I actually hadn't realised you could adopt more than one child so it was exciting to think I could have two at once! 

During the assessment process we talked lots about meeting the needs of two vulnerable children and thought about ways in which their traumatic pasts may impact on their sibling relationship. We also discussed cases where siblings are separated and what type of contact may be in place.

After what seemed like forever we...


06 Nov 2014

Catch up with everything that happened at this year's National Adoption Week Awards, via our Storify below...

 


Family on railway

 

Today we have a special blog featuring the views of two adoptees who have had very different experiences.

One who was not brought up with her brother and then 14 year old Lozza who was adopted with her younger brother...

 

 

First up, “A” shares her experience of not being with her younger brother….

I hope future adoptive parents realise how special the sibling bond is

Losing loved ones is one of the most stressful events that can happen in a person’s life and it can have lasting, damaging effects upon a person. Nobody would willingly choose that path for themselves.  It’s hard to lose loved ones but could you imagine tomorrow being the last day you could spend with your 2 year old sister for the rest of your life when you’re 5 years old? That pain would is unimaginable.

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