Just to let you have some positive feedback. I shared your paper with my colleagues and the content really resonated with their experiences. The paper was timely… I wish to thank both you and Lynne for sharing.
Independent Reviewing Officer (Children's Services)
In February 2015, we received the following email from an Independent Reviewing Officer in the UK:
In February 2015, we received an email from Syd and Elaine, experienced foster carers in the UK, telling us: "Your recent paper 'The Children Were Fine' has put into words what we all feel instinctively, and has been of great help to us."
They describe an example of one of their foster children who was recently moved into adoption in a way they had felt was very distressing to themselves and to the child. The child found the parting very upsetting, and when the foster carers visited, her attempts to engage with them was clearly deeply upsetting for her new adoptive mother.
"The mum tried to keep the child separate from us, not very successfully however, as the child's insisted on being picked up, held and interacting with each of us."
After this, they describe how their request for a second visit was refused. The child’s social worker supported this decision. These foster carers felt that the system was working against the best interests of the child and support our attempt to challenge these procedures:
"You are putting the child first - something we don't always see in the complex world of Social Work, Sheriff's Courts, Children's Hearings, Parental Human Rights, budgets and performance targets."
Please find their full email below (printed with Syd and Elaine's permission:
Our 'The Children Were Fine' paper was referenced in Jean Mercer's Childmyths blog: An Observable Problem for Adopted Children, and Why We Need Not Look for a "Primal Wound":
A recent article in the journal Adoption & Fostering is very relevant to that need (Boswell, S., & Cudmore, L. (2014). “The children were fine”: Acknowledging complex feelings in the move from foster care into adoption. A & F, 38, 5-21). The authors, two British child psychotherapists in the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service, focused on what happens as children who have been fostered move into adoptive homes. Boswell and Cudmore point out that “Adoption involves huge long-term gains for children, but leaving the care of their previous home will also involve a major loss”-- the loss of a foster parent, who may be the only caregiver a young child can remember, and who is very likely to be the only stable caregiver he or she has known.
Click here to read Jean Mercer's full blog entry.
This topic has been gaining momentum in recent months. This news section includes some examples of recent coverage.