Monday, 30 April 2012

An insight into adopting a child with disabilities

I thought long and hard before deciding to write this story. We're just an ordinary family of six, who, like thousands of others, happen to have a child with disabilities. And he just happens to be adopted. There are thousands of children in the UK waiting for adoption, and many will never be placed with families. I hope that by sharing our experience we may be able to offer a bit of practical advice and insight to others who might be thinking of adoption, and in particular if they are thinking of adopting a child with disabilities.

The decision to adopt, or even to make that first phone call, isn’t at all straightforward. It's the beginning of a mystery tour…an unknown journey. We thought a lot about the sort of child that would fit in best with our family. We ended up thinking that a child with mild disabilities might be the best fit. Of course, the term "mild disability" is a bit elastic. William, who we eventually adopted, has cerebral palsy. He is more physically disabled than we'd envisaged and we think that he may never be able to walk.

When he joined us it was a bit like being parents for the first time again – having a being who is totally dependent on you, despite your utter lack of experience and skills. William didn't come with an instruction manual. There was lots of information about his background and the nature of his disability, and there were lists of the routines he was used to, the things he would eat, and his bedtime rituals. We've had to put our own unwritten manual together about how to fully care for him as we've gone along, and as we have got to know William and grown to love and understand him.

William has enriched us and our other children. We re-read his early life history the other day: his premature birth and subsequent withdrawal from opiates as a result of his birth mother's drug addiction; periods alone in hospital; nine different care arrangements in the first six months of his life; the overwhelming grief he went through when he came to live with us and had to leave his foster carers; the struggle to find his sense of self in the light of being unwanted by his birth family; coming to terms with being a wheelchair user. And if that wasn't enough, it was then discovered that he had a visual impairment, he developed migraines and he was shunned by other children when he desperately wanted their friendship. Given all this, it is remarkable that he's as cheerful, loving and courageous as he is, and that he shows no shred of self-pity. He can light up a room with his infectious love of life. It is a privilege and joy to be his parents.

Robert and Evie, along with their three birth children, adopted William, a little boy with cerebral palsy. You can read more about their life together in The Family Business.





Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Running the London Marathon to raise funds for adoption & fostering

BAAF's very own Senior Media & PR Officer Dan French was among the thousands of runners who took part in the 2012 Virgin London Marathon on Sunday, April 22. Here, he talks through the day and encourages others to consider signing up for the 2013 race.

When I agreed last summer to take part in the Virgin London Marathon 2012, I had no real idea what I was letting myself in for. Sure, those that have raced before explain how difficult the training can be, but nobody truly prepares you for running in the freezing cold, the pouring rain, and the amount you sweat during a rare moment of British sunshine – not to mention the horrific injuries you sustain!

Last Sunday, the big day finally arrived. I don’t care what any bride tells you – travelling down to the VLM has to be far more nerve-racking than making your way to the church for your wedding.

Just after 10am, I, alongside thousands of runners, set off on my 26 mile mission. I have to say that the first 10 miles passed by without too much pain, but after that I began to count the miles and look out for each mile marker.

I spotted friends and family around the 18 mile mark, which truly was a high. It sounds cliché, but if it wasn’t for the amazing crowds on the day, I doubt that runners would make it through the race. The adrenaline and excitement of the day started to wear off shortly afterwards and by mile 24, I was ready to give up. For the first time during the race I started walking, which was the point that I saw a young girl in the crowd, cheering me on. “Come on, Dan – keep running, you can do it!” I rolled my eyes, begrudgingly picked up the pace, and somehow managed to break into what can only be described as a pathetic hobble.

Those next two miles were pretty excruciating, but the pain began to fade when I saw a banner claiming “Only 800m left!” and promptly broke into a sprint. I saw a man in a rhino costume and a couple of people dressed as Wombles – no way was I going to let them beat me!

Five hours and two minutes after I started the Virgin London Marathon, I crossed the finish line, euphoric, proud, and SO pleased I agreed to take part in such an amazing challenge.

If you would like to sign up to the 2013 VLM to help raise money for the British Association for Adoption & Fostering, please visit the BAAF fundraising site. If you would like to sponsor Dan for his efforts on the day, head over to his sponsorship page.





Friday, 20 April 2012

BAAF chief exec takes to Twitter for Q&A on Government Adoption Action Plan

There have been many Government announcements on adoption in recent weeks, and an increased focus from senior Government figures on improving outcomes for children in care. Is the adoption process going to be made easier? How will it be made easier? Will the system become more efficient? Does ethnicity matter in adoption? What support will a prospective adopter get? Last night (Thursday, April 19) the British Association for Adoption & Fostering’s chief executive David Holmes took to Twitter to field questions on the reforms. See below for a transcript - most recent tweets appear first.
@rosiechook
Had a great #adoptfosterchat @BAAFAdoption but I had to disappear at the end due to Mummy duties! Sorry! It was good so many contributed x

@adopdad
Sorry forgot to sign off #adoptfosterchat thanks @BAAFAdoption for good convo

@Threebecomefour
Time to head off. Thanks for a fab chat everyone #adoptfosterchat

@Threebecomefour 
@spursblogger @ins_foundations Totally agree. Process shd be continuous with ongoing prep. The waiting about is frustrating #adoptfosterchat

@Threebecomefour 
@PottiJo @hazeyjayneone @baafadoption Thanks Jo. Have put it on my wishlist #adoptfosterchat

@spursblogger 
@Threebecomefour @ins_foundations this is where real improvements can be made with better use of existing resources #adoptfosterchat

@spursblogger 
@Threebecomefour @ins_foundations totally agree. #adoptfosterchat

@Threebecomefour 
@spursblogger @ins_foundations Also there is the issue of all the delays in the process. It starts and stops constantly #adoptfosterchat

@Chris_Creegan 
@BAAFAdoption @Oona_King Let's get #adoptfosterchat trending. Could make a huge difference to real lives.

@Threebecomefour  
@spursblogger @ins_foundations Trouble is legislate to make it too quick and mistakes will be made with approvals and links #adoptfosterchat

@Threebecomefour  
@mrs_nicholls @BAAFAdoption Having bedtime issues going on here as well! They chose their moments don't they?Sorted now? #adoptfosterchat

@spursblogger  
@ins_foundations interesting. Sounds right to me. Many in govt would say that's too long. #adoptfosterchat
@Threebecomefour  
@SimpleAdoption @BAAFAdoption That's really good to hear. #adoptfosterchat

@Threebecomefour  
@ins_foundations Totally agree! Am trying to keep up with training where possible and pre-empt what I might need to know #adoptfosterchat

@mrs_nicholls
Agh, missed #adoptfosterchat @BAAFAdoption after a nightmare bedtime tonight! Mini still refusing to sleep and disturbing Dollop in process!

@Threebecomefour  
@hazeyjayneone @PottiJo @baafadoption Will have to look that book up #adoptfosterchat

@SimpleAdoption  
@Threebecomefour @BAAFAdoption Absolutely! Really pleased to see Care for the Family taking this up too. #adoptfosterchat

 @ins_foundations
@Threebecomefour Yes and training AFTER placement is vital too! We forget lots from prep groups, often a year or more ago #adoptfosterchat

@spursblogger  
@PottiJo @hazeyjayneone @BAAFAdoption ..which is exactly why this HAS to be different! #adoptfosterchat

@Threebecomefour
@BAAFAdoption Thanks for hosting! Great to be involved. #adoptfosterchat

@Threebecomefour
@SimpleAdoption I have a friend who is the same as you and lots of people question why they've adopted #adoptfosterchat

@ins_foundations  
@BAAFAdoption Thanks for hosting #adoptfosterchat

@hazeyjayneone 
@PottiJo @baafadoption I love the title of that book "How to be a Velvet Bulldozer"! #adoptfosterchat

@SimpleAdoption  
Even our SW repeatedly says how unusual we are for adopting without ever trying to conceive. We're sad it's so uncommon. #adoptfosterchat

@Threebecomefour
@ins_foundations Totally agree. I am wrapping my head around all sorts of things as the time passes eg contact letters #adoptfosterchat

@MaryamLane  
lovin the #adoptfosterchat tonight! <3

@BAAFAdoption
Please check our blog tomorrow for a full round-up of tonight's #adoptfosterchat http://bit.ly/HSQvMt

@BAAFAdoption  
Thanks everyone for joining us - if you need further advice/support, pls call us - http://bit.ly/mFGCam #adoptfosterchat

@LouiseWhite68
@spursblogger #adoptfosterchat i know a foster carer who says fewer approved adopters in her L A

@ins_foundations  
I am sure most adopters would say that around 9-12 months about right for preperation #adoptfosterchat

@Threebecomefour  
@SimpleAdoption @BAAFAdoption I think more awareness of adoption should be given as part of PSHE in schools to support this #adoptfosterchat

@BAAFAdoption  
@SimpleAdoption Totally agree - people adopt for a wide range of reasons #adoptfosterchat

@ins_foundations  
I wonder how many experienced adopters they have spoken 2 about this, its not until after placement that u understand it #adoptfosterchat

@BAAFAdoption  
@Vernice33 Assessment should b completed within 8 mths, but can take longer. Matching can happen v quickly #adoptfosterchat

@SimpleAdoption
@BAAFAdoption Adoption is a great *first choice* option to create a family. Ppl assume infertility - nope, we just CARE! #adoptfosterchat
@Threebecomefour
@MoreConnecting We have been delighted. Our daughter is amazing. We are so blessed to have her. #adoptfosterchat

@PottiJo  
@hazeyjayneone Good for you! :) #adoptfosterchat @BAAFAdoption
@Threebecomefour  
@ins_foundations @BAAFAdoption I would agree with this. You need time to absorb and really understand it all #adoptfosterchat
@Vernice33  
Hi how long does it take on average to go through the adoption process? #adoptfosterchat

@Simpsongray
@BAAFAdoption Adoption changes lives...permanently, and results in a fantastic success or a desperate, emotional struggle #adoptfosterchat
@PottiJo
@BAAFAdoption @spursblogger so true and sometimes it can split sibling groups #adoptfosterchat @BAAFAdoption

@Threebecomefour  
@BAAFAdoption Thank you! #adoptfosterchat

@BAAFAdoption  
@MoreConnecting Call us for more info - we'll talk through with you http://bit.ly/mFGCam #adoptfosterchat

@hazeyjayneone 
@PottiJo We stamp our feet! Who wouldn't for our gorgeous little one! #adoptfosterchat

@ins_foundations  
@BAAFAdoption I would say 10-12 months is about right #adoptfosterchat

@BAAFAdoption  
@QuiverFullMummy We know this happens a lot- but decisions have to be made in a child's timescales #adoptfosterchat

@spursblogger  
@PottiJo @hazeyjayneone @BAAFAdoption needs to be prioritised. Clear focus. Money not absorbed in LA budget #adoptfosterchat

@Threebecomefour  
@BAAFAdoption @Scottish_Mum Totally agree with this. You often don't know what you need to know until further along #adoptfosterchat

@hazeyjayneone 
@spursblogger @pottijo @baafadoption Indeed, you can see how enormously stretched services are... #adoptfosterchat

@Threebecomefour  
@BAAFAdoption Thanks! We went to a different LA and it was a much better process. #adoptfosterchat

@BAAFAdoption  
@Threebecomefour Pls call us & we'll talk through with you - http://bit.ly/mFGCam #adoptfosterchat

@Threebecomefour  
@MoreConnecting The SWs look at your profile in relation to children needing placements. Our match was excellent. Great SW! #adoptfosterchat

@spursblogger  
@adopdad @LouiseWhite68 true. Limited resources and priorities. Most authorities have protected CP budgets as much as poss #adoptfosterchat

@BAAFAdoption  
@spursblogger Different children have different needs. Adoption is right for some but not all #adoptfosterchat

@PottiJo  
@BAAFAdoption @spursblogger @hazeyjayneone Maybe stampy ya feet a bit more then! :) #adoptfosterchat @BAAFAdoption

@rosiechook  
@MaryamLane @BAAFAdoption yes our delays were due to outside agencies not our placing LA #adoptfosterchat

@Threebecomefour  
@rosiechook I wrote a blog post about FB the other day. Been an interesting experience. I don't think you're alone #adoptfosterchat

@BAAFAdoption  
@ins_foundations Agree - we arrange a number of these ourselves. Grt opp4prospective adopters2find out abt children waiting #adoptfosterchat

@nellieberta  
#adoptfosterchat @BAAFAdoption It's been a long, difficult road but the smile on my beautiful little boys face makes it all worthwhile

@Threebecomefour  
@rosiechook That's not good at all is it? #adoptfosterchat

@MaryamLane  
@BAAFAdoption i think there's some cultural barriers to cross in some cases. We need ambassadors for those communities #adoptfosterchat

@PottiJo  
@spursblogger @hazeyjayneone @BAAFAdoption needs more direction then rather than just guidance to ensure its there #adoptfosterchat

@MoreConnecting  
@Threebecomefour I don't much about adoption. How does the matching process work? #adoptfosterchat

@BAAFAdoption  
@PottiJo Yes we have and will continue to do this #adoptfosterchat @spursblogger @hazeyjayneone

@Marleytheplay  
@BAAFAdoption Check out this fantastic review by @debster_h on the play about transracial adoption http://theartsolution.tumblr.com/post/21266067935/i-am-marley-by-aminata-kamara "#adoptfosterchat

@Threebecomefour  
@Scottish_Mum @BAAFAdoption We were given an experienced adopter for mentoring in early days. That was very helpful #adoptfosterchat

@BAAFAdoption  
@ins_foundations Important to say this - people need time to adjust and prepare for adoption #adoptfosterchat

@spursblogger  
@PottiJo @hazeyjayneone @BAAFAdoption ..I suggest ringfenced govt funding for postadoption support #adoptfosterchat

@rosiechook  
@Threebecomefour It is tough. Most info I have gained from using facebook etc but that's another story! #adoptfosterchat

@BAAFAdoption  
@MaryamLane Agree - we need families from across the community #adoptfosterchat

@spursblogger  
@PottiJo @hazeyjayneone @BAAFAdoption has consistently stressed this but huge prob for cash strapped authorities #adoptfosterchat

@Threebecomefour  
@MoreConnecting (2/2) from prep to panel but we'll see how it pans out. #adoptfosterchat

@BAAFAdoption  
@ins_foundations Important thing is that we focus on what matters - some assessments will need to take longer #adoptfosterchat

@PottiJo  
@BAAFAdoption @ins_foundations we find new parents are v grateful for the life story work that's been done #adoptfosterchat @BAAFAdoption

@Threebecomefour  
@MoreConnecting We contacted in Sept. Had prep course but still waiting for a SW to be appointed. They say 8 months (1/2) #adoptfosterchat

@Amii4eva  
@BAAFAdoption I just wrote and directed a play about transracial adoption.. take a look > http://www.obv.org.uk/news-blogs/shedding-light-transracial-adoption  #OBV #adoptfosterchat

@MaryamLane  
@BAAFAdoption Nhs and other outside agencies involved in process can also contribute to delay. #adoptfosterchat

@Scottish_Mum  
@Simpsongray @BAAFAdoption @1st glad you kept going #adoptfosterchat

@BAAFAdoption  
@MaryamLane Fantastic to hear this! #adoptfosterchat

@rosiechook  
@Threebecomefour not really! A newsletter arrives every now and then but that's it! #adoptfosterchat

@spursblogger  
Another worry govt focus on adoption marginalising fostering and valuable role of permanent fostering. Choice to meet need #adoptfosterchat

@BAAFAdoption  
@ins_foundations No - it's a requirement in adoption guidance #adoptfosterchat

@Threebecomefour  
@MaryamLane So great to hear that!! #adoptfosterchat

@rosiechook  
@PottiJo @BAAFAdoption good idea! I'm sure it would help to understand attachment and loss in adopted children #adoptfosterchat

@Simpsongray  
@BAAFAdoption, Local Auth rejected us @1st enquiry. We thought they wanted new BME adopters. Good thing we kept trying #adoptfosterchat

@BAAFAdoption  
@LouiseWhite68 They can be - there are a range of sources of delay inc. court delays, expert assessment... #adoptfosterchat

@ins_foundations  
I attended an exchange day yesterday - excellent events, very worthwhile for prospective adopters. There should be more #adoptfosterchat

@adopdad  
@spursblogger @LouiseWhite68 or resources placed in post Baby P assessments? #needadoptionsupport #adoptfosterchat

@PottiJo  
@spursblogger @hazeyjayneone Has @BAAFAdoption highlighted 2 government the need 4 more resources 2 post adoption support #adoptfosterchat

@Threebecomefour  
@Scottish_Mum @BAAFAdoption Yes it's an amazing support. We talk about everything in our lives. So helpful #adoptfosterchat

@BAAFAdoption  
@Threebecomefour Great idea! #adoptfosterchat

@Threebecomefour  
@adopdad @BAAFAdoption Definitely!! Rollercoaster from the start of process to current time. Wouldn't change a moment tho #adoptfosterchat

@BAAFAdoption  
@Scottish_Mum Agree - prep needs to be thorough & continuing (not just at start of process) #adoptfosterchat

@ins_foundations  
Obviously 2, 3 4 years etc.. is to long, but 6 months is not a long time to get your head around adoption & all it entails #adoptfosterchat

@Threebecomefour  
@BAAFAdoption We have been lucky that foster carer has helped and the LSB is being put together now #adoptfosterchat

@MaryamLane  
personally one of the issues that i feel needs addressing is to attract more EM prospective adopters #adoptfosterchat

@BAAFAdoption  
@Threebecomefour Visit our website to see how many adoption agencies there are across UK - you can choose #adoptfosterchat

@spursblogger  
@LouiseWhite68 it is a factor in some places. Authorities have run down adoption teams over past few years #adoptfosterchat

@Threebecomefour  
@rosiechook Have the post-adoption team given you any support? #adoptfosterchat

@adopdad  
@ins_foundations should be some basic standards - we've paid privately to get ours done. #adoptfosterchat

@ins_foundations  
I am concerned that the assesment will now be to short #adoptfosterchat

@MaryamLane  
we have had an amazing adoption experience. Yes some unnecessary delays but on the whole good and enjoying every second #adoptfosterchat

@BAAFAdoption  
@Amii4eva Good question - v important to ensure appropriate support available #adoptfosterchat

@Scottish_Mum  
@ins_foundations I thought it was up to parents to do life story work #adoptfosterchat

@spursblogger 
@PottiJo @hazeyjayneone @BAAFAdoption I'm v concerned that resources aren't & won't be available for postadoption support #adoptfosterchat

@BAAFAdoption  
@hazeyjayneone Call our helpline to talk through - http://bit.ly/mFGCam #adoptfosterchat

@BAAFAdoption  
@Threebecomefour Sorry to hear that - LSB does make a difference #adoptfosterchat

@rosiechook  
@Threebecomefour I would love any help as to how to help her understand but there is so little support #adoptfosterchat

@ins_foundations  
Many LA's saying they are not doing life story books anymore - is this allowed? #adoptfosterchat

@adopdad  
@Miniminstrel @BAAFAdoption that's sad :-( and I hope your children are getting the help they need #adoptfosterchat

@Threebecomefour  
@BAAFAdoption That's why I write my blog. To show how positive it can be #adoptfosterchat

@rosiechook  
@Threebecomefour we had everything from foster carers as lil chick was relinquished. Her past is a great unknown #adoptfosterchat

@LouiseWhite68  
@BAAFAdoption @spursblogger #adoptfosterchat are delays due to lack of social workers to do adopter assessments?

@PottiJo  
@rosiechook @BAAFAdoption Maybe it needs to form part of the schools SENCO training #adoptfosterchat @BAAFAdoption

@BAAFAdoption  
Absolutely - recent Ofsted report highlighted court delays as a key reason for delays in process @QuiverFullMummy #adoptfosterchat

@KallyBlueEyes  
#adoptfosterchat @BAAFAdoption I think kids who have been adopted should have a social worker they can contact in case things go wrong...

@Threebecomefour  
@BAAFAdoption We have an online adoption support group and meet up at least once a year from around the country #adoptfosterchat.

@lgbtadoptfoster  
@BAAFAdoption - and realistic of course - it's a tricky balance! #adoptfosterchat

@ins_foundations  
some profs just think it doesnt apply to adopted children - they are in a loving home now & should be fine type attitude #adoptfosterchat

@Scottish_Mum  
Agree / RT @hazeyjayneone: @BAAFAdoption ...trying to access basic post-adoption help seems almost impossible. #adoptfosterchat

@Threebecomefour  
@BAAFAdoption @lgbtadoptfoster It was 5 years before I phoned again re adoption (a different agency this time though). #adoptfosterchat

@adopdad  
@BAAFAdoption @Miniminstrel also found that teachers need to understand their own - yes own attachment patterns. #adoptfosterchat

@BAAFAdoption  
@rosiechook Agree - life story work is vital for helping children make sense of their lives #adoptfosterchat

@PottiJo  
@hazeyjayneone @BAAFAdoption Seems there is no consistency across country in terms of post adoption support #adoptfosterchat @BAAFAdoption

@skylarkuk  
#adoptfosterchat - schools and gp's could do with some better understanding of the issues, thank goodness for my PASW!

@BAAFAdoption  
@Threebecomefour So important to share these success stories #adoptfosterchat

@Scottish_Mum  
I adopted special needs and it's been lovey but tough going. Not enough preparation in the process when we went through it. #adoptfosterchat

@spursblogger  
RT @lgbtadoptfoster: fear too many potentially good adopters give up after bad initial reception, or receiving poor service #adoptfosterchat

@BAAFAdoption  
@PottiJo Great to hear! #adoptfosterchat

@Threebecomefour  
@BAAFAdoption @lgbtadoptfoster First time I phoned we were just asked if we'd take a child with SEN. That was it. #adoptfosterchat

@rosiechook  
@PottiJo @BAAFAdoption yes I agree I think Schools should be more enlightened #adoptfosterchat it would help so much!

@BAAFAdoption  
@Miniminstrel Agree-we've started training some teachers abt adoption eg understanding childrens attachment.More2b done #adoptfosterchat

@Scottish_Mum  
Whats that? / RT @BAAFAdoption: ... you'd need to talk to your agency about financial support for education #adoptfosterchat @Miniminstrel

@PottiJo  
@ins_foundations @BAAFAdoption I'm not sure there is a standardised training offered #adoptfosterchat

@Amii4eva
"@BAAFAdoption: are the needs of transracially adopted children being adequately met? #adoptfosterchat

@ins_foundations  
@baafadoption #adoptfosterchat A national gateway is a geat idea. We were put on hold totally 22mnths! now 3yrs in and still no child

@twoplusmunch  
@BAAFAdoption we have had a fight on our hands this year getting school to recognise needs of our son #adoptfosterchat

@hazeyjayneone
@BAAFAdoption ...trying to access basic post-adoption help seems almost impossible. Assessment was a breeze in comparison! #adoptfosterchat

@Threebecomefour   · Open
@rosiechook I agree. We're still waiting for our LSB two years after adopting our daughter #adoptfosterchat

@Scottish_Mum  
Lots more sadly / RT @PottiJo: @BAAFAdoption There needs to be some further work with schools I think #adoptfosterchat @BAAFAdoption

@BAAFAdoption  
@lgbtadoptfoster We understand it can take weeks to pluck up courage to make initial call - we need to respond well #adoptfosterchat

@rosiechook  
And yes we should celebrate adoption successes and promote them too! #adoptfosterchat

@Scottish_Mum  
I haven't found schools have made allowances for #adoptfosterchat adoption, I have to say.

@adopdad  
@BAAFAdoption some schools do, or should I say some teachers get it. #adoptfosterchat

@ins_foundations  
@BAAFAdoption That's my area of work & I am still get surprised at the lack of knowledge amongst teachers &other profs #adoptfosterchat

@Threebecomefour  
#adoptfosterchat Our adoption story: Life with Katie http://www.our-adoption-story.blogspot.co.uk/

@PottiJo  
@BAAFAdoption There needs to be some further work with schools I think #adoptfosterchat @BAAFAdoption

@BAAFAdoption  
@lgbtadoptfoster Detail of how gateway will work is still being discussed.Agree that we need2find ways of tracking interest #adoptfosterchat

@rosiechook  
#adoptfosterchat I feel we need more after support especially about life story work

@mrsmooshoes  
@BAAFAdoption Our adopted daughter (5) was explaining what it meant to a foster child who joined her class recently. #proud #adoptfosterchat

@Threebecomefour  
@lgbtadoptfoster Totally agree. Have several friends who have withdrawn after too much negativity from the social workers. #adoptfosterchat

@BAAFAdoption  
It's really important that schools understand the needs of adopted children #adoptfosterchat

@PottiJo  
@BAAFAdoption absolutely and panel usually ask more detail on family finding #adoptfosterchat @BAAFAdoption

@BAAFAdoption  
... you'd need to talk to your agency about financial support for education #adoptfosterchat @Miniminstrel

@hazeyjayneone 
@BAAFAdoption I would also add better support with managing contact. Whole-heartedly agree with your list... #adoptfosterchat

@Threebecomefour  
We have had an amazing adoption so far. I have lots of adopter friends with equally positive stories and experiences.#adoptfosterchat

@PottiJo  
@BAAFAdoption I've seen fab matches & its amazing than being part of the process 2 give a child a forever home #adoptfosterchat

@BAAFAdoption  
Gvn't announced recently that adopted children should be given priority in school admissions... #adoptfosterchat @Miniminstrel

@adopdad  
@BAAFAdoption absolutely,difficult with all the confidentially involved. Wld 💝 2 talk openly about my two great children. #adoptfosterchat

@spursblogger  
RT @BAAFAdoption: Complex needs children in care don't change jst b/c they are adopted -adoption support needs2b priority #adoptfosterchat

@ins_foundations  
@baafadoption Joining in late, hello everyone! #adoptfosterchat

@Miniminstrel  
#adoptfosterchat Schools to be better informed on our children's educational needs and behaviours. Left to us parents it is very isolating.

@adopdad  
@Miniminstrel agree both my children have #dyslexia and need extra support and cost #adoptfosterchat

@BAAFAdoption  
@PottiJo We think panel has important role on advising on contact, support, etc. #adoptfosterchat

@lgbtadoptfoster  
We fear too many potentially good adopters give up after a bad reception on initial enquiry, or receiving poor service #adoptfosterchat

@spursblogger  
RT @twoplusmunch: I totally agree with needing more support for adopters and their families #adoptfosterchat

@BAAFAdoption  
We need to talk more about the joy of adoption - so many amazing success stories #adoptfosterchat @adopdad

@BAAFAdoption  
...and adoption leave being on par with maternity leave, etc. #adoptfosterchat @hazeyjayneone

@BAAFAdoption  
@hazeyjayneone ...e.g. priority access to therapeutic sevrices, parenting skills/training, tax & benefit breaks #adoptfosterchat

@lgbtadoptfoster  
The proposed "adoption gateway" needs to track all potential adopters so we know who we are losing in the system and why #adoptfosterchat

@Miniminstrel   
#adoptfosterchat I would like to know if there is any financial help available to adopters for their children's education?

@melfree  
“@BAAFAdoption: Talk to our helpline and we can advise further"thanks hopefully we can get somewhere now #adoptfosterchat

@BAAFAdoption  
Agree that we need to talk about adoption breakdown & learn from it. Julie Selwyn at Bristol doing new research #adoptfosterchat @adopdad

@PottiJo  
@BAAFAdoption The panel I sit on is likley to keep doing them if time allows us #adoptfosterchat @BAAFAdoption We had an outstanding Ofsted

@BAAFAdoption  
Complex needs of children in care system don't change jst b/c they are adopted -adoption support needs2b priority #adoptfosterchat @adopdad

@adopdad  
Why oh why do the media love those stories of "too (put a condition in) to adopt" #adoptfosterchat

@BAAFAdoption  
We're concerned about this and have said so in our response to consultation on this issue #adoptfosterchat @PottiJo

@BAAFAdoption  
Also v important that we give consistent &welcoming response 2 pplinterested in adoption &gd quality initial info #adoptfosterchat @adopdad

@hazeyjayneone 
@BAAFAdoption What are the key features you would like to see in better post-adoption support? #adoptfosterchat

@BAAFAdoption  
Initially it can be the myths that exist about adoption e.g. about age, weight, etc. @adopdad #adoptfosterchat

@adopdad  
We need to not be frightened to talk about adoption breakdown. Have you evidence when investment in support should b made? #adoptfosterchat

@PottiJo  
What are your thoughts in panels not having to recommend on childrens cases, just in adopters and matching? #adoptfosterchat @BAAFAdoption

@BAAFAdoption  
#adoptfosterchat @tblondiefairy Good luck - call us if you need advice at any point http://bit.ly/mFGCam

@BAAFAdoption  
We'd like to know more about your case - pls call helpline & a BAAF consultant will help you http://bit.ly/mFGCam  @jessg79 #adoptfosterchat

@adopdad  
@BAAFAdoption what do you see as the main barriers to people adopting? #adoptfosterchat

@BAAFAdoption  
Talk to our helpline and we can advise further. There can be flexibility here - http://bit.ly/mFGCam  @melfree #adoptfosterchat

@tblondiefairy  
@BAAFAdoption thanks, appreciate u coming back to me. We are 6 months approved now so fingers crossed. #adoptfosterchat

@twoplusmunch  
I totally agree with needing more support for adopters and their families #adoptfosterchat

@BAAFAdoption  
...and recognising that some cases will take longer. All assessments are individual pieces of case work #adoptfosterchat @spursblogger

@jessg79  
#adoptfosterchat i have been approved for 3 yrs under pressure to withdraw i dont want to more needs to be done for people already approved

@BAAFAdoption  
Genuine fears but challenge is to keep standrads high whilst minimising unnecessary delay... #adoptfosterchat @spursblogger

@melfree  
Would love to foster but have no spare bedroom council won't move us till approved cant apply without spare room!! #adoptfosterchat

@tblondiefairy  
@BAAFAdoption what's the average time for couples who have been approved to wait until they get linked? #adoptfosterchat

@BAAFAdoption  
CEO: "BAAF has had important role in highlighting existing good practice & relevant research base" #adoptfosterchat @adopdad

@adopdad  
@BAAFAdoption so what changes do you think you (BAAF) led on here and what further things would you like to see (to CEO) #adoptfosterchat

@BAAFAdoption  
CEO: "I want to see a stronger focus on adoption support plus we have to recruit more families" #adoptfosterchat @adopdad

@adopdad  
@BAAFAdoption oops first mistake tonight #adoptfosterchat

@spursblogger   
@BAAFAdoption ..profs know sth must change but concerned that standards will fall, matching rushed, culture minimised? #adoptfosterchat

@BAAFAdoption  
@adopdad Welcome! Add #adoptfosterchat to your tweets so others can see :)

@BAAFAdoption  
Assessment always has to be thorough but we should speed process up where we can #adoptfosterchat @spursblogger

@BAAFAdoption  
Also important to focus on what is already working in system as well as what needs to improve #adoptfosterchat

@spursblogger  
@spursblogger ..what is your impression of govt's intention for adoption assessment? Quicker but less rigorous? #adoptfosterchat

@BAAFAdoption  
We've been part of a working group thinking through how the current adoption system can be improved #adoptfosterchat @spursblogger

@BAAFAdoption  
@twoplusmunch Welcome! #adoptfosterchat

@twoplusmunch  
Hello 1st time I have joined one of these chats #adoptfosterchat

@spursblogger  
@BAAFAdoption to get ball rolling, I know BAAF have been heavily involved in consultation re adoption plan ... #adoptfosterchat

@spursblogger  
@BAAFAdoption good evening everyone. Thanks David for contributing this evening #adoptfosterchat

@BAAFAdoption  
An online copy of the Government's adoption action plan here: http://bit.ly/zX7kkI  #adoptfosterchat

@BAAFAdoption  
Welcome all to April #adoptfosterchat! Who is joining us this evening?

@BAAFAdoption  
You may find these links helpful ahead of tonight's #adoptfosterchat: http://bit.ly/zX7kkI  & http://bit.ly/xZS6dr

@BAAFAdoption  
13 minutes to go! #adoptfosterchat

@adopdad  
@BAAFAdoption can you point us to a quick link of the main points of the gov. Changes? #adoptfosterchat #onlytenminutestogo

@adopdad  
@BAAFAdoption hope to join #adoptfosterchat in 20 mins pls RT

@BAAFAdoption  
Join us in 1 hour for a live adoption Q&A with David Holmes. Tag tweets with #adoptfosterchat to join in

@PottiJo  
Oh will most deffo try and be there tonight for #adoptfosterchat @BAAFAdoption

@SeyiCedarEvents  
Interested in adoption - Join @BAAFAdoption tonight for #adoptfosterchat?

@BAAFAdoption  
Could you RT? @timloughton @educationgovuk - David Holmes live adoption Q&A tonight 7-8pm #adoptfosterchat http://bit.ly/Io187a

@SimpleAdoption  
Only a week til our children's profile meeting. Hoping we find our match! Also looking forward to @BAAFAdoption's #adoptfosterchat tonight.

@BAAFAdoption  
@Jags_Catering #adoptfosterchat? 7-8pm

@BAAFAdoption  
Have any questions for David Holmes on @Number10gov's recent adoption reforms? http://bit.ly/Io187a  #adoptfosterchat

@BAAFAdoption  
@mrs_nicholls Absolutely - please see here: http://bit.ly/IOtQlo #adoptfosterchat

@BAAFAdoption  
@Threebecomefour @EmmaLangman More info here: http://bit.ly/IOtQlo Thanks, Emma :) #adoptfosterchat

@spursblogger  
@BAAFAdoption see you there #adoptfosterchat

@danielfrench 
Joining in @Dannyboio? “@BAAFAdoption: Join BAAF's chief exec tonight 7-8pm for live Q&A on adoption http://bit.ly/Io187a  #adoptfosterchat”

@BAAFAdoption  
Join us tonight for #adoptfosterchat? @vicky50244 @confessionsmum @ins_foundations @CazbatTweets @spursblogger @SeyiCedarEvents @kfdonovan

@BAAFAdoption  
@playheals @rosiechook @saltylast @LoveYouPhoto @ripplescoaching @How_we_laughed @Memma_Pie #adoptfosterchat tonight - are you joining?

@BAAFAdoption  
@sakitcher @PottiJo @Scottish_Mum @EmmaLangman @Adoptive_Dad @hannahefreey @Jags_catering @twoplusmunch Join us tonight? #adoptfosterchat

@BAAFAdoption  
Will you be joining us tonight @marshmessages @CllrWendyBT @Nico2lette @GayAdoptionDad @anitanee @roger701 @justmesathere? #adoptfosterchat

@BAAFAdoption  
Join BAAF's chief exec tonight 7-8pm for a live Twitter Q&A on adoption http://bit.ly/Io187a  #adoptfosterchat

@AbeLaurens  
@BAAFAdoption CEO David Holmes live Q&A on govt's adoption plan Thurs 7pm #adoptfosterchat. Promising! Good to see senior figure on twitter

@BAAFAdoption  
Join David Holmes tomorrow night 7-8pm for a live Twitter Q&A on the Government's Adoption Action Plan http://bit.ly/IOtQlo  #adoptfosterchat

@BAAFAdoption  
@solusanya Hope you can join us! #adoptfosterchat


Details of the next #adoptfosterchat will be announced shortly. If you need help, support, or further information about adoption & fostering, please head to the main BAAF website.
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