Guessing the future and planning for the unknown

Have you got any advice for today’s anonymous poster?

I am currently embroiled in the process of adopting a very young child that I am fostering, through a non-agency (or as my LA like to call it ‘private’!) adoption. This has involved wrangling with my LA over what, if any, post-adoption support might be on offer, and they have asked me to come up with my own assessment of what I think the child’s future support needs might be, just in case they decide to offer PAS after all.

ProblemThe issue of whether PAS will be offered or not is slightly separate to this request for advice, as I have taken legal advice on that and am fully armed for battle! My question really is whether anybody who is further down the line as an adoptive family might have any suggestions as to what I should ask for in terms of PAS. Without sharing too much of this little one’s story, she is currently very young, and is meeting most, but not all, of her milestones. There is a definite possibility of a future diagnosis of FASD. She has a number of other chronic but fairly common health issues that are not directly related to her early life experiences but are most likely inherited. She has lived with me since she was a few days old.

I adopted my son nearly three years ago, also from foster care, but via a more traditional route. I have looked at his PAS plan for inspiration but it really is a very vague, two sentence affair. I do realise that there is a world of difference between making a plan, and then actually getting that plan put into action at some future date, but if possible, I would really like to cover as many bases as I can at this early stage. Can anybody suggest the types of things I ought to be asking for? Thanks in advance.

8 thoughts on “Guessing the future and planning for the unknown

  1. Suzanne Messam

    Congratulations! What great news. I have a daughter whom I adopted at 2 years who has FASD. The side effects of this were not obvious till about 5 and she is now 12. The support she really needed was at school, to make sure teachers understood how FASD affects a child. I remember having meetings after meetings at her Primary school to keep reiterating that she couldn’t listen to more than one instruction at a time and could they break instructions down into little chunks for her. She also found it difficult to retain information, so although we thought she had learned her times tables at 9, she had infact forgotten them all by secondary school. We have recently pushed through Pupil Premium for extra tuition and the school are now offering her that for English and Maths. It has been a long road to get her school’s SEND department to acknowledge her needs, as she presents as a bright, capable, sociable girl but they don’t realise the frustration from learning comes out at home, and we as parents pick it up. Make sure that when your child starts school you ensure that the Pupil Premium is spent wisely on your child for the right areas. Schools are still very cagey about this and you have to push! I can’t say that any other PAS would have been useful in her case as the issues are mainly in her learning and retention. Having said that, she is doing incredibly well and we are so proud of her. Other issues arise due to Attachment Disorder and we deal with that ourselves. Honestly, the social workers have been a waste of space and I can’t imagine they could support her any more than we have. Good luck with your journey. Enjoy!

    Reply
    1. Suddenly Mummy

      Thank you so much for your reply. I have heard that it can be at school and in learning that the FASD diagnosis really hits home. I currently home educate my son, but that doesn’t mean that one or both of them will never attend school (and they will certainly both still be doing ‘learning’!), so your insights are really useful.

      Reply
  2. Olivia Greenhill

    I would suggest detailed life story work when older and the time is right…I think all children in care or adopted should get this no questions asked. I would also suggest some form of trauma processing (Renee Marks is a strong advocate for this). Again, I think this is something that should be there as a matter of course.

    In respect of possible FASD I would suggest certainly some kind of sensory and regulation therapy. We have had an OT providing this. Beyond that not really sure as we are currently exploring this ourselves following a recent diagnosis of FASD.

    Hope this helps and good luck.

    Reply
  3. Hushabyemountainblog

    We are in the middle of attempting to update a PAS before the AO is finalised. One thing I wished we had done before the placement was to be more specific about who will provide support and requested that assessment and support is from a choice of providers who are specialist in adoption, attachment and trauma (or FASD) and been specific about the framework they use e.g. DDP etc. THis would also apply to OT, our NHS OT has been great, but we need more specialist attachment aware OT. I wish I had asked more about allowances and eligibility process for adoption allowances and complex needs allowance and felt less uncomfortable about asking for this. I would also have insisted on the inclusion of anything that hints at future needs from previous reviews, medicals etc to be included in the needs sections of the PAS so that the level of current and potential need is clearly documented. These are also helpful if you need to get referrals or assessments as they flag things that paediatricians, ed psychs etc may not look for unless pushed. An ECHP might be required to access school support, the pupil premium only covers a fraction of what our LO needs in school in terms of attachment aware support, OT and school training. And an ECHP might also fund out of school activities if one to one support is needed to access these or expensive activities are required for therapeutic reasons. Basic things like AUK membership so local groups can be accessed and willingness to help fund specialist support groups would have been helpful too. I wished I had ensured I had better clarity about how my LA decides which workshops might be applied for and funded. Let us know how you get on!

    Reply
    1. conserned

      May be a little late but just joined Adoption Social. Have 2 children with full FAS FASD.both now grown up and adults.
      A Little snippet which you may not know of Adoption Support fund has a extended clause for children who are suspected and may develop secondary conditions related too FASD , this extends too long term support and assessment’s. you can see this at http://www.first4adoption.org.uk have too read it carefully as is only a one
      a one liner. May have too search site for it.
      NHS FASD Assessment clinic has a Webb site can be found at Surry and Borders NHS Webb site.

      Reply

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