Which way?

A problem shared is just that, a place for you to share your problems and for other readers to respond, support you and give some useful advice. Today’s problem comes from a concerned mum and regards her dealings with their health visitor….
Which direction

Which way do you turn for help and advice?

I mean, my child is young and recently placed, so we still have the health visiting team on hand. But how do you know when an issue is health-related, or part of a child’s normal development (or not), or when it’s related to their background, and requires more specialist advice from say, a social worker or post adoption team?

I’ve been accused by the health visiting team of blaming everything on my child’s past, but I don’t feel they take past trauma into account.

My health visitor has often just snatched my child away from me to weigh and measure without a second thought for our growing bonds and attachment. She’s even put the nappy on for us afterwards even though I’ve told her that primary care should only come from me at the moment.

I’m not sure where to turn when I have problems anymore, all I want is the best for my child. Any suggestions? Have you encountered similar problems with any of the professionals involved with your family?

Can you give any advice to this concerned contributor? if so please comment below.

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4 thoughts on “Which way?

  1. Rachel

    Hi there,

    What a horrible situation (and if you don’t mind me saying your HV sounds like a bit of a dragon…). We were very lucky with our HV, who had particular responsibility for looked-after children in our local authority and was very mindful of potential issues – I wonder if you have someone within your local team who has this role? It certainly sounds as if your HV has a poor understanding of the needs of adopted children – and of their families too!

    Our HV was routinely invited to the various round table meetings that took place with our social worker and the children’s social worker following placement, and was treated as part of “the team” throughout. Could your social worker speak to her on your behalf, do you think? It might take the stress of potential confrontation out of it for you, and she may respond better to advice from a fellow professional (sorry, but some people just do!)

    Are you still in touch with your child’s foster carer? In the early days, our children’s carers were a good sounding board for advice and helped us to understand what was “normal” for our kids – on a few occasions when I was worried I phoned for advice and was reassured to hear “oh yes, she does that sometimes, we dealt with it like this…”

    When all’s said and done, you are now the person closest to your child and the one who knows them best, so trust your instincts and do what YOU feel is best. Yes, your HV may have dealt with hundreds of children and may believe that they’re all basically the same, but they’re not. Yours is unique and special and deserves to be treated as such. So do you.

    Good luck xxx

  2. Lucy

    I am not an adoptive parent but I would say that is completely unacceptable. My health visitor would never ever have done something like that. I wouldn’t see her again. If possible see a different one, but also find a sympathetic gp – call and explain to the doctor’s receptionist and see who they would suggest. I would think there is great value in finding a gp now who will suit your family for the future. And if in doubt, go and explain. Medical professionals *should* be sympathetic to all new parents and parents of young children. In my experience they usually are and don’t see you as time wasters (which I am always fearful of – but better to be safe than sorry).

  3. Helen

    You need to be honest and clear with her. Ask what experience she has with adopted children and tell her that you want to work in a way that makes you feel most comfortable. It’s your choice to make, your instincts to follow.

  4. Gem from Life with Katie

    We’re still at the HV stage with our little boy and they’ve been a help and a hindrance. It’s better now I’ve got Katie’s old HV back on board but I’ve been given some awful advice by our team about Pip’s weight. I’ve had to tell them I’m not happy with their advice (when they suggested cutting his middle bottle out to save calories). I’ve even told my HV that I felt quite demoralised and confused by the mixed advice of various HVS conflicting advice. Your HV sounds unacceptable. Ours don’t offer to undress or dress Pip for his weigh in and I wouldn’t accept it either. I’m happy for them to hold him though. I guess you can either try and explain it to her again or ask for another HV. The HV teams are going through a lot of change and are all quite fed up and overworked at the mo. I must admit I get most of my advice from other adopters or friends with children. The HV today didn’t even know if Pip’s disgusting nappies were due to teething or not. Many of them aren’t child are trained but are nurses who originally worked with adults. Ask if you have a Community Nursery Nurse attached to your HV team. They are all childcare trained and should be far better for advice in my opinion. Good luck. Do ask if there’s anything we can help with. Xx


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