Tag Archives: TakingCare

Happiness Photo Challenge.

Today Three Pink Diamonds and a Blue Sapphire introduces a new photo challenge, I’ll let her explain in her own words, which can also be found here on her blog.

“Just before Christmas my fellow blogger ‘The Family of 5’ organised a 31-day photo challenge for families that are connected with adoption. If you wish to see what we got up to, you can view the pics at #FO5Photo. The idea was to think about ways that us adopters take care of ourselves on a daily basis, whilst having a bit of fun too! 
It was really popular and I felt as though it brought some of us adopters together as we shared in the small things that we use to care for ourselves and bring us a bit of joy and comfort.

So myself and a couple of adopters have thought about doing a 100-day challenge. The idea is to take a picture a day for 100 days of something that makes you happy. It could be anything, something big or something small. Maybe a cake, maybe a cup of coffee, or a picture of your favourite pet.

 So we can all see and share in each others happiness the hashtag #TakingCare100 has been thought of. So each time you post a picture be sure to use the above hashtag.takingcare100

At the end of the 100 days it would be lovely to look back over the pictures and see how we have cared for ourselves over that time period and be able to smile at some of the fun we have had either on our own or with our family and friends. 

There is no start or finish date so join in as and when you can and if you miss a day (or two) just jump straight back in and carry on.

It would be great to have as many people linked to adoption as possible to join in so if you can please share, re-tweet or forward this post on to raise awareness that would be most appreciated.

Thank you & I look forward to seeing your pictures!”

So because here at The Adoption Social we first love a challenge, two, we are right behind #TakingCare and three, love a project that we can all do together, we are lending our support to this project.

Below you will find a linky where you can link up blog posts that feature you #TakingCare100 pictures. You might be posting every day, or maybe you are doing a weekly round up of your pictures, or maybe one particular picture inspired you to write a post, any which way, you can link up below. The linky is open until the end of January, when we’ll do a review of how were all getting on.

We’ve also created a pinterest board so we can collect together, as many as possible, of the pictures, in one place, including those that don’t appear on a blog. You’ll find the Pinterest board HERE If anyone does not want their pictures on the board, please contact us.

So remember to keep sharing your pictures with hashtag #TakingCare100, linking up below,  and keep on taking care.


News from The Open Nest

Today we bring you an update from The Open Nest Charity, current activities and plans for the future.

severance

SEVERANCE EXHIBITION

Firstly, this weekend 15th and 16th November 2014, sees the second showing of the Severance Exhibition. Hosted this time at Family Future (full address below), this exhibition is a collection of artwork by adopters, adoptees and those involved in adoption and aims to bring narrative to the modern culture of adoption.

From a collection of different medium including installations, photography and film clips, the pieces portray the differing feelings and experiences that those involved in adoption hold and how these can be both in line with and at odds with current media perceptions.

So if you can visit the exhibition at –

Family Future
3&4 Floral Place
7-9 Northampton Grove
Islington
London
N1 2PL

11am – 6pm Daily

THE PETITION

The Open Nest has responded to a letter, seen below, addressed to all adopters (see here) from Edward Timpson, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Children and Families. As part of this response the charity has  raised a petition asking that more funding be allocated to support than recruitment. You can sign the petition below.

Dear Edward Timpson,

We know you appreciate all that us adopters do. We are brave, loving and committed people. We provide permanence for some of the most needy children in the UK. Many of us feel that the Government funding and attention given to recruit new adopters far out weights the funding and attention given to support adoptees.

Many of the families who have already adopted are struggling daily with gaining meaningful support. For these families it is hard to watch mass media recruitment drives. We worry about our own children and those children and families entering a system that is not yet ready to fully deal with the issues. These include inconsistent approaches from health, education and social care. Adoption Support is still in development and many of us feel it would be good to get this bit right before increasing the numbers of adoptions.

National Adoption Week 2014 is promoting the adoption of siblings and yet this task is one that needs very careful consideration. Yes, siblings should ideally be kept together but only with a built in intensive and committed package of support before the adoption order is granted. Many of the adoptive families in the UK would like to see support to adoptees as a right enshrined in law. At the moment it feels to some that it is a postcode lottery. Social workers and teachers need more training, funding and support to understand fully the needs of adoptive families.

We need support more than we need acknowledgement of what a great job we do. We are aware of this great job but just as ‘love is not enough’ neither is receiving a PR based pat on the back. We look forward to seeing adoption support high on the political agenda as a tribute to the braveness and resilience of adoptees, our children, who have no choice in becoming adopted.

Please click the link below and sign this petition if you are in agreement with what this letter wh highlights, the urgency for adoption support to be higher on the agenda than recruitment.

SIGN THE PETITION

WHAT IS NEXT

The charity is currently developing training for adoption social workers, which they hope  to start delivering early next year.

After the huge success of #TakingCare conference, more are planned for the new year. These will take place in different geographic locations and hopefully offer more space for participation discussion.

Taking Care And Providing Support

Today Amanda Boorman of The Open Nest gives her own overview of the #TakingCare conference and reflects on how adoption funding is currently being placed.

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Thinking about this National Adoption Week 2014 has led me to think yet again about how funding is decided, gathered and put in place to support adoptees and their families. Anybody in the adoption community is likely to be aware of the media spotlight that has been shining on adoption for the last couple of years. Big announcements have been made by the Government of specific funds to promote adoption recruitment and in some areas to support those families who chose to adopt.

Not taking into account Government funding for adoption related research and diagnostic assessments into LA adoption policy and procedure, below are some of the figures available online:

£2 million to launch (and maintain over 3 years) The National Gateway to Adoption

£150 million Adoption Recruitment Grant

£16 million to voluntary agencies to increase recruitment

£1.5 million grant to launch three new adoption agencies

£19.3 million to launch pilots of the Adoption Support Fund

This alone is a huge total of £188.8 million. The focus is clearly on recruitment as the initial support pilot budget is clearly a relatively small chunk.

The results of this spotlight on recruitment are that adoption figures are up for the year ending March 2014. The total number of adoptions that took place were 5,050.

Being aware of the figures and having genuine concerns that recruitment of new families whilst not having support in place for existing families, was the motivation for us as a charity to hold a support conference that considered issues around #TakingCare. This was not just about taking care of ourselves as families but about adopted children and their parents being taken care of by practitioners and the State.

We decided to make our first conference affordable, accessible and user led. We wanted every speaker to be an adopter or adoptee and to encourage honesty and openness about the highs and lows of the adoption experience. We wanted attendees to genuinely feel taken care of in the venue and by us as an organisation.

We had 80 delegates including social workers and practitioners.

Feedback was overwhelmingly positive and proved that openness, information sharing, empathy and a non profit approach is what contributes to being and feeling taken care of.

The costs of the conference was as follows:

Venue and food: £25 per head. This was fully covered by the ticket price.

Information booklets and treats: £8 per delegate.Fundraising by the charity paid for this.

Speakers travel and accommodation expenses: £1500. Paid for by charity fundraising.

In total the conference cost approx £52 per delegate. This is a fraction of the cost of some training days and conferences and we are extremely happy and encouraged that attendees felt taken care of whilst they gained and gave support and  inspiration:

“I really appreciated the luxurious setting after many years of plastic chairs and plastic cups”

“In terms of support, we feel better informed and more hopeful for the future”

“So useful to hear ideas from people who are living our lives and ‘get it'”

“An outstanding event. Full of useful information and REAL strategies for adopters”

“The day has been fantastically inspiring as a professional working in adoption support”

“I thought it was well organised and welcoming for such a good price!”

“An amazing and inspirational day”

“Informative, emotional and excellent”

“An agenda set by adopters for adopters. Very warm, welcoming, sharing and caring”

“Thank you for making me feel less alone”

“It has given us a boost and was worth using a child free day for”

“A really powerful, moving, incredibly useful day”

“All of the speakers were fantastic and the venue and lunch was brilliant”

“A great sense of peer support, I really hope this grows, evolves and develops”

“Above all the honesty is refreshing and I don’t feel like an outsider as I so often do in other places”

“I feel empowered with knowledge and support to continue. Also feeling great hope for a future with more understanding”

“Those who implement policies really need to hear these messages which have been done in a way that encourages collaboration and doesn’t apportion blame”

“Many comments helped me to feel less alone, less isolated and more widely understood”

“Powerful, moving, informative, nurturing, empowering, warming. What an inspirational day. Beautifully presented”

Many of those present also gave feedback via Twitter using our hashtag #TakingCare

“As prospective adopters @TheOpeNest conference made us grateful for adoptive heroes quietly living epic lives. Thank you!”

“Thanks for a reaffirming day”

“@TheOpenNest et al. So many thanks for a fantastic conference. Inspiring. Refreshing.Superb”

“#takingcare conference was the friendliest! most honest and practical adoption event I’ve ever attended. Thank you”

During the conference we provided an ‘Open Space’ session where guests could highlight issues they felt most relevant to them. Feedback told us that more time to discuss and share this information would have been welcomed and we have taken that advice for future events. The most common themes were as follows:

Fear of asking for support as current culture apportions blame to parents.

Lack of professional adoption expertise by social workers and teachers.

Lack of effective crisis response.

Support to parent therapeutically.

Meaningful preparation for adoption.

Child to parent violence.

Financial support.

Lack of support around life story work and birth family contact.

Support to adoptees post 18.

In conclusion we felt that the day was a resounding success because it was a forum for sharing information, honesty and empathy with no hidden recruitment agenda or need for agency/personal profit. The atmosphere felt like one of inclusion and community rather than an us and them, expert versus parent vibe that unfortunately exists aplenty in the adoption support arena.

On that note I would like to share a poem written by a guest whilst attending. He kindly read this out as a fitting end to the day:

The Open Nest Conference: My Take

I know that my parenting skills are not perfect
I know that I oft get it wrong
The shouting, the fighting, the stress and the fear
I just want to sing the right song.

Where is my empathy, my love and compassion?
Where is my therapeutic care?
Why am I angry so much of the time?
Why do I fall to despair?

My child is not bad or a force of great evil
It’s not their fault they can’t cope
They did not create the environment they grew in
That meant that they lived without hope.

The trauma they developed is not my fault either
I did not make their life hell
Why am I made to feel so responsible now?
No one listens, there’s no one to tell.

But still we keep going, the strength comes from somewhere
We love them despite all the pain
For we know in the end there’s a reason we do it
Our child is the one who will gain

Gary H

To add your voice to the many asking MP Edward Timpson to prioritise funding for post adoption support sign this Petition HERE

Here are links to other posts written about The open Nest Conference #TakingCare

http://take2mumsworld.wordpress.com/2014/10/18/taking-care/

http://2boys1dogandus.wordpress.com/2014/10/19/taking-care/

http://suddenlymummy.blogspot.co.uk/2014/10/taking-care.html

http://stickleberry.wordpress.com/2014/10/19/why-i-loved-takingcare/

http://www.onroadtoadopt.org.uk/2014/10/taking-care/

http://allaboardthetraumatrain.com/2013/03/04/call-yourself-an-expert/

http://www.deardaughter.co.uk/2014/10/the-open-nest-conference-taking-care.html

http://wearefamilyadoption.wordpress.com/2014/10/24/takingcare-2/

http://3beesandahoney.wordpress.com/2014/10/26/taking-care-of-feelings/

http://www.sallydonovan.net/2014/10/22/the-open-nest-conference-taking-care/

http://thepuffindiaries.com/the-open-nest-conference-takingcare/

http://adoptmum.wordpress.com/2014/10/21/more-truths-please/

http://adoptionmisadventure.blogspot.co.uk/2014/10/men.html

 

#HowAreYou?

 

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So it’s National Adoption Week.  Time to celebrate adoption, isn’t it?

Sometimes adoptive parents can find this a tough week, filled with lots of promotion, painting a very positive image of adoption,  especially if their own family life is challenging and difficult. I understand that BAAF have created the theme of “siblings” for NAW14, which very importantly more adopters are needed for.  However, as a community of many adopters as well as adoptees and practitioners, I think it is important for us to decide how we want to celebrate this week.

During a chat on twitter this week, two of our community, @take2mums and @adoptingd, came up with the excellent idea of encouraging support for each other with the question “how are you?”.

So the idea is, that during this National Adoption Week we look at our twitter feed or followers lists and choose 5 different people to contact and check in with. We can all use the hashtag #HowAreYou

You can do it every day or on just one day when you know you might have the time to converse with someone.

You might say something like

“Hi there hope you’re ok today #HowAreYou

I think it’s a brilliant idea, which follows on perfectly from the recent #TakingCare conference. This online community is growing by the day and we should have a say as to how we want to celebrate adoption and the many people involved in adopting.

 So take to your twitter feed this week and simply ask #HowAreYou.

Weekly Adoption Shout Out – #WASO week 90

WASO90

Hi there all and welcome back to the weekly adoption shout out.

What an amazing week we had on #WASO last week. All the wonderful posts were a brilliant way to finish what had been a very special weekend at The Open Nest #TakingCare conference. We hope those who attended enjoyed it and that those, who were unable to attend, were inspired by all the tweets and blog posts.

So this week is theme free, so any post that is written around the subject of adoption can be included. Please remember to visit some of the other posts, comment and share using the hashtag #WASO.