Support or the lack of it has been a real contentious subject for me lately.
A few weeks ago I contacted my local authority’s post adoption team after reading something on the internet about support groups. I registered for their newsletter last year but if I’m honest it’s a double-sided sheet twice a year and mostly covers training. So I emailed them asking about support groups. They replied quite quickly telling me
‘Currently responsibility for your support is still with the placing local authority, but we will make enquiries and respond to you shortly.’
I replied informing them that the placing authority was over 200miles away so it would be impossible to attend one of their support groups.
Then a few days later they informed me:
‘I have been able to confirm that we can offer you information about our groups and have been in email contact with the placing authority about how the financial side is sorted.’
What financial side?! I only want to attend an existing support group, why does someone need to pay?!
So anyway I took their advice and I rang the duty social worker last week. She told me they do have support groups and there was one in a neighbouring town. She didn’t have the details and the lady who did, was on leave. She commented that we should already be on the mailing list for the activity days they hold for adopted children and their families during the school holidays, so she arranged for me to be added and assured me the lady would return from leave next week and call me with details of the support groups.
So I wait.
And wait some more.
In the mean time I received a call today from the counsellor I saw the other week. During my consultation she’d offered to use her contacts and knowledge of the support system to see if she could find out about adoption support groups I could attend. She sounded deflated on the phone, and I wasn’t surprised to learn that she had also ‘spent the last 2 weeks going round in circles and eventually hit a brick wall’, her words not mine.
So being impatient I decided to call my local authority and chase up the lady ‘in the know’ about the local group that had been mentioned. I find she’s no longer on leave, but she is now off sick.
So who else can help me I enquired?! No one apparently.
It seems they’re once again, hung up about the placing authority being financially responsible for our support so are unable to give me any answers until they’ve spoken to several managers, drank lots of coffee, done lots of um’ing and ah’ing, filled out many forms, drank more coffee, doodled a bit, had more discussions, made some more call’s, filled out some more pointless forms, sent a few emails, eaten some cake, taken some annual leave, thought some more and discussed even more!
So where does that leave me. My girls are able to attend our local authority support days, but I am not?! How does that work then?! I’d have thought if there was any financial issue for support, it would have been for my girls, not for me, after all I pay my council tax just like everyone else that attends that support group. I’m presuming here obviously, but you get my point.
It just seems no one wants to take responsibility, no one wants to offer support and no one wants to help. It’s hardly surprising that the woman ‘in the know’ is off sick really. I just wish that I had that option.
Just to add salt to an already inflamed wound, I had a Facebook status today from Home Start, asking ‘New Mum’s’ (clearly aimed at birth mum’s) about the most useful support they received during their childs early years and then another from Change4Life about the same sort of thing and just to push me over the edge, KidStart have decided to set up an online forum to enable parents to support one another, I bet no one on there even knows what an attachment disorder is, let alone how to support a parent struggling with one.
Time to contact my local MP I think, it’s not like I have anything better to do is it!
My attempts to find some support for myself have left me even more stressed out, go figure!