All posts for the month November, 2015

Therapeutic Fostering

Published November 22, 2015 by thefamilyof5

I have read some of Colbys books and highly recommend them, his latest blog highlights the importance of ‘Foster/Adoptive/Kinship parents being supported throughout their therapeutic parenting journeys, something we here in the UK need to get better at. The support provided to adopters here generally stops once the adoption order is granted, or if your lucky 3 years after the order is grated. Therapeutic parenting of a traumatised child is a life long commitment and thus needs, life long support. These traumatised children deserve better outcomes, not worse.

Attachment and Resilience

Why have Therapeutic Models of Care?

In an online survey of carers of ‘looked-after-children’ (defined as children who do not live with a birth parent(s) and are in a relative or kinship care placement, adoptive placement, foster placement or residential care placement), in which responses were received from 157 carers over a one-week period in September/October 2014, only 16% reported using a known Model of Care to inform their caregiving.

This begs the following question: What do carers rely on to inform their care of these often troubled and challenging children?



Advice? (only half of respondents in the carer survey reported that they are supported in the role by a social worker)

Is this a problem?

Well, lets look at some figures for adult outcomes for children raised in out-of-home care:

  • Those with 3 or fewer placements were more likely to finish school 1 (65% of children in foster care…

View original post 1,218 more words


I Am “that” Parent

Published November 15, 2015 by thefamilyof5

I am ‘THAT’ parent too, or at least I was before we embarked on our Home Ed Journey.

Champions for Community Mental Wellness

This post is inspired by a recent post that has gone viral titled “Dear Parent: About THAT Kid” by an educator in Calgary, Alberta. It is a powerful post and I encourage you to read it. While I was reading the post, I thought about how easy it is to assume instead of be curious. I thought about the label “THAT” and how we become fearful of this – we don’t want to be known as “THAT” parent so we stay quiet.  I think it is time to be more curious about “THAT”. This post is dedicated to all the parents out there who are “THAT” parent.

Author: Karen Copeland


I am that parent.

Dear professionals: You know me, I am the one who asks questions. The one who seems like she is always asking for information. The one who makes suggestions on the IEP, or seems to…

View original post 1,575 more words

Our schools need support too!

Published November 10, 2015 by thefamilyof5

Its hardly surprising some of our school staff feel so unwilling to expand their knowledge and understanding of trauma and attachment issues,  if this is how they’re feeling. (see link to news article) Perhaps this was the reason behind the issues we faced at High School, perhaps they just didn’t have the time and energy required to consider that big girl was really struggling.

ITV News Article

Taken from ITV News Article Above

Taken from ITV News Article Above

Our schools need better support if they are to be able to better support our most vulnerable children.

There needs to be better guidance and monitoring around the effective use of Pupil Premium Plus funds, schools need to be held accountable for each and every penny to prevent it being added to the general ‘pot’. Parents need to be included in the plans for spending, afterall, they DO know their children best.

Teacher training at universities and colleges at all levels needs to include vast amounts of training on the lasting and devastating effects of attachment and trauma. There also needs to be a requirement for compulsory annual refresher training for ALL school staff, yes, even the lunch time supervisors, sometimes their input can be hugely valuable to a child at lunch time when they’re struggling, without the knowledge and understanding it can also be hugely detrimental.

The ‘Virtual School’ (VSH) support from the Local Authority needs expanding to include schools with Adopted Children, as well as those schools with Looked After Children.

Flexible schooling and Home schooling needs to be encouraged, promoted and supported where needed. Some of our most vulnerable children struggle to manage a school environment, that shouldn’t mean that they’re unable to access the education system and the support that that provides.

An Adoption Order doesn’t take away the past and the role of school staff can have a huge impact on a child’s life. Knowledge and Understanding is the difference between whether that is a positive impact or negative impact!

Things need to change, NOW!

Our new adventure!

Published November 8, 2015 by thefamilyof5

We made a tough decision over half term, it had been on the cards for quite sometime, over a year in fact, but the issues we were experiencing with high school made it all just feel like it had become ‘too much’. So we de-registered all of the girls and have decided to give ‘Home Education’ a go.

School has always been an issue for the girls. We originally started with a large primary school, after 3 years we made the decision to move to a smaller one in the hope the girls would begin to feel safer. Even with masses amounts of support and understanding from the amazing staff at primary school, the girls still struggled. Then big girl moved to high school, and well, the less said about that experience the better I think!

So here we are. We’ve just completed our first week. Its actually been much better than expected. I expected exhaustion, frustration, an unkempt house, a piled high laundry basket and bickering kids! I expected it to be an absolute nightmare!

Its been nothing like that! When we made the decision, which the girls were all involved in and given the choice about, they instantly relaxed, their sleep that evening improved dramatically! (I think that says it all really). There has been no bickering, at all! I’m not exhausted and the house and laundry have all been managed! There hasn’t even been any of that stressy, sweaty stinky pong (there was lots of it half term, they were worrying about going back to school they said! In fact, its actually been quite a lot of fun! The girls stress levels have all reduced dramatically and life feels so much easier and happier in our house right now. I can already feel my relationship with the girls blossoming and MrFO5 has been able to become more involved too.

I didn’t really plan on doing much ‘learning’ for now. I thought we’d spend some time getting out of the routine and practices that school came with. It hasn’t quite worked out that way because the girls have all wanted to ‘do learning’. So along with baby girl insisting that we keep ‘morning break’, we have already put some structure in to our days and have devised somewhat of a timetable for our week, it doesn’t look much like a school day, its much more flexible, we even did some learning (Sunday) today!

We’ve included daily diary writing, swimming, science experiments, math, spellings, hand writing practice, and have even joined some local Home Education groups!  The girls have been amazing, they’ve become so eager to learn. They love writing their diaries each morning and showing me their sentence structure or neat writing or how they used a good ‘describing word’. They sit at the table for written work without fuss, they listen and they hear, even baby girl! We’ve incorporated learning into nearly everything we do, so much so that they all keep pointing out the ‘learning’ or asking what the ‘learning’ is. When MrFO5 gets home each evening they’re all super excited to show him their work folders and tell him what they’ve learnt that day and what exciting adventures we’ve been on.

There is so much that we have done this week that I couldn’t even begin to list it all, so here is some of it:

I’ve accessed online resources both free and paid for

We’ve carried out experiments about colors and noted our findings

Learnt about what some of the vital organs in the body do

They’ve played educational games on their tablets and even learnt about ‘algorithms’

We’ve been learning a new song that we found on youtube

We written some poetry about popping candy, that was a lot of fun because of course we had to eat it first!

They’ve all learnt how to spell at least 7 new words each.

They’ve swam over 100 meters each

Had fun with paint and glitter at an Art Club

Made new friends

Learnt about different types of measurements in the park with tape measures

We’ve laughed, smiled, and snuggled a lot!

Like I say, there is just too much to list, and that’s just this week!

We plan to get a math tutor in the new year. We have music tuition lined up. We have plans to visit science museums, art galleries and historical places. We may even do our own Christmas performance for friends and family to watch. I’m hoping to finally get round to being able to do some baking with them as well. We’re even hoping now they’re sleeping better that they will be more able to manage some extra curricular clubs and activities. Middle girl really wants to go to a Dance class! We do hope to get them back in to some sort of formal education later on, perhaps for college. We may need to look at getting a cleaner in once a month, we may need to employ the services of an ironing company (only for Mr FO5 work shirts, us girls are happy to wear creases). We may even need to change our car to one that’s more economical now we’re doing more than just the school run each day. So we may also need to do the lottery more often too!! 🙂

I’m not naive enough to believe it will always be this easy or that they will always be this willing, or that it wont get exhausting either but for now, it really does feel like we made the best decision for our girls and I just wonder why we never did it sooner!

Just Plain Tough – The Puffin Diaries

Published November 4, 2015 by thefamilyof5

Excellent post from a very annoyed mum at Puffindiaries, I’m not in the least bit surprised its about more school issues 😦

‘This is not tough love, no this is just being tough, the word love does not get used in this system of education.’ –  Extract taken from: Just Plain Tough

In Praise of an Attachment Aware School – by 3girlstogether

Published November 1, 2015 by thefamilyof5

An absolutely brilliant post about a supportive school by ‘3girlstogether’.

“the most important things for us don’t cost money; trust, knowledge, communication, flexibility, care, support, empathy………they’re all free!” –  extract taken from ‘In Praise of an Attachment Aware School’

You can read the entire blog here: In Praise of an Attachment Aware School

%d bloggers like this: