Separation Anxiety

Bubble and Squeak have 2 sisters who are adopted with another family nearby.We have regular ‘contact'(hate that word: sounds so clinical) with days out and sleepovers. We’re about to have a ‘sister swop’ as they are calling it, for a night. Squeak is going there and oldest sister is staying here.

We try to make it as good as we can for our girls. Squeak often indignantly tells us they should all live together. She’s right of course.   When the 4 sisters are together the dynamics can be tricky. Bubble sometimes has difficulty being with her sisters, setting herself apart and resisting their pleas to join in.  Disregulation increases, and the combination of various controlling,  angry and dissociated behaviours among the girls can be a tad challenging! After a sleepover OH and I can usually be found slumped over a restorative beverage reflecting on how brilliant it’s been, and how important it is that they have fun times together. 

We have a massive issue looming. Oldest sister may be going back into long term foster care. OH and I are desparate for this not to happen. We have done everything we can to help her parents avoid this. We have discussed whether we could foster her long term. We don’t have enough room, though. There’s no possibility of building an extension to our house, and we cannot move. Our hearts are telling us we would manage somehow. But our heads are being more practical. 

What is this separation going to do to the sisters?  How are we going to explain it to Bubble and Squeak? How will we support our girls’ upset and terror?  How are we going to convince them that no matter what they will not be leaving us? How are we going to manage ‘contact’? 

If anyone has had a similar experience, I’d very much welcome any advice you could offer. 

A few questions.

Bubble is about to go into year 5 & we’re attempting to get an EHCP so that she can access a therapeutic environment at secondary level. 

At a school meeting this week we were told that she would not meet the criteria for an EHCP, and that to get the right secondary environment she would have to go to a typical school, fail, and be excluded. Even then she may not get into a school with a nurturing environment. 

Or we could go private. 

How can social workers even believe it is OK to say this to adoptive parents?  

 Does anyone actually believe that this route to appropriate education is in the best interests of any child? 

Is there any ‘professional’ anywhere in this country that is in agreement with a system that dictates that a previously traumatised child has to be subjected to further trauma and shame in order to possibly get what she needs?

Why are EHCPs focussed solely on the few hours that our children spend at school? Bubble is compliant at school. She hides her anxiety and aims to please. At home she falls apart with her anxieties about school. Why does the EHCP not focus on her overall well-being throughout the day?

Why is the criteria for an EHCP so high? 

Why don’t the professionals employed specifically to support children understand the effects of ARND, trauma, and attachment issues? 

Answers on a tweet please…