The highs and lows of caring for a drug-dependent baby
November 5, 2013 6:04 AM   Subscribe

In a long-running thread, a UK foster mum tells the heartbreaking story of looking after a newborn baby girl suffering from drug addition. It's a long read, but worth it.
posted by low_horrible_immoral (10 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Single-page link here.
posted by Catseye at 6:10 AM on November 5, 2013

I wish I hadn't clicked the single link version because I skipped right to the end, and, damn, that was depressing.
posted by yeoz at 6:21 AM on November 5, 2013

The Sept 4th 2013 thread they referring to in the FPP. Very sad indeed.

It's interesting reading that thread, which started in 2010, in the light of a long conversation with specialist adoption social worker last week - I am providing a reference for some close friends.

Apparently a lot has changed in the past 12 months, both as a result of governmental reform and (my guess) as fallout from Baby P and others like him.

In short, social workers are much quicker to remove children from neglectful or abusive parents. This, at least in the part of London the social worker represented, had let to an influx of younger children (being removed from their mothers) and more white children. Secondly, social workers now have to complete proceedings within targets of 26 weeks, and once a child is in the system the overriding principle is to remove delays to adoption. Previously, social workers might work to a 12 month or 18 month target. There is also more concurrent planning, where basically the prospective adopters act as foster carers - a practice which is believed to improve outcomes and reduce disruption for the child but also poses the [emotional] risk that, of course, children may be taken back by the birth mother from the prospective adopters.

The social worker also said that whereas 18 or so months ago the adoption process was prolonged by a lot of back and forth between birth mother and courts for guardianship of the child, this process has been streamlined. The social worker was unequivocal that this was for the better, and that returning children to the birth mother had a very high failure rate and caused significant disruption to vulnerable children. She also said that often now social workers have more problems with foster carers, who are extremely reluctant to give up children they care for. You see some of this, which is entirely understandable, in this thread.
posted by MuffinMan at 6:41 AM on November 5, 2013 [1 favorite]

Also - a guide to mumsnet acronyms is useful to understand the thread.

LO - Little one, i.e. a child
DH - darling/dear husband
SW - social worker
CWDC - Children's Workforce Development Council
posted by MuffinMan at 7:03 AM on November 5, 2013

Wow, thanks for this. I was in pieces by half way. Such a direct and bare way to hear a story; affects you in different ways because of the public thread nature of it.
posted by colie at 8:32 AM on November 5, 2013

Thanks for posting this, low_horrible_immoral. I read the whole thing, a lot of it out loud to my partner, and cried shamelessly.

Thanks to MuffinMan for the acronym help - I knew the DH, DD (dear daughter), DS (dear son) etc. terminology, but not the other ones. These acronyms can ring strangely sometimes. At one point in that thread another commenter tells a story about her sister, whose DP (dear partner) was emotionally abusing her!
posted by daisyk at 9:37 AM on November 5, 2013

I was thinking to myself "Mefites said this was a sad tale.. but this isn't! This is a happy story so far. What could possibly go wrong.."

Then I got to the end. sigh. It's not a sad tale, but a bittersweet one.
posted by royalsong at 9:45 AM on November 5, 2013

dalsyk: in my days on parenting newsgroups, "D" could also stand for "Damned."
posted by The corpse in the library at 1:25 PM on November 5, 2013 [2 favorites]

It's almost unbelievable the love some special people are capable of giving.
posted by Wantok at 8:52 PM on November 5, 2013

DP also might just be domestic partner.
posted by amarynth at 5:31 AM on November 6, 2013

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