Fostering Adoption and Edge of Care

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The support we have received so far has been very professional. There is a great insight in understanding and care, not just the presenting situation but the deeper and more complex issues. There also is a network of experts so the whole person is considered. We have also been kept aware of where we are in the process of referral so communication is good.
Adoptive ParentWest Sussex
Martin is the best part of my week. I really look forward to seeing him. He makes me feel that maybe things can be different for me’
Adopted BoyAged 13
Beacon House has delivered prompt, courteous and efficient service from start to finish. The process was streamlined and straightforward. What’s more, we felt listened to and ‘in the loop’.
Adoptive parentMid Sussex
I feel that we have been listened to both individually and as a family and our specific needs addressed rather than trying to make us a fit a service. There has been good communication. We feel that things have been addressed in a respectful way. Beacon house has been flexible in offering us times for therapy that suit us. Beacon house was quick to respond to our needs after the assessment and therapy was put in place without delay. Kate and Laara are both friendly and professional in their approach which is essential when building up relationships and working with us as a family. Kate has respond to different needs and has adapted the sessions accordingly. We appreciate the fact that her approach is flexible and not rigid.
Adoptive ParentEast Sussex
Managing school life is a big ask for children who have developmental trauma. Having a caring professional from Beacon House go into school and support what you are saying has been a marvellous experience. Our children need advocates.
Adoptive parentMid Sussex
Beacon House is reliable, expert and very understanding. We have referred many of our children to them and they always provide an outstanding service. We wish all of our children could access the support from Beacon House
West SussexChildren’s home
We have valued and appreciated the support from Beacon house in the first instance that this support was in place before the placement started at our home. The open communication and transparent way of working in partnership within a multi-disciplinary team and with the young person has been essential and vital in moving forward with the young person in an individually tailored approached to her needs. We look forward to continuing working with Beacon house now and in the future
Children’s HomeWorking with a young person with a reunification plan
I value and appreciate the thorough assessment and diagnosis of trauma and dissociation, the readiness to diagnose and the explanation of 'this is my theory' - you allow your YP to be involved with their diagnosis and then the treatment plan There is continued dialogue with the parents without betraying the trust of the YP which in turn helps build the working relationship between everyone. You are also the first practitioner to understand that the trauma suffered doesn't just impact upon the injured party, it affects the rest of the family and you work with those people also. Others haven't yet realised this (although I do inform them).
Adoptive ParentBrighton & Hove
I like coming here. I know that I can say whatever I want even if it makes me sad it is okay here. I thought I was okay and Shoshanah has helped me to see that I was hiding my feelings deep inside. It is still scary but I can talk about them.
Adopted GirlAged 12
We believed that we knew a lot about trauma as we had received a lot of training when we adopted our two children. When we hit a crisis point Beacon House were amazing at connecting us to what we already knew, giving us new ideas and most importantly, helping us feel close to our children again. Thank you Beacon House.
Mary and Johnadoptive parents, Haywards Heath
Everything! I usually find the CAMHS service ‘bitty’ and it can be a bit hap hazard or only 4/5 weeks are booked in, the YP doesn’t engage etc.,. As you know , the young person for the first time is engaging with Laara which has been amazing as often YP would refuse to work with professionals. The fact we have been working together and YP is engaging with the process is working really well. I can finally see that we are hopefully able to support YP with her early trauma.
Social workerWest Sussex
Despite the intensity of the work, our students have found the environment calm, comfortable and welcoming. Our students have benefitted from the range of techniques used, with one commenting that being outside with the therapist helped him to engage in something he had been worried about. The students that have attended therapy at Beacon House appreciated having this service off of the school site and away from their peers. One acknowledged that had he had to wait for months on a waiting list, he may have changed his mind and so was grateful that Beacon House did not have a waiting list.
Special Needs Residential School
Prompt, efficient, courteous service. We came to Beacon House after many years working with CAMHS and local authority. Our prior experience was that while we were met with courtesy, neither CAMHS nor local authority were able to offer prompt or efficient service. We understand this is because they are under-resourced: individual workers doing their best while overwhelmed by demand. But adoptive families need timely responses. We also appreciate the effort taken by Beacon House to secure appropriate consulting rooms – light, airy, suitably furnished, not ‘clinical’ or ‘institutional’. Again, our experiences of CAMHS and LA rooms has been dreadful – hot, airless, no windows, dirty toys, manky carpet, no access to water or tea/coffee. We wish that those in charge of procuring estates/facilities in the public sector could understand how it is important that our children (and us) have a calm, nurturing environment to help them recover. We have appreciated ‘being believed, heard, and understood’ by Shoshanah on first meeting her. As part of her systemic family work with us, Kate has been able to make a dramatic intervention on our behalf to help school understand why our daughter behaves as she does: the (probably lifelong) legacy of a toxic mix of developmental trauma, domestic violence and neglect
Adoptive parentWest Sussex
Coming here helps me find ways of coping with myself. Laara understands me and helps me work on my emotions
Adopted GirlAged 15
The fact we have been working together and the young person is engaging with the process. I can finally see that we are hopefully able to support the YP with her early trauma.
Post Adoption Social Worker
As a SENCO in a busy school I have found working with the professionals at Beacon house extremely positive and informative. We have been able to use recommendations to improve and enhance our support for children with attachment disorders, the advice and meetings have proven to be beneficial in building a greater understanding of a child’s additional needs. The greatest element of what Beacon House can offer us as a school, is the long term involvement, the continuous support offered in order to get the best outcomes for each individual child.
Haywards Heath Primary School
The best thing about coming here is that I can say whatever I feel like saying and I know it’s okay. I like the biscuits and juice as well.
Adopted GirlAged 7
Beacon House has the multidisciplinary composition, and specialist Attachment Disorder expertise, to offer a comprehensive therapeutic needs assessment and recommendations for intervention, and the team to deliver it. The systemic intervention through school is vital – mainstream schools, that I have come into contact with, do not have any expertise in Attachment Disorder or recognition that they do not have this vital understanding, and so continue increasingly angrily to try to force anxious and insecure children to conform by trying to make them fit the round-hole, using behavioural principles, perceiving them to be wilfully disobedient/oppositional, and their parents to be pandering and neurotic. Having Beacon House professionals corroborate our views, gives the school the confidence to broaden their perspective, and consider the need to approach our children in a different way if they are going to be able to settle to learn. Those children with parents who do get it, and have resources like Beacon House to support them, are able to fight for things to be different through the EHCP process, but there are lots of very insecure and anxious children in the mainstream school system who are just being blamed at school - if an audit were done I am sure that many of the children receiving school sanctions would have a history of disrupted attachments, some of whom would be adopted children. Schools can be amazingly blaming and bullying, and parents who feel frustrated and stressed and unable to figure it out either can easily hand down the blame to the children if they do not feel confident in their views about their child’s presentation. If all newly placed adoptive children and their families were automatically seen within the first few months of placement, by an organisation like Beacon House, to normalise the traumatic, stressful, overwhelming event that this episode in all of their lives necessarily is, it would make an amazing difference. If it was routine then people wouldn’t feel fearful that they specifically were failing - just that this is amazingly hard, impossible to anticipate until you are going through it, and difficult to describe/admit to anyone else, and also impossible for birth families to comprehend – therefore all of your existing friends and family think you are stressing, embellishing, just not into parenting yet – which means you feel all at sea without support, unless you have other adoptive families to refer to. Maybe Beacon House could offer a link-up service to families who don’t have any other adoptive-family contacts? Initially (last October) my Post Adoption allocated worker was able to get quick approval from the ASF for my son’s assessment, and I was sent timely appointments from Beacon House. It did however then take about 6 weeks from the time of our last assessment appointment to our feedback appointment, and it was then that our Therapeutic Needs assessment and recommendations for intervention were forwarded to the ASF for consideration, and it then took another 2 months for a decision, which was ultimately approval, to come through. Within 2 weeks I have been offered appointments to begin, but due to the summer holidays and busy diaries we cannot really get going for another 6 weeks. Whilst this isn’t crisis intervention, waiting for intervention to begin is very difficult when your child still has to go into school everyday and as a parent I have to support, and defend, and explain, and try to get people to adjust their thinking and approach almost daily. We have benefitted hugely by the ASF, I am quite certain my son would not have been offered the specialist services that he has if it were not for this funding. He would almost certainly not still be in mainstream education. I hope that this is helpful in planning the ongoing implementation of the ASF, both locally and nationally. Our children really do have a lot of ground to make up, and access to specialist therapeutic services, that facilitate them being able to settle to learn at school, and remediate their attachment styles it vital.
Adoptive ParentWest Sussex
Managing school life is a big ask for children who have developmental trauma. Having a caring professional from Beacon House go into school and support what you are saying has been a marvelous experience. Our children need advocates.
Adoptive ParentWest Sussex
Dr Lyons has been available for meetings and conference calls, which have been invaluable with regards to the advice she has given both in terms of best practice generally and more specifically when speaking about individual cases. Beacon House have been able to accommodate our request for a therapist promptly and they used careful consideration with regards to matching the ‘right’ therapist to our student. The staff at Beacon House have been quick to respond to any and all correspondence, with any other business conducted swiftly and professionally.
Special Needs school
Since working with Beacon House as an organisation we have found them to be very flexible and supportive in meeting the varying needs of our children. Beacon House staff are working not only with our children through direct one to one work but have been invaluable in offering support and consultations to our staff teams. Beacon House have been able to support our staff through some very challenging behaviours exhibited by our children, and have left the staff feeling confident, listened to and well supported. They have also developed training specific to our learning needs, showing insight into the challenges our staff teams and children face on a daily basis. Shoshanah and her team are always available and quickly respond to our needs putting plans and consultations in place in a very short timescale. As an organisation we feel very well supported by Beacon House team and look forward to continuing to work with them for the development of our children and staff.
Dawn IvesOperations Manager for My Choice Residential Children’s Homes, West Sussex
Adoptive parents can face challenges trying to work through their child’s trauma-induced behaviours. Many people think these are simply ‘naughty’ behaviours. So the child (and your parenting) are not really understood. It was a relief to come to Beacon House where they did understand and wanted to work in partnership with you to help your family.
Adoptive parentMid Sussex
I like therapy because I got all my feelings out and everything I was worried about and spoke about all the problems at home and in school. I have learnt how to deal with my problems more…I was sad and now I am happy. I would recommend this to anyone in need of therapy and friends. It’s useful to talk and not to keep your feelings in
Adopted BoyAged 14
Since working with Beacon House as an organisation we have found them to be very flexible and supportive in meeting the varying needs of our children. Beacon House staff are working not only with our children through direct one to one work but have been invaluable in offering support and consultations to our staff teams. Beacon House have been able to support our staff through some very challenging behaviours exhibited by our children, and have left the staff feeling confident, listened to and well supported. They have also developed training specific to our learning needs, showing insight into the challenges our staff teams and children face on a daily basis. Shoshanah and her team are always available and quickly respond to our needs putting plans and consultations in place in a very short timescale. As an organisation we feel very well supported by Beacon House team and look forward to continuing to work with them for the development of our children and staff
Children’s Home
Adoptive parents can face challenges trying to work through their child’s trauma-induced behaviours. Many people think these are simply ‘naughty’ behaviours. So the child (and your parenting) are not really understood. It was a relief to come to Beacon House where they did understand and wanted to work in partnership with you to help your family.
Adoptive ParentBrighton & Hove
Initial phone contact was good. Kind, sympathetic people to talk to. Secretary was able to listen and advise well, and has also responded promptly to queries. She follows up with emails and letters containing all necessary information promptly and fully. Consultation with Shoshanah Lyons was comprehensive. I felt heard and understood, so I felt confident that the assessments she would recommend for my son would be appropriate. We are part-way through an assessment period. Our first appointment was with the paediatric sensory team. The appointment started on time. My son is extremely nervous about attending appointments and can be reluctant to attend or engage. From the outset, Karen and Jamie was so welcoming and age appropriate with him that he was happy to participate. I was amazed to see that when we left he already felt better about himself. It was a truly positive experience and I felt it set us up well for further appointments with professionals of any sort. We didn’t feel rushed and I was sure that Jamie had covered all the necessary questions with me. We had a date fixed for the education psychologist assessment in school. However, my son was then signed off school with stress pending a move to a new school. This was a very difficult situation to navigate as there was so much up in the air. I didn’t know if or when he’d return to his old school, which school he would be moving to, or when. Having explained our predicament to Beacon House, I was delighted that the EP called me later the same day to talk through the possibilities. It helped us to plan a way forward. Since then I have had email contact with her which has been very helpful with short-term planning. My husband and I have since had a long meeting with her, which again was fantastically comprehensive. She was helpful and flexible in arranging her assessment of our son, part of which will be done at home and part in his new school. With his move to the new school happening today, Jo Charlton send me a list of suitable transition strategies that she thought would help him. Similarly, I received the sensory assessment including strategies for use in the classroom. I was able to discuss these with the new school. I felt confident that what I was asking for was backed up by expert opinion and the school was willing to embrace the ideas. So, the main benefits of working with Beacon House so far have been:
  • Prompt efficient service
  • Sympathetic listening so that we’ve felt properly understood
  • Personalised recommendations to support move to new school
  • Although I feel I’m quite knowledgeable about attachment difficulties and what my son needs in school, I don’t usually manage to get teachers on board. Armed with the personalised strategies from the professionals, I felt empowered and confident, and we have seen the new school willing to embrace this and work alongside us all.
  • Flexibility in working around a change of school mid assessment. I find the staff at Beacon House to be friendly and welcoming. The venue is easy to find and pleasant. I like the way that enough notice is given for meetings so we can arrange work time etc. I also like the way the documents have a password.
Adoptive parentWest Sussex
We are looking forward to working with Beacon House in the future with regards to training staff and informing and sign posting parents and carers. Equipping staff with tools and techniques to support young people in everyday life whilst empowering them to identify and implement interventions where appropriate is the way forward
Special Needs Residential School
All members of staff we have had contact with have been understanding, helpful and reassuring. This includes Lyn, yourself and Laara. The initial phone call with yourself gave us hope and started us on a positive path. Laara has been amazing support right from the start. We feel comfortable with her and totally trust her. She has made us feel at ease. Coming to our house took another pressure of us and helped us to open up and show her our vulnerability as a family. The assessment was thorough and the recommendations are good. Sarah 's support in being offered in our home which helps keep her anxieties as low as possible.
Adoptive ParentBrighton & Hove
Beacon House has delivered prompt, courteous and efficient service from start to finish. The process was streamlined and straightforward. What’s more, we felt listened to and ‘in the loop’
Adoptive ParentEast Sussex
I feel Laara is helping me get on better at home with mum and L. It makes me think about things more. I understand what I do when I am angry but I can't always help doing it. I like going to see Laara. Laara is calm and she doesn't make me say it straight away, she waits for me to say it when I am ready. I can tell mum stuff more like smoking and being bisexual since seeing Laara
Adopted GirlAged 16
Professional, approachable with excellent lines of Communication and a Friendly disposition – We are able to refer to Beacon House in the knowledge that our pupils are in safe hands.
Head of TherapyMuntham House School
We were referred to Beacon House when our family was at breaking point and I in particular was struggling to cope with my daughter’s behaviour towards me. Our family life was at a stage where I really felt the adoption may breakdown along with my marriage and sanity. It had got to the stage where by I did not want to come home as when I did I felt totally overwhelmed and quite frankly scared and bullied by my daughter. I had to visit my GP who prescribed antidepressants which was a very big step for me due to the impact I felt it may have on my ability to remain alert as is required for my career. The support and guidance provided by Beacon House has saved our family by providing a 'safe' place to really talk about how we feel and to explore how we can all contribute to improving our relationships. It is still difficult and our problems are by no means fully resolved but we really appreciate the support that has been given to us to enable us to better cope and things are no longer so desperate. The support provided by Beacon house has enabled us to start sharing how we feel so we have a better understanding of how we each deal with problems rather than our responses escalating the issue. Personally I feel I am learning the tools needed to cope with my daughters challenging behaviour but more importantly I have someone to talk to (even between sessions) to help me understand her and make the right choices in dealing with difficult situations. I am truly thankful for the confidence Kim and Laara are giving me in my ability to be a decent mother. I am calmer and this in turn has helped my husband and my relationship. My husband is not my daughter’s adoptive father but her step father and Beacon House has helped him understand the different needs of an adoptive child to a birth child. I value and appreciate the warmth and approachability of Kim and Laara as they make it 'safe' to vocalise what I really feel albeit I may feel as if I shouldn't have such feelings as a mother. The impact has been:
  • We are still a family and I still have a marriage
  • On the whole I feel more able to cope without bursting into tears or being afraid to come home.
  • My daughter is happy to attend all sessions with Laara and has developed a really good relationship with her. I believe Laara is the only adult my daughter seems to respect.
  • We have seen a glimmer of hope in respect of my daughter’s choices and a definite improvement in relation to her anger towards me. Her anger remains continuous and challenging but it has reduced in duration and aggression although we still have a long way to go. As a result of our sessions my daughter is beginning to recognise that she directs her anger at me albeit I may not have triggered it, she has said she is also learning about how to do things differently as she is starting to recognise that she does not always make the best choices.
I hope this helps as it is really hard to put into words just how much we need you and harder still to say how much I appreciate the support provided by Beacon house, it is a family and life saver.
Adoptive parentwest sussex
All of the training was very nurturing, safe and accessible, thank you. It has been so helpful to be given practical ways of implementing interventions. The training was very clear, with lots of helpful explanations. I enjoyed the sharing of good practice and the ideas about how we should take care of ourselves when working with other people’s trauma.
Social Work Professional
It’s so important to have this time and space to reflect. Your questions helped me to challenge the way I have been doing things in a positive way. Thank you – it has been super, mind-stretching and very interesting. I appreciated the use of self-disclosure of the trainer to encourage sharing and honest reflection. The trainer was engaging, interesting, attentive and sensitive.
Social Work Professional
We initially approached Beacon House in a private capacity on recommendation as we were struggling to get help from our LA and our family was in crisis. I very much valued the detailed telephone consultation with Shoshanah, I felt she really listened and completely understood where we were coming from and what could be done to support the family as a whole, and our son in particular. Weekly therapy sessions were put in place for our son quickly and we funded them ourselves for a while until the LA assessment and ASF application was done. We were obviously relieved to get ASF funding and our son has definitely benefited from his sessions, which ran for around 12 months until June 2016. What worked well was the way the therapist engaged our son through play (he is 13 so that can be difficult) and gave me support over the phone along the way. We really feel that the therapy team care about how we are doing, and they have offered and facilitated other suggestions such as sensory work and external workshops to help us understand what the interventions might help with. We are now at a stage where other family members are going to get support, which is desperately needed. Our son is very traumatised from his early experiences and the family is at times under extreme pressure. Access to experts is so limited and demand is so high, eg Karen Milton OT at Beacon House, that you do have to wait a while for support and also joining things up with school or social workers is tricky. We have been very fortunate to get this support and I feel strongly that all adoptive families should have the opportunity to access services like Beacon House. It's a shame we had to reach crisis stage before we got support. So many families are on the edge or breaking up but often don't want to ask for help or don't know where to turn.
Adoptive ParentWest Sussex
I would like to say that Joseph has been doing wonderful over the last many many months, and I get really good reports from the school, the carers, and other professionals working with him, and I believe this is because of the therapy that he has been having with you. I feel this therapy has really helped stabilise his school placement and the foster care placement. It's been wonderful to experience this change with him and I am so pleased he is doing well. Thank you for all the time and effort you have put in with him.
Social Worker SurreySurrey County Council
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