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A Home For Maisie: Why we adopted our ninth child

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Sue Clifford Sue Clifford | 11:30 UK time, Monday, 11 April 2011

My husband Jim and I have always enjoyed a challenge.

Having adopted eight children over 18 years, all placed with us as older children and each with differing needs, we were already reasonably challenged.

But then we saw Maisie's profile in Children Who Wait magazine published by Adoption UK and couldn't resist putting ourselves forward just one more time.

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As a seven-year-old who had already had two failed adoptive placements, we felt she deserved a chance at having a family who might just be able to make it work.

All of our eight children understood that Maisie would struggle to trust and become part of our family, but they all wanted to help her make the journey which they had, each in their own way, made.

By filming part of her journey, with her and all the children's agreement, of course, for BBC Two's A Home For Maisie, we hope that Maisie will have something to look back on, which will remind her that she is special and that we all believe in her.

We hope that the film will also encourage others on their journey of adoption.

For Maisie, her early life of abuse and neglect, together with the various moves she had experienced, had left her with an inability to trust and engage in relationships with anyone.

She had put up a protective wall around herself and would hit out at anyone who tried to break through.

It has been very painful for all of us to see just how much early rejections have affected Maisie.

However, with persistence, we have gradually helped Maisie to remove that protective wall and enjoy the pleasures of being a little girl.

Maisie, held by her adoptive father Jim, and her adoptive mother Sue

We have been supported in helping Maisie with therapy provided by the adoption support agency Family Futures and funded by social services.

To help us record Maisie's journey on film, Family Futures have, for the first time, allowed cameras inside the therapy sessions.

One of the things we recognised immediately was that Maisie, like all of our other children, had missed the early childhood experiences of nurture - being made to feel special, safe exploration of her environment and other play experiences that children get from growing up in a caring, loving and safe family.

So although she was seven when she joined our family, she was still a baby in terms of her life experiences.

As a family we have helped Maisie not only to trust, but also to experience feeling cared for, nurtured and we have given her the play experiences that as a baby and toddler she should have had.

You'll see in the programme that she really enjoyed us spoon feeding her at the table and being bounced on the trampette to create the same fun and developmental effects as a baby being bounced on a parent's knee.

As a result she is now beginning to allow herself to be part of our family and enjoy having parents who love her, and brothers and sisters to play with.

It has been a hard road over the last two and a half years and there will be more rocky patches to come but for now we can all enjoy the funny, cheeky, loving and caring child that Maisie is becoming.

Sue Clifford is Maisie's adoptive mother and features in A Home For Maisie.

A Home For Maisie is on BBC Two at 9pm on Monday, 11 April.

Comments made by writers on the BBC TV blog are their own opinions and not necessarily those of the BBC.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    Just watched the programme and I just wanted to say that you and your family are truly inspirational. Gorgeous, gorgeous family. Good luck!

  • Comment number 2.

    Dear Sue,
    I just watched the documentary on the BBC and I just wanted you and Jim to know that I was deeply moved by what you are doing for all your children and I could feel the love you have for them through the televisionscreen. Thank God for people like you and Jim, who are making the diffrence. All the best, you will be in my prayers.
    Greetings from Holland, from Hettie
    p.s sorry if my English isn't that good, hope you'll understand what I am trying to say.

  • Comment number 3.

    You are an amazing couple with a wonderful, inspiring dedication to those who need a chance in life - it's people like you that make differences in this world.

  • Comment number 4.

    just watched the programme.found it really interesting as we have adopted a boy who has similar problems to maisie.it would seem that as usual it all boils down to money.when are local authorities/government going to wake up and smell the coffee and make finance available to help these children.would have liked a bit more on the background of sue and jim.
    thought you were both great by the way and good luck to maisie

  • Comment number 5.

    Hi Sue,
    You are truely an inspirational family. I have been totally moved to tears by Maisie's story. I am so glad that you were able to give Maisie a hope for a happy future. I wish you all every happiness and success in your future lives together.
    Very Best wishes
    x

  • Comment number 6.

    An ispirational story of family & relilience & dedication, which brought back many happy memories with not a dry eye in the house, thank you.

    H&Sx

  • Comment number 7.

    I was amazed that for the cost of 1 secure residential placement at the very least 6 children in need of help could be supported in foster care or an adoptive placement. Talk about doing more with less, here's a government initiative waiting to happen, which could help 6 times more children for the same cost, I'm on board..........

  • Comment number 8.

    So inspired by you both we have five adopted children and could not begin to take on more. The programme left me remembering why we adopted which sometimes gets lost in the struggles of daily life. We wish you Gods blessing on your valiant endeavours with all your precious children.

  • Comment number 9.

    Reaching out from the island of Malta to one great family! Just watched the programme on BBC2 and wished to say good luck to you all, adults and kids, in your special family as well as the therapists at Family Futures. So many children need the same kind of love, good sense and a hand in life. You have my support and prayers. Keep it up all of you!

  • Comment number 10.

    What a brilliant programme. As a fellow adopter, although I have only managed one, I'm always really disappointed about the way adoption is portrayed on tv. Thank you to all for opening up your family to encourage others. Maybe I should do it again!

  • Comment number 11.

    Dear Sue,
    This is the first time I've actually watched a programme and felt I had to comment. I've just watched the documentary and was moved to tears. What a fantastic family! You and Jim are truly amazing parents providing such a loving and caring home, you have obviously enriched the lives of all your children and given them the start in life all children deserve. Wishing you all the very best for the future.

  • Comment number 12.

    God bless people like you Sue and Jim, you give these poor chidren something to hope for. Ever since the death of baby peter, i have held a heavy heart for all the children that suffer at the hands of their parents ..lets hope more children can be saved like massie. I hope you all live happily forever.

  • Comment number 13.

    Hi Sue,
    Thank you for the courage and selflessness you guys show opening yours hearts and home. I am inspired and my husband and I are now starting to discuss whether we might one day do the same for an older child. Thank you! Other parents:the Tavistock and Portman Clinic has excellent services to support looked after children.

  • Comment number 14.

    I have never commented before but signed up tonight because I was so moved by the documentary. I came across it by accident and was gripped by the courage of Sue and Jim and Maisie herself. Like one of the other blog posts suggested, the joy created by being part of a family really gives me hope in a world which often seems to present lost childhoods through a media panic.

    Good luck with getting future therapeutic support for Maisie and thank you for such a memorable programme. I will always look at adopted children quite differently now.

  • Comment number 15.

    I feel it is important to point out that the practice shown in the documentary seems to be a version of a a controversial practice known as Holding Therapy or Attachment Therapy. A first-hand account of this can be seen at http://anyachaika.wordpress.com/2011/04/05/a-first-hand-account-of-holding-therapy-in-the-uk/
    The blog also contains discussions and a history of HT in the UK

  • Comment number 16.

    I have the greatest respect for you both. It is amazing to see that the world has been given 2 angels. You should both be very proud of what you do and the lives you have improved. I am honestly so heart warmed to see such 2 beautiful souls! Im sure I speak on behalf of everyone when I say Well done!

  • Comment number 17.

    I'm a 64 year old guy with a troubled past living alone with no family and I guess reasonably happy but watching your program last night brought back a lot of painful memories coupled with the pure joy of knowing that people like you two are out there. It's only people like you that bring children out of the cold strange and ugly place they live in, wish the hell you two had been around when I needed you. I didn't think I believed in a God yet found myself saying, "thank God for Sue and Jim"............thank you for the ray of sunshine you bought me, I needed it.

  • Comment number 18.

    Sue and Jim,
    I have nothing but admiration for you both. Your dedication and perseverence to all of your children is an inspiration to us all, regardless of whether we are natural or adoptive parents. I was moved to tears with the fact that all of these children have now got such a loving and stable family. My husband and I have always talked about fostering and we will still be looking into this when our youngest daughter is a bit more independent, but from this programme I am wondering whether this is the answer for us, or whether adoption is the better route. Thank you for sharing your wonderful family with us!
    Theresa x

  • Comment number 19.

    I watched the programme last night and felt I just had to comment on it. You and your husband are amazing and so inspirational and have changed so many lives. It was such a moving and heart warming programme, there were definitely a few tears here! Good luck with all that the future holds, and thank you for sharing your wonderful story.

  • Comment number 20.

    Hi,
    As an adoptive parent of a daughter very similar in nature to Maisie I can confirm the benefit that our whole family gained from 5 years of Family Futures - the initial damage can never be fully undone, but we can learn to cope and accomodate. The whole experience of trying to coordinate input from social services, education and children's mental health services over the 10 years that she has been with us (she is now 16) has been a 'strain' - particularly in terms of the need to educate the 'educators' in how best to meet her needs. 18 months ago we finally got her into a school which is able to understand and meet her needs - the first time that she feels safe and secure since she left primary school (though this was not for want of trying by her secondary school who went well beyond the call of duty for her). The sooner that children like our daughter and Maisie can be removed from such traumatic and damagingly inadequate parenting the better chance they have in life. Sue and Jim - hang on in there.

  • Comment number 21.

    Thank you for showing us the true meaning of adoption. Sue and Jim are inspirational to all of us. The love and commitment they have for all their children is remarkable. Maisie is a very lucky girl to have found them. She now has the chance for an amazing life. And it was heart warming to know that she finally found what all children need and that is a safe and loving family with parents who love her unconditionally and also to have brothers and sisters. I'm adopted myself, and under Irish law here I am not allowed access to my birth records so to see the help and support that Maisie is getting in remembering her past in order to prepare her for the future is brilliant. Thank you Sue, Jim and your family for sharing your story with the rest of us. And Maisie, you are a lovely girl and you must be so happy to have found such a loving home.

  • Comment number 22.

    As an adult adoptee, I was very moved by this programme. What wonderful parents you are, Jim and Sue, and what great kids you have!

    And thank God for the work of Family Futures.

    Today's generation of adoptees have even bigger and more painful issues to deal with than people like me who were adopted as babies. Unlike the background Maisie came from, my own birth mother was neither abusive nor incompetent, simply a young woman who was judged harshly by society (then) for having a child out of wedlock.

    I count myself very blessed as I was adopted into a fantastic family and was also able to trace my birth mum back in 1997 (sadly, she died last year).

    We need more intelligent programmes like this about the realities of adoption. (I am often irritated by the sensationalist treatment of adoption in TV dramas and soaps.)

    The remarkable Clifford family have my prayers for their future together.

  • Comment number 23.

    Sue and Jim - your programme totally blew me away. I think most parents biological or not could learn a lot from your patience, love and commitment. You are both incredible and so inspirational. Thank you for being brave enough to take part in this documentary. And Maisie - you are wonderful and brave too! :-)

  • Comment number 24.

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  • Comment number 25.

    Recorded this programme last night and watched it this morning. What an absolute inspirational couple Susan and Jim are. I am so glad they received support from Family Futures, I hope this support for other family continues. All the very best to the family.

  • Comment number 26.

    Thank you for taking the time to read the blog, and indeed to watch the programme. We are delighted with the response from so many, and the healthy debate that it is stimulating into how to support youngsters like Maisie.

    However, it is important to clarify the what is shown on '.....Maisie....' is not holding therapy, which is a distressing form of therapy from which we hope the world, and particularly the addressing of attachment issues, has now moved on. The need for a sensitive and non-confrontational approach is all the more important when dealing with traumatised youngsters as they can't access any support whilst reacting to the trauma.

    On the occasions where she has to be held this is for her own safety, following the accepted 'safe restraint' guidelines where she was going to injure herself or others. This is explained on the film. The therapists talking while she is being held is done to help her to calm herself so that the risk of harm disappears. If you want references to the current, and non-confrontational, approach to dealing with attachment issues, followed by us and FF, look at developmental reparenting and Dan Hughes' model.

    Also please note that attachment therapy is not the same as holding therapy, and embraces a wide range of supportive and non-traumatising approaches. S and J (Maisie's parents)

  • Comment number 27.

    As an adoptive mum of three beautiful children from a very damaged background I looked forward to watching this programme in the hope that it would give people with little understanding of adoption, a realistic and balanced view of the process. Over 12 hours on from the programme I am still enraged. It bore little resemblance to our experience of adoption, and most of our friends' perception of adoption. It resembled less of family life and was more akin to a residential care home. I find it incredible that this couple were allowed to adopt such a large number of children given the intensive love and care all their children need. We have had a similar experience of therapy with our very damaged daughter who displays very similar behaviours to Maisie and we are more than aware of how time consuming and emotionally draining it is. I find it really hard to see how each child in that family is given the input they will require when such energies need to be channelled into one. That said my main sadness comes from the way Susan and Jim talked of Maisie being part of their 'forever family', which is how I interpret adoption and then talk of how she will have to go back into the care system if further therapy is not funded. What sort of message is this sending to that child? Our three adopted children are just that....our children. Nothing comes between us and them. And I repeat, we face much the same issues, rages, violence from our child as they do with Maisie. It is dreadfully hard and it takes enormous energy and willpower and stamina to get through it but I feel if they are really serious about being a 'forever family' for Maisie, then just as with birth children, there should be no conditions attached. Finally, how they thought it was appropriate to let cameras follow that child around, knowing how damaged she has been, including her therapy being broadcast to the nation I will never know. I am utterly depressed by the whole thing.

  • Comment number 28.

    Sue I just wanted to say to you personally that it took/takes an enormous amount of strength and love to endure the abusive behaviour which Maisie directed at you -we all understand and appreciate the reasons why, and my heart goes out to Maisie, but even knowing this, when I was watching the programme my heart went out to you. I hope Maisie is thriving with your family and I wish you and all of your family lots of luck and happiness.

  • Comment number 29.

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  • Comment number 30.

    I wonder how Maisie feels or will feel in the future about the world and its wife knowing all the intimate details of her troubled background even revealing her birth mother's condition. I thought it was quite disgraceful. I also noticed that when she arrived she was assured this was her forever family but this was altered to forever family only if we get funding for therapy. how confusing for a troubled child. And just how did all those other children, with their individual needs cope with this public intrusion into their lives

  • Comment number 31.

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  • Comment number 32.

    Sue

    Me and the misses we watched your programe last night- how touched we were by you and all of your children and the journey you have all been on. We have 4 young children between us and i ( stepdad) am looking to adopt two. You and your husband are really amazing. We take our hats off to you both; and your children- yes a inspiration to many. God bless Maisie- what a lovely little girl- loved by you both and her bros and sis and in such a warm family.

    You must have such strength- as we know also children bring lots of pleasure but there are the bad times too-arguing, but that is part of life i guess- we were all young once- we were all teenagers once.

    I would nominate you both for a OBE any day.



    God bless you all

  • Comment number 33.

    Dear Jim, Sue and all - I agree with all the supportive comments and was also deeply moved. But I want to do something practical to help. Can't we lobby local authorities to change their approach. It's ridiculous that you have to wait every 6 months to find out if you have funding. How can we change this. Can't we work collectively together to put pressure on the decision makers - not just for you and Maisie but all the other kids in a similar circumstance. Please advise us how we can do this. With warmest wishes to your whole family. You are wonderful people and lucky to have found a way of life that is so meaningful. I hope we can all learn something from you and integrate in to our own lives.

  • Comment number 34.

    Hello to the lovely family in this film! You guys have moved me to write my first ever comment on a TV programme. I am so grateful and glad that Sue and Jim you are able to give that wealth of love to all your children and it is combined with the wisdom you evidently have. And that you are willing to go through the suffering it takes. All your children are gorgeous, I wish I could hug you all. Maisie, you have so much fun and life in you, and you are brave in facing up to the past. The Family Futures guys are also evidently doing such a beautiful job. Thank you to you too.

    With love and my prayers,

    Alice

    Alice

  • Comment number 35.

    OMG! Masie's story was so powerful. I am and have been advised to steer away from 'heavy subjects' due to my depressive nature. I have to say that I couldn't; it was compelling viewing from start to finish and i've just relayed the whole program to my husband.
    My story? An adopted daughter into a family that already had my natural older brother and after two and a half years, my adoptive parents 'found out' about his little sister who was left in a children's home, (shame I guess.) My word (holding back and some) I paid for that disruption.
    The comments that were made about abused children was me, but I kept my cool and watched to see what would happen to Masie.
    Thank goodness for Masie's parents and the good parenting skills, and so much love, that they clearly demonstrated throughout this difficult time. I wish every child that needs adopting; parents as committed to good loving parenting as you two are.
    Just writing this is rewarding and I have supported and raised funds for the NSPCC for as long as I could afford; last 30 years, for the sake of future children in need of true love.
    I salute you two. FANTASTICALLY WELL DONE.
    PS Would you like to adopt (only love attached) a 47 year old with NO MUM? XXX

  • Comment number 36.

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  • Comment number 37.

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  • Comment number 38.

    Hello me and my wife watch your documentary it is going to greatly effect our lives from now on. We have to adopted children we have had them for eight and ten years since they were two and half. Our daughter is now 12 and our son is 10. They both have fasd our daughters show in learning and social difficulties. But our son is exactly the same as Maisie and as the same back ground. We feel after watch the program we have been missled and sent down the wrong avenues We have been offered and give help on how to deal with our son. But have had no help for our son. I was hoping we could get in touch by email and you could tell us how to access the services we need. Hope to here from you soon here is my email=[Personal details removed by Moderator]

  • Comment number 39.

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  • Comment number 40.

    Hi Sue and Jim

    I spent 14 yrs in the care system. I was taken into care at the same age as Masie was and I guess watching the way she behaved, I guess was like looking bak at my own very very painful past. I had 3 foster familes and spent time in 2 childrens homes. I remember being introuduced to another family, well not so much introuduced, as barged me way in with me photo album, as their were at the home to see another boy who wasnt interested. There took me on quite afew home visits, didnt work out, because like Masie, I was very badly behaved. Then at about the age of 11 there tried to get me adopted, never happened for me.

    I then ended up in a theraputic school for troubled children, still didnt get the help I needed. What I would have done to have met a family like yourself, I guess would have been heaven. I watched the programme feeling very very sad. There isnt enough fostering/adoptive parents in the world, who can take on the very difficult children.

    I ve gone through life, rudderless, and never really knowing why or understanding my own feelings. Finally in 2007, my fantastic Dr, finally found out what was really wrong with me, I was suffering with RAD, which alot of children, who have been abused, and been through what alot of your own adoptive children have.

    I know I ve gone on abit lol. What I really wanted to say to u both, is that your approach to giving love and recieveing it from your children, is really inspirational. You let the children, become children again, and give them back the life that there were denied from birth. Reversing the arrested development that has stunted these children. The feeding thing was quite powerful and I understand what you were both doing.

    So thank u both for saving 9 children from the hell of a childrens home life with out the love and support of a real family

    K

  • Comment number 41.

    that was a difficult programme to watch, I have worked with care-experienced children for 8 years and I get so frustrated with the ridiculous decisions health trusts make regarding the distribution of money. I hope you got more funding for Maisie as it is clear therapy is so important for her and has helped considerably - perhaps even avoided a very different future for her. Unfortunately I have seen the poor outcomes for the 'difficult' misunderstood teen, those who don't get the support or family they so desperately need when they are young.
    You are both amazing, and all 9 of your children are too.

  • Comment number 42.

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  • Comment number 43.

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  • Comment number 44.

    I am astounded at the comments made by bibbyf. “A Home for Maisie” was not a documentary about the adoption process but one family’s story of adopting nine older children with traumatic backgrounds. As an adoptive mother herself I would have thought that bibbyf would appreciate that all children are different and are going to present different challenges to their prospective adopters. To say that the programme bore little resemblance to her experience of adoption, and most of her friends' perception of adoption is ridiculous. Does she honestly think that all adoption placements are going to be the same?

  • Comment number 45.

    Bibbyf’s comment that the Clifford home resembled less of family life and was more akin to a residential care home is quite simply an offensive remark which couldn’t be further from the truth. The Clifford’s home was a loving, warm and safe environment for children who had not had the benefit of that before. Did Bibbyf not hear the children who spoke so highly of Jim and Sue? Did she not see the wonderful family that loved and supported one another?

  • Comment number 46.

    Bibbyf states that she finds it incredible that Jim and Sue were allowed to adopt such a large number of children given the intensive love and care all their children need. If she had bothered to establish the facts before denouncing Jim and Sue for adopting nine children she would know that they have adopted their children over the course of 20 years!!! Four of the “children” are now well into their 20’s and two no longer live at home. How on earth can bibbyf seriously claim that the children have somehow been “short-changed” and their needs overlooked?

  • Comment number 47.

    Jim and Sue welcomed their first two children in 1990, the second two in 1994, the sibling family of four in 2004 and Maisie in 2008. These children have been anything but “short-changed”. In fact, their lives have quite simply been turned around by Jim and Sue. Jim and Sue ensured that two sisters, two brothers and a group of four siblings were kept together and not sent to different foster carers/adopters. They ensured and continue to ensure that their children are loved and nurtured.

  • Comment number 48.

    Bibbyf has entirely missed the point regarding why the documentary was made in the first place. Jim and Sue could not be described as anything other than a positive illustration of what adoption can achieve. Yes, the process of adopting and healing a child can be arduous but look at the rewards! Jim and Sue’s children are a credit to themselves and to Jim and Sue. A couple who have adopted nine children and made such a difference to their lives can be nothing but a good advertisement for adopting a child. In addition the documentary clearly highlights the severe battle that adopters face in securing funding that many adopted children need. Therapy costs a fraction of the cost of keeping a child in care (especially secure accommodation) and gives children a much higher chance of overcoming their past traumas and an adoption placement succeeding.

  • Comment number 49.

    I think it is incredibly arrogant of bibbyf to claim to know that she has had a similar experience of therapy with her “very damaged daughter who displays very similar behaviours to Maisie”. How on earth can she deduce this after only seeing a snapshot of the behaviour that Maisie exhibited?

    Bibbyf’s observations are based on her being totally ill-informed and making presumptions about the Clifford family that are far from true. I hope she isn’t suffering too badly from vertigo up there on her extremely high pedestal. In her own, overly emotive words, “I am utterly depressed” by her accusations and attitude to a family who are the most selfless I’ve ever come across.

    Jim and Sue, you are an inspiration and have nothing but my wholehearted respect and best wishes for yours and your wonderful family’s future.

  • Comment number 50.

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  • Comment number 51.

    Dear Sue

    my husband and I watched your programme last night and were both blown away by the love, strength, courage and devotion you and Jim have, for all your children, for each other and for Maisie in particular.

    What a beautiful little girl, but so hurt and so angry - it's so painful to even start to imagine what she must have witnessed and experienced already in her short life. I wanted to send you all a huge amount of love and respect for what you have done for all your children and what i know you will continue to do for Maisie.

    We're considering adoption and we found the programme to be amazingly useful to really shine a light on what these children go through, and the impact it can have on the rest of the family. Thank you for being so open and so honest. It's anwered a lot of questions for me particularly and i feel more prepared now to take the first step.

    Wishing you all love and happiness together
    Michelle x

  • Comment number 52.

    Hello everyone, thanks for your thoughtful feedback on such a sensitive programme.

    gary1965james #38 - the following organisations may be able to help you, and anyone else affected by the issues in A Home For Maisie:

    Family Futures Consortium

    Adoption UK

    Parents and Children Together (PACT)

    British Association for Adoption and Fostering

    Barnardo’s

    Coram

    Consortium of Voluntary Adoption Agencies (CVAA)

    Hadley Centre for Adoption and Foster Care Studies, Bristol University

    Thanks
    Fiona

  • Comment number 53.

    Hello all,

    Family Futures' registered manager Alan Burnell and their therapy services manager, Jay Vaughan have been in touch to ask me to post this response on behalf of their organisation:

    We should like to sincerely thank all the people who have been in contact with us or commented online here about how positive the programme was in highlighting the complexities of contemporary adoption. We have been overwhelmed by the positive impact the programme has had on those that have seen it.

    We should like to commend Sue, Jim, Maisie and their family for agreeing to be the subjects of the documentary, and to thank them for giving us the opportunity to be involved.

    It is a testimony to how committed they are as a family to supporting adoption as an effective way of providing a family life for children who have experienced high levels of trauma in infancy and early childhood.

    We should also like to thank Adoption UK for their support in the making of the documentary. Since the inception of Family Futures, we have shared Adoption UKs belief that greater investment in post placement and post adoption support to families is needed in order for the benefits of adoptive family life for children to be optimised.

    We engaged in the making of this documentary because Family Futures passionately believes in the effectiveness of adoption as a form of family life for traumatised and disadvantaged children. However we are very aware that the placing of older children for adoption can be a challenge for families.

    Children placed for adoption today have complex needs and require a specialist multi-disciplinary assessment and treatment service which is parent-friendly and child focused.

    Family Futures endeavours to provide such a service, and we are constantly looking for new and innovative ways of providing the support and therapeutic input that families need.

    Whilst the message of Maisie has been greeted as inspirational by most, and an eye-opener in the most positive sense, it has come to our attention that one comment on this blog post confuses what was shown in the documentary with holding therapy.

    Family Futures has not and does not undertake holding therapy or any form of intrusive attachment therapy. Family Futures operates very clear guidelines as to how children and their parents can be kept safe whilst they are in the building and at home.

    On one occasion on the programme Maisie had to be contained physically when she was trying to leave the room by the window, and this resulted in her parents being supported in physically containing her.

    This, of course reflected other occasions at home where she had had to be contained for her own safety: in each case done with love and care, and only for as long as absolutely necessary. In another scene, when she had asked to be laid on her parents laps, she found this difficult to handle, as do many children trying to engage, and was allowed to move away.

    Family Futures therapeutic approach has been informed by the work of Dan Hughes, Theraplay, Bessel Van der Kolk and Bruce Perry to name but a few. We offer a neuro-sequential approach using a theoretical and evidence-based application of a neuro-scientific approach to helping children heal from
    developmental trauma.

    These approaches involve parents in healing their childrens traumas, so helping families to develop the bonds that will act as their support and strength in future. In line with current best practice, we avoid any aspect of coercion, which could be expected to re-traumatise the child and cast the parents into the position of trauma-triggers.

    If, having watched the programme, adoptive parents who have children who are experiencing similar problems would like to get in touch with us with a view to possible assessment or treatment, we will be happy to respond to your enquiries.

    Please contact us at contact@familyfutures.co.uk or call 020 7354 4161 or visit http://www.familyfutures.co.uk to find out more about how we work.

 

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