The Open Nest Heart

AIMS & OBJECTIVES

 

Walk a mile in my shoes

Walk a mile in my shoes

The Open Nest is a creative, forward thinking charitable project born from personal experiences of the adoption and long term fostering of traumatised children. We aim to address the gap in the provision of specialist peer support services to adopted children who have anxiety and trauma related behaviours and in doing so support families in a meaningful and empathic way.

Birds on branch

We believe that some adoptive families need less scrutiny and more support, fewer paper assessments and more pro active positive interventions. We believe many adopted children have needs which do not come under a clear category such as learning difficulty or physical disability. We believe that many adopted children are paralysed by internal fear which delays their development and disables them emotionally.

Unfortunately the current lack of funding and budget cuts can mean some adoptive families cannot get the advice, training and, very importantly, the time out needed in order to avoid placement strain or breakdown. We aim to address this with affordable support, much of which will be free to families with budget constraints.

The current and previous governments have legislated to speed up the adoption process as well as to increase the number of adoptions that take place. This has been intended to address the fact that there are approx 65,000 children in local authority care at any one time in this country and only several thousand adoptions per year. Out of these adoptions several hundred fail. As a result we feel there is huge pressure on frontline social workers who have been encouraged to find permanence for children but with little in terms of real funding to support the families offering long term commitment. We aim to work towards fewer adoption breakdowns and to formally record the issues adoptive families face in order to inform policy makers and lobby government.

Sometimes the road feels long

Sometimes the road feels long

Little black riding hood

Little black riding hood

We believe that the experience of being in a situation where you must be removed from your birth family is by nature traumatic on some level. If this is preceded by chaos, neglect, violence and emergency removals, the trauma can more deep rooted. We aim to recognise and address this within our services.

Even with a speedy assessment and adoption process, children are often developmentally damaged by their experiences at a very young age. Traumatised childrens behaviour can be confusing, distressing and, at times, extremely challenging. Misunderstanding the root of these behaviours can sometimes lead to diagnosis by professionals and carers which fails to address the needs of children who find it genuinely difficult to form healthy attachments. We aim to help all those accessing our services to put children’s needs first and to practice in a way that is in their best long term interests.

Adoption difficulties and breakdowns have lifelong consequences for children, and adoptive families. They also have serious financial implications for social care and health budgets. By offering a cost effective and informed specialist services we aim to encourage and support permanence and healing for children who deserve their second chance at a happy childhood to succeed.

Happy days

Happy days

Brave face

Brave face

  • We do not exclude children with violent behaviours.
  • We do not exclude low income families.
  • We can extend our services to those in long term fostering.