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As part of our work on the Family Review, we asked families to contribute to our research by sharing their Family Profile – a snapshot of what families means to them, their strengths, the challenges they may have experienced, how they like to spend their time and the support that they value the most.

Read our next three profiles below:

We are a family of 4: myself, my partner, and our 2 children, aged 1 and 5. On my partner's side, he has 2 parents, still married, and 2 full siblings. On my side, my parents are divorced with new partners (married) and I have 3 half siblings, who in turn have their own half siblings. We have one dog and one cat. We work really hard, we don’t have much structure and we take time to have fun together. One challenge has been that working full time for both parents means that days can feel quite hectic and stressful; I carry a lot of guilt on not being fully available for my children, and them spending a lot of time in childcare. The impact of this I think, is that sometimes we can feel distant from one another, but at the same time I think that we set good standards for our children as to having strong work ethics and identities outside of parenthood. I think being at peace with the chaos helps us cope; we don't beat ourselves up too much about set dinner times, bed times etc.
I am a married mother to two adopted 10 year olds boys and we live with my wife. We have a close bond and enjoy each other’s company and personalities, we are very loving and affectionate and value time together as a family unit. We have experienced huge difficulties which affect the whole family due to early childhood and pre-natal trauma to both children pre- adoption. For example, attachment disorder and ADHD symptoms. There has been child to parent violence during meltdowns which the children have no control over. Furniture and household objects are regularly broken and have to be replaced. The other child gets scared when the sibling is in meltdown. Our youngest child is unable to form friendships with similar aged children leading to huge lack of self-esteem. These challenges create strain on the family unit and relationships within. It’s been ongoing for a number of years now. This has huge negative impacts for children as they cannot control their anger and emotions. This leads to them breaking their own things and harming the adults. There is also a negative impact on adults trying to help children control emotions whilst being abused physically and verbally by children. Siblings see behaviour of each other and this leads them into dysregulation. We have access to the Adoption Support Fund providing therapy for the children and adults. Not fixed at all but does help to deal with it on an ongoing basis. Previously supported by social services by attending support groups run by them, however these no longer happen since the regionalisation of the adoption service.
I am a single parent with a toddler. I have a dad, sisters and brothers. I really value time spent together making memories such as cooking and BBQs. It was really challenging losing my mother in June. We are still dealing with it but taking each day as it comes. It’s helped being together as a family and looking back at old memories with our mum. We’ve been able to talk to each other about our struggles and just grieving and helping each other through. It’s been difficult as we are really sensing the absence – even just usually calling her we can’t anymore for advice on cooking, recipes, childcare. I’m glad that the children have memories with their grandma in pictures which we will cherish and show them when they’re older. I’m glad I got to spend most of my adult life with my mum supporting me. I was lucky to have been raised to this age where we’re all independent and can look after ourselves. She’s done a great job and can rest in peace with a smile on her face.

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