Diagrama was invited back to speak with Simon Benn who runs a podcast series called Thriving Adoptees. Kate Patel Diagrama’s Post Adoption Support Manager and Panel Advisor talks about overcoming the challenges of Adoption.
Adoption can be tricky, tough and demanding. So how do we get through it? What's the difference that makes the difference? How does how we're being and what we see help us to new ways of tackling old problems? Kate shares her take on all this and more.
The purpose of the podcast series is to inspire and empower those who have a connection with adoption sharing inspiration and insights for adoptive parents and adoptees. Adopters and adoptees share their stories and what they’ve learned to help other listeners navigate the sometimes tricky journey. In the summer Simon Benn interviewed Natalie Lohneis, Head of Adoption and Fostering services at Diagrama and Diagrama gladly accepted the invitation to speak with Simon again.
Kate Patel is a qualified social worker and has been for over 20 years. Kate says: "There’s always been a thread in my career with Adoption, and placement in training and for the last 10 years I have been working with family placement services and I am the Post Adoption Support Manager and a Panel Advisor at Diagrama.
Simon asks: “ In your 21 years of experience what are some of the blind spots you’ve seen?”
Kate responds: “One of the things that often strikes me, is when the adults decide that adoption is the road they want to take, they often ask the professionals why is this assessment so intense? Why is it so intrusive? Why do social workers need to know about our childhood and life experiences? and sometimes the realisation of that comes when they have a child placed. Parenting a child can press buttons and hit spots and if they’ve not solved those past issues how can they become that kind and caring parent if they are still struggling with their own difficulties.”
Kate continues “Insights change the world and our perception of that world. My role is within the end of the adoption process, we are striving to give opportunities to give adopters the chance to uncover their blind spots, through support sessions, primarily for adopters to talk openly about the highs and lows. Opening up and talking about the realities. I have seen how it can help and I’m a believer that people have those resources within themselves and you see people able to do incredible things.”
“We always look at things in black and white and that there is only one way but we don’t see the greys. Over the years I’ve learnt that people really appreciate it if you are honest with them. I’m not an adopter and I haven’t been an adopter but I can share what I’ve seen and knowledge that I’ve learned along the way. Giving people the opportunity to be heard and have empathy and that is incredibly powerful I think. When I’ve been able to do that it helps to unlock things for people.”
Listen to the full podcast here.