Having read the Sally Donovan article, you may be wondering what it feels like to be on the end of a professional experience, when your family are suffering a set of problems common to many of us.
L Bell has written this fantastic piece, which resonated with so many of our members we are publishing on the website this month. If you feel the same, or wish to comment, feel free to do so.
“Dear Professionals in Our Lives,
There are some things I’d like to get off my chest:
When you are holding a meeting please do not address me as “mum” and everyone else around the table by name. I am fiercely proud to be a mum but there are only 2 people in the world who can call me that, and unless either of them are in the room then I do not expect to hear it in a professional setting. When I am in a high level meeting at work I do not expect to be called “mum” and neither do I expect it in a meeting to discuss my child’s needs.
When you set the date for a meeting please consult me on dates at the same time as everyone else, don’t assume that it will be acceptable to liaise amongst yourselves and then present me with a date. I have a busy life. I am juggling a job with meeting the specific and specialised needs of my family with all the appointments that entails.
Please respect the fact that I am an expert in the needs of my family. I live it 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. I am still doing it at 3 am. I read the books, look up the reports,go on training, research in the middle of the night. You, on the other hand, take a tiny peek into our lives once every couple of months and you may see us at our best, at our worst or somewhere in between. Whilst I respect your professional qualifications, I have them too, and if a degree was available in the needs of my child I would have it, and then some. Please treat me the same way you treat other professionals and give my opinions the same weight.
If I ask you for help that means I need help, not that I am simply looking for something to say or don’t know what I am talking about, am neurotic or overdramatic. Trust me my life is so complicated it does not need additional complications if they are unnecessary. I would not be asking if I didn’t absolutely believe we needed it.
And lastly, please return my phone calls. I simply do not have time or the energy to chase you. This does not mean that I do not want your help and support, just that there is a huge amount of real life going on.’
We are very clear that a good experience with professionals who care, are empathetic, honest and on side make an ENORMOUS difference. Far beyond the actual gesture of returning a call, it shows in the middle of all this turmoil, some one actually does care for you as a human being. That really is a huge deal.
Here’s a link to the recent working with social workers article.
Further, there is a link on the LINKS and RESOURCES page to an excellent article to help you prepare for meetings be it as a professional or adoptive parent.