Connected Persons Family: Where do I even start!! Vikki came in to our families lives just over a year ago and the phenomenal changes we have been able to make to our every day life and family dynamic is incredible and couldn’t have done it without vikki’s expertise and support.
We were virtually at breaking point with my gorgeous little sister who has been with us around 4 years now, she had come from a very dysfunctional background and was separated from her mother at the young age of 5.We were up 10 to 15 times throughout the night shouting out and crying she had huge separation issues, OCD characteristics and massive amounts of anxiety, all small tasks seiemed huge. as a young carer I just didn’t know where to turn and just couldn’t ever see it getting any easier!! I had huge feelings of failure and disappointment as I just wanted her to be happy and “fix”her pain and issues and just didn’t know how to apply my skill-set to get those types of results, because I became a parent at the age of just 20 to a 5 year a old with a whole host of issues. And was learning on the job everyday how to be a parent.
This soon became a huge upset and stress on the family and without the connection,strength, reassurance and knowledge from vikki who knows where we would be now-
In the early stages vikki worked with us every 2 weeks and has now spaced out to around every 4 weeks we are still working through lots with her as these deepest issues don’t just disappear with a wave of a magic wand (we should be so lucky) all I know is this hard work and dedication to my little girls life will shape her and give her the best chance in life which is the very least we can all do for our children. Addressing these issues now rather than covering it with a plaster and hoping it will get better is certainly the way forward. Vikki’s approach, understanding and guidance should not go unnoticed because she really is sprinkling the magic fairy dust on us parents to enable our children to be the very best they can be she leaves no stone unturned!! I am so thankful I came across vikki and anyone given the chance to work with her should grab it with both hands and really run with what she has to offer because the results areamazing and the transformation in just a year is incredible we are now on the right path and look forward to continuing our work with vikki
Foster Family: We would never have continued with foster care if it wasn’t for Vikki, she listens to our views and supports us. I feel I can contact her any time if in crisis and she will respond appropriately. We have always felt valued as carers and she understands the struggles and is able to show us improvements and how far we have come with our child this service is invaluable as in prevents further trauma to children and sustains placements. She came to us when we were on our knees and supports us through the rollercoaster of unpredictable behaviour. I don’t think her value is recognised by other professionals who do not understand the importance of children’s emotional wellbeing. Having received this training and support we would be more likely to take further placements with complex needs in the future and more able to manage them effectively. As long as this support was still in place.
Adoptive Family: Vikki Cohen’s time spent supporting us post adoption has made a big difference to our new family. She has ridden with us on the rollercoaster of the good, the bad and the ugly days which come as standard when adopting older children. She has understood our feelings, been insightful about what drives our child’s behaviours and what can be done to help our child.
The monthly support sessions have helped us to keep going, by offering understanding about our child, AND through acknowledging our own feelings and reactions. Vikki has helped to ‘normalise’ our experience, seeing that there are patterns common to families where the child (or children) has experienced significant loss and trauma. Though not working directly with our child, Vikki’s interventions have been specific, giving us practical ideas (particularly through sensory activities) to strengthen our family bonds, bypass some ‘sticking points’ (e.g. bathtimes) and help our child to know BIG feelings are OK. Vikki has also pointed us towards (extremely!) relevant published/online resources which have enhanced our understanding and our day to day family life.
Adoptive Family: From the minute I first met Vikki and heard her speaking I just knew that she would be able to help us as a family! and I was right! Since working with Vikki we have learnt so much and our lives have changed drastically, for the better. She is like my parenting bible and I often think to myself when dealing with a tricky situation what she would advise me to do. I am so pleased that we were given the opportunity to work with Vikki otherwise I just don’t know where we would be right now.
Testimonials from Professionals:
Vikki was able to form a very good relationship with the carers which enabled them to engage with the work she was trying to do. The male carer found it difficult to take time off work and Vikki was very flexible to enable him to be part of the process. This is a family who seek high level of support and they reported that they found Vikki’s intervention invaluable to the extent that they have shared this with other adoptive parents with whom they are in contact. I have no doubt that this intervention, whilst not solving the ongoing problem, prevented the breakdown of the placement at the time.
Vikki has done/is doing a brilliant job with Mr & Mrs Smith*. In my view she has helped them to understand Billy* and his needs, which has helped the placement to remain stable. In my opinion I feel this placement would have been “shaky” if Vikki wasn’t involved, as at times Billy presents some very odd behaviour due to his ASD. Vikki has allowed the Foster Carers’s to off load and to look at why Billy behaviours in the ways he does. This has been something that in my opinion has lacked in the past.
I believe that Vikki has supported Billy and his Careres to a very high level and has gone out of her way to accommodate them, often having to change times/venues at the last minute. Mr and Mrs Smith have welcomed this intervention and have formed a trusting relationship with her. Vikki always provides reports that have been extremely helpful.
Vikki has been consistent with her work and with the support given to the foster carers and children in their care. Her input has helped in stabilising these placements.
* Names have been changed to protect confidentiality