Who We Are:
We are Parents and Advocates sharing knowledge, understanding and ideas to help foster and adopted children with Reactive Attachment Disorder in order to create continuity in the use and access to current State, Mental Health, and Educational Resources. We are here to identify gaps in services, provide services and to promote legislation and funding for solutions, training, therapy and programs specifically designed to meet the challenges of Reactive Attachment Disorder and its profound and permanent impact on children, families and society.
Opinion on Relinquishment:
OKABCs position has been and continues to be, that returning the children we love and have tried to provide a life for back to an institution that is part of the problem, should not be an early option. We believe that parents should never have been placed in this position in the first place. If the following would have taken place, some (not all) of these children and families would not be anguishing over such a decision.
1. Early identification of attachment issues & early intervention.
2. Proper education and preparation for the parenting of a child with Attachment issues – including Reactive Attachment Disorder. This means being up front that this child could possibly be extremely dangerous at some point in their lives. Help the families understand what they are undertaking and prepare them to do so if they chose to move forward.
3. The availability of trained therapists that have a specialization in treating attachment issues and doing so within a family systems model. Access to REAL resources (not those that look good on paper, but in reality aren’t equipped for our children).
4. Day treatment facilities.
5. Parent access to group home placements that take children with diagnoses such as Reactive Attachment Disorder, that provide a program that can help these children be more prepared to accept a placement in a family home.
6. Parent access to short term respite, and long term therapeutic foster care and parent modeling traing.
7. Designing a Family preparation and treatment program such as the Institute for Attachment in Kittredge, Colorado.
We believe that if these resources existed in addition to the current hospital models – the number of families put in helpless and hopeless situations could be reduced. No family should be held hostage in their own homes by the mental illness of a child or a broken system. If relinquishing the child is the only option left, then these families situation should be reviewed on a case by case basis. They should not be persecuted for having to make this heart wrenching choice.