Reactive Attachment Disorder (R.A.D.) Course

Help needed! I’m creating an online course about R.A.D. I’m looking for 20 people to do a quick 15 to 20 minutes of market research interview on the phone.  If you are willing to get on the phone with me to do this quick market research, please email me at Much appreciation in advance.


I know this is a bit strange for my followers on this page, but I’ve been working on this course for several months. Now I’m almost ready to get it completed. I am excited to get it into the hands of professional and the families they work with.

I feel if families trying to adopt can use the course or foster care workers will benefit from the course, it will serve it’s purpose of introducing new parents as to what to expect if their child has some of these behaviors.

Thanks for reading and responding to this post.

N. Ann Lamphere, MSW

What Happens When You Have to Interact with DSS?

If there were one group of people that should help families in distress it should be someone from the Department of Social Services in your state. RIGHT?

Yeah right!!! I know. The sad stories of adoptive families who reach out for help, show they get kicked in the teeth with disbelief, blame and threats. Yep, I said “threats.”

There have been families who can no longer allow their adopted child to remain in their home. “Which way or where should we go?” Is the question. Their child, because of really diverse behaviors” is endangering one or all family members by remaining in their home.

What does the DSS worker do? He or she says “We have to investigate this situation.” “How long will this take to investigate his behaviors?” you ask. The response the families get is “We’re investigating you!” WHAT! “It’s not us, it’s his behaviors!”

Nope! The families get investigated because there’s something they’re not doing right. There must be! This is where the DSS worker has the nerve to tell the family they don’t love their child enough. THAT’S REALLY INSTRUCTIVE, ISN’T IT!

To families in distress, who have tried everything they know how to help their child with therapy and/or medicines, this lack of understanding is just another burden they are forced to carry.

Another thing that always makes me upset is when I hear a DSS worker tell the family if they take the child into state custody, the family will lose all the other children to the state as well and the couple will be prosecuted for neglect or abandonment of their child. This is still blaming the family for the child’s behaviors.

If the family has these types of responses and they don’t agree with them, they’re told the best thing they can do is find a residential treatment facility (RTF) or a permanent boarding school. RTFs and boarding schools have a particularly bad reputation. They’re poorly staffed and bad kids become worse kids the longer they’re there.

Is there anything that can be done to help the families? I know there are several Facebook groups offering support to families of children with R.A.D. These groups are extremely helpful offering support and giving families a place to vent their frustrations.

Do those groups offer solutions to the DSS issues? They really don’t, because the problems stem from a lack of education to DSS staff. From the top executives to the peon foster care workers, the effects of Developmental Trauma Disorder, which I feel is a better description of the children’s issues, is never taught.

Photo by Enzo Muu00f1oz on

No one in the foster care system really understands what these damaged children go through in their young lives. Since there is always a turnover in foster care workers, I feel it is important that each new worker be trained in what effects trauma has on children and how to treat parents of these children with respect and understanding..

Thanks for reading:

Please email me if you have any questions or suggestions for new posts. My email is:

N. Ann Lamphere, MSW

Update: Murder and My Adoption Life

On Tuesday, August 10th This post was viewed over a hundred times by people in Norway. I think that was one of the top posts for the year. Since I wrote and published this blog post, I realized I needed to do an update for people who might be interested in what has happened these last few months.

The prison where Kara is serving her sentence now has an email process where we can connect without her having to pay for phone calls and being limited to 15 minutes.  We’ve had several interesting exchanges.

My granddaughter called me and told me what was happening with her father’s case. John E. Sansing has been on Death Row in Arizona since 1998.  He has finally run out of legal options and he will receive his execution date sometime this fall. The deed will probably occur in 2022.

I was asked what happened to the four children because of their trauma. The oldest boy was sent to a boys’ residential treatment facility. He has spent his life in and out of prison.

The other three children were placed in foster care with a single mother who adopted them. The two boys were difficult children. They’ve been in jail frequently and into drugs or alcohol.

My only granddaughter has a criminologist certificate and is using her skills to help children who have been victims of crimes. She is the only child allowed to visit her mother. She also keeps me updated on what’s happening.

I’ve been working at Wasatch International Adoptions for over 13 years. The last 11 years, I’ve been the social worker on the agency’s Second Chance Program This program helps parents of children with traumatic behaviors find new families for their children.

Now, I’m working for the Agency’s R.A.D. Teen Adoption Program. Our goal is to help families of older children place their difficult children into homes that are better suited to handle the diverse behaviors these kids have. We are taking children from nine to fifteen into the program.

If you would like email notifications for this program sign up at the following link:

The Original Post

The last day of 2020, one of the worst years of my life on record is a good time to get rid of what has dragged me down for over 30 years. The devastating loss of my fairy tale adoption brings me sadness almost every day, but I refuse to let it get me down.

I adopted my daughter, Kara, from India in 1980. In 1984 she met a young man named Johnny Sansing. She married Mr. Sansing in 1985.  If I had been a psychic and could have seen into the future, I would have tried to find a different answer to my problem of living with a child with Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD).

Instead, I let her marry this cute blond, blue eyed murderer. Johnny was a true sociopath. He was charming and could make you believe he really was a good person. 

Kara and Johnny

When he was first arrested right after he married Kara, the police admitted they couldn’t get a handle on what kind of person he really was. My best friend Janice who supervised him while he was out waiting for his case to come up, said he was really difficult to read.

Johnny was a petty criminal.  He stole money to pay for his drug habit.  Kara worked and he would take her money and use it for drugs. He sold drugs as well as used them.

When they were first married, Kara had a trust fund.  Johnny couldn’t get his hands on it.  The trustee would pay their rent until they would get thrown out of the apartment for various reasons. Then the trustee would help them with money for a new place.

The trustee would buy them a new washer and dryer every place they moved to. Johnny would turn around and sell the set and use the money to live on and buy drugs. This went on for several years.

The trustee finally had enough. She bought them a mobile home, paid 6 months’ rent and closed out Kara’s trust fund in 1997. When that money ran out and they couldn’t pay the space rent, Johnny, Kara and their 4 kids moved to Arizona.

Johnny’s sister Patsy had moved to Arizona. She was Johnny’s go-to person when he was in trouble or needed a place to stay.

Kara always kept my sister, Myra informed on where she was and what was happening in her life. I pretty much washed my hands of her and Johnny when I tried to get her help through the Women in Jeopardy program run by the YWCA. Kara called Patsy and escaped from the program. She went right back to her abuser.

The Call That Almost Destroyed Me

A call from Myra one morning in late February, 1998, ruined all hopes and dreams that Kara would leave Johnny and get her life straightened out. Johnny and Kara had been arrested for the murder of a volunteer church worker.

Police officer

I cannot describe my emotions at that time. I think I just went numb. The question in my head kept repeating WHY? WHY? WHY?  

Johnny had called a church for food and some cash assistance for bills.  When the woman arrived, Johnny attacked her, raped her and killed her. He stole some jewelry she wore, took it out and pawned it for more money.

When he came back from the pawn shop, he dragged her body out to the back yard and covered her body with cardboard boxes. Kara was trying to protect the kids, but they witnessed what was happening.

The police said Kara was just as responsible for the murder as Johnny because she didn’t try to stop him or get help. Both Johnny and Kara went to jail and the 4 kids were placed in foster care.

Johnny was sentenced to death and Kara received a life sentence. Johnny is still on death row, but Kara’s sentence was changed to 25 years. She will be released sometime in 2023.

I have had PTSD from this episode.  Every time I turned around, someone was contacting me for information. Usually they wanted to know what I knew about Johnny. Did I know his history? Did I know his family? Why did I let my daughter marry him?

Did I know his history? No, I did not.  I met Patsy his sister.  He worked for his dad. I eventually found out that he had spent time in Juvenile Detention and his mother sent him to live with his dad because she couldn’t control him.

Did I know his family? No, I only knew his sister Patsy.  She never told any of us of his run in with the law back home.

Why did I let my daughter marry him? That is the hardest question.  Kara was not an easy child.  She was the victim of child abuse and had a lot of emotional baggage she received while in India. I was exhausted trying to parent her.  Besides she was pregnant with Johnny’s baby.

There was someone who wanted to write a book about the murder case. I wasn’t ready to have my name popping up somewhere.  News people would get my number and call wanting an interview. Lawyers or paralegals kept calling wanting information.

This went on for years. I expect it will continue until I throw in the towel and go meet my maker. A few years ago, in 2014, I was visited by a police officer who wanted to know what kind of car Johnny drove in 1991.

How the heck would I know? I gave Johnny and Kara my old white Dodge Charger in 1985. That car went by the wayside a couple of years later. I wasn’t having anything to do with the kids by then.

The police officer kept asking every way he could, I just couldn’t give him what he wanted. I was totally in the dark about why that car was so important.

On August 28, 2014 I was sitting on my couch folding clothes and watching a TV program when a Breaking News flash came on. The police chief of Salt Lake County came on and said they had solved a cold case murder from 1991. The victim was a 72 year old woman who was killed in her own home.

The murderer was none other than John E. Sansing, my son-in-law. The law had identified him by DNA, the fingerprints of my 5 year old grandson, Joshua and the testimony of his wife, my daughter Kara.

I sat there too stunned for words. I couldn’t talk and I was shaking and started to hyperventilate.  My life had just been turned upside down again.  Once I was able to calm down, I called my boss and let her know I was taking the next day off. I also called Steve, my nephew who has lived with this the whole time.

The next call was to my friend Janice and let her know since she knew Johnny. Janice is a social worker and has been my rock whenever I have to deal with these crises.


If I had known what I know now, I would have done my best to find Kara a different family that would have known how to help her. Why do I say this? Well, you see, I now help families who do adopt children like Kara.

For the last 11 years, I have been the social worker for Wasatch International Adoptions’ Second Chance Program.  We offer help to families who adopt children with Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD), emotional problems, and other issues that the families were totally unprepared for.

Because Second Chance Adoptions is now taking children up to nine years of age, our agency director and I have developed a program to place older children nine to fifteen years old in new homes.

We have found that these children have all kinds of emotional damage from living in an orphanage, foster care, or any out-of-home situation. They often take out their feelings, their survival skills and anger on the first permanent family they experience. Often they go to a new family and all the damaging behaviors they had in the first family are left behind.


Adoption agencies in Utah that I support:

Wasatch International Adoptions Second Chance program

Wasatch International Adoptions R.A.D. Teen Adoption program. If you would like email notifications for this program sign up at the following link:

Are You Interested in Adopting a Child with R.A.D.?

Why adopt a child with RAD?

Kids at the Beach

Do you like older children? Do you enjoy being able to have a meaningful conversation with a child? Older kids often really appreciate being treated like an equal, but still need direction. Are you ready for the ride of your life? RAD kids will take you where no one has gone before! Look at parenting one of these kids as a grand adventure, because your life will never be the same again.

Have I scared you off? I hope not. The answer to “why adopt a child with RAD?” is you like older children, you feel you can make a difference in a child’s life and you feel you have something of value to give to a child.

Children, especially older kids, want someone to do things with. They want to be liked. They may not love you, but if you do things with them, i.e., play sports, video games, go camping, etc. and be a mentor, you could really have a great relationship.

What are the children like?

That’s a really loaded question. What are the children like? They’re like good kids, bratty kids, obnoxious teenagers, boys or girls interested in the opposite sex and any other crazy thing a teen can dream up.

You might need to feel comfortable with minor criminal activities that could have you visiting the juvenile court system. These can happen to biological teens as well as RAD teens, so for the most part, ordinary growing pains.

The children could have great grades, or they could decide that’s not what they wanted to do and shut their hearing off because they don’t want to be hounded to learn stuff. They do not want to hear what they are doing to themselves because the future to them is not a concern at the moment.

The RAD kids may want to experiment with alcohol or recreational drugs. Are you ready for that? Remember, these behaviors are mirrored by kids with biological parents. As a parent of a RAD kid, you might need to be more open to discuss dangerous situations in order to help them.

I’m a parent of a child who, even though never diagnosed, had Reactive Attachment Disorder. It was a tough time, but what it did for me was make me an advocate for the older children who need homes as badly as she did. I’m never going to stop trying to find homes for older children as long as I have the ability to help these special kids.

If you would like more information, please contact me at

Thanks for reading my post.

N. Ann Lamphere, MSW

I support: Wasatch International Adoptions’ Second Chance Adoption program ( and their R.A.D. Teen Adoption program (

What Is R.A.D.?

Some of my followers wanted to know what RAD really was and why I’ve spent so much time writing about it. I decided to do a blog and answer their questions.

Even though RAD has become the common description of the multiple behaviors damaged children have, a better way to describe it as Developmental Trauma Disorder (DTD). This usually happens before age 5. It can cause lifelong issues for the child.

Some of the trauma occurs before birth, such as birthmothers use of alcohol or drugs while pregnant. Some of the trauma occurs when the infant or child experiences neglect or abandonment. Other traumas can occur with bodily injury or rape.

What happens next can be a major traumatic event in a child’s life. They enter foster care. The U.S. foster care system does not help the child because it adds more trauma to an already traumatic life. Many children have more than three different placements in a very short period of time.

REUNIFICATION: This is almost always traumatic to a child. No one, foster care workers or judges, have a clue what happens to a child’s brain when they try to place the child back with an original abuser. Judges have been known to give the abusive parents six months to change their behaviors and allow visitations with the child during that time frame.

When the six months are up, if the parent or parents have made even a minor move to get their lives in order, the judge will give them another six months. The child continues to experience an unsettled life.  The child cannot form an attachment to anyone at that point.

Is RAD curable?

It can be, but for some children it’s always there. Oftentimes when a child is acting out in one home, they can do a total change around when the new family doesn’t have the same triggers as the previous family has.

There have been some children who begin to understand what happened to them was not their fault. They have made tremendous strides and can get the professional help they require to change.

Therapy for children with RAD does not work really well.  Most times the children will manipulate the counselor and therefore they do not see RAD at all. A good attachment counselor is important to help the child.

What training should I receive to parent a child with RAD?

If you want to adopt an older child, you should check training classes or courses from your agency. Wasatch International Adoptions has a training course for families interested in adopting from either their Second Chance for Kids Adoption program and their R.A.D. Teen Adoption program. To see information about these programs, please check out their website:

Thank you for reading my post. If you have questions, please email me at

N. Ann Lamphere, MSW

What’s the Difference Between International, Foster Care and older Domestic Adoptions?

Kara Lamphere

Why does adoption of older children (anyone over the age of three) have such a bad reputation? I’ve heard many responses over the years. It really comes down to the fact that the older children have experienced early life trauma.

The kids use their survival skills even when they are no longer needed. They have difficulty understanding the difference between neglectful, dangerous homes and loving, caring homes.

Breaking down the differences in the types of adoptions is essential for parents to understand which type would be best for them.

International Adoptions:

Generally, the children will be over the age of four or be physically challenged. They won’t be able to understand your language and you won’t understand them. You’ll have to guess what their needs are for several months.

Some of the special needs international children can have include: developmental delays, autism, PTSD, ADHD, Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD), and reactive sexualized behaviors.

The medical issues can include blind, deaf, cleft palette, spina bifida, loss of limbs and other major health issues. As parents of a child with mental and/or physical disabilities are you prepared for caring for this child? Are you prepared for the costs of medical and counseling professionals?

Are you prepared for the fact that your child may never attach to your family? Do you know what you should be prepared for if your child has RAD? Most times parents think “love” will conquer all. It doesn’t! Children with RAD can destroy families.

RAD behaviors can be as simple as lying or stealing or as devastating as endangering children or parents with out-of-control anger. Some of these children turn out well, others land in residential treatment facilities until they reach 18 or 21. The reality of this is that parents need to prepare for all the devastating issues that adoption brings.

Foster Care Adoptions:

The U.S. Foster Care systems have a reputation of placing children for adoption who have multiple problems. This not always the case, but happens frequently.

Placing children in multiple placements due to the insane idea that every child should be reunified with their biological parents, no matter how they lost custody of the child in the first place, causes the child to experience lack of trust in any caregiver.

There are great foster homes with really loving parents who care about the children placed with them. There are good foster homes where the family treats the children okay, but are mostly doing it for the income. The worst foster homes are where sexual abuse is rampant and it never gets reported.

When foster children finally have their parental rights removed, they become available for adoption. There have been situations where the child had visitations with their biological parents for five or six years without the parents doing what was court ordered.

Who adopts foster kids? Many times? it’s usually the last foster home the child was placed in. For a lot of foster children, they remain in foster care until they age out at 18. The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption has made it their goal to see many children in foster care be placed in permanent homes.

Foster children have many of the same issues as international children have. Many of these children suffer from RAD and/or sexualized behaviors. Families that adopt them really aren’t anymore prepared for their behaviors as families adopting internationally, because it’s a policy of the foster care system to not disclose what happened to the child before he/she came into the new family.

The best thing is these kids speak and understand English. To help families adopting a foster kid they may come with Medicaid and a stipend.

Domestic Adoptions of Older Children:

These adoptions are not foster care or international adoptions even though the children may have come from other countries or foster care. They are considered secondary adoptions. There are two agencies that assist with these adoptions: Nightlight Christian Adoptions and Wasatch International Adoptions.

Nightlight works with states where they have offices. Wasatch has two programs, Second Chance for Kids (places kids ages four to nine) and R.A.D. Teen Adoptions (places kids nine to 15.) Wasatch covers all but a few states.

The programs do cost more than foster care, but are less than international adoptions and the children speak English.

Children in these programs can have any or all the problems discussed in the other two adoption programs. Often times they may be diagnosed with any of the “alphabet soup**” mental problems out there, but when placed with a different family these kids often do a 180 turn around and settle down and attach to the new family.

You can check out these three programs at:

Thanks for reading my post.

N. Ann Lamphere, MSW

**Alphabet soup = ADHD, PTST, RAD, ODD, GAD (Check out my post on Alphabet Soup)

What’s the Taboo Topic that Parents of Kids with RAD Hate to Discuss?

This topic makes families shudder. Do you know what it is? Or, you know what it is and wish it would just vanish from your child’s life. Guess what? It doesn’t!

A lot of children with Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) have been sexually abused by previous caregivers. There, I’ve said it. Let’s bring this problem into the light.

Humans are sexual beings. God made us this way, sorry to tell you this, but it’s true. When children are sexually abused, it’s a person exerting their power over a defenseless child. The child is not to blame!!!

I had a teenage foster daughter who was sexually abused by her father and her mother never believed her when she tried to report him. This girl was really strong and would fight anyone to protect herself. I told her it was okay to feel the way she did and that I would fight for her as much as I could, so she wasn’t alone. That child was a beautiful person.

Pretending it doesn’t exist is telling the child, as far as you are concerned, it really didn’t happen. This could be a trigger for the child’s behaviors and families don’t recognize it.

As an adoptive parent of a child from India who was continuously sexually abused most of her life before I adopted her, I had to accept that she was going to act out sexually. Because of her age, I couldn’t monitor her every move (she was actually closer to 14 when she arrived than the 10-year-old she was legally supposed to be.)

When she was legally 12, I discovered she was pregnant. She didn’t know what was happening to her body. She could not describe the changes to her body, so she never said anything.  She was six-months pregnant. She had hidden it well. I explained to her what to expect and a few days later she began to feel movement. It freaked her out.

A couple of years later, after being in a teenage therapy group, she told me and the therapist what her life in India was really like. She was continually raped by her father after her mother died. She equated sex with “LOVE.” She could never understand that sex wasn’t a guy’s way of saying he loved her.

I discussed with her about being sexually active and how to keep herself safe. I can honestly say, my talks didn’t stop her. If there had been ways to prevent getting pregnant that she could use, like they have today, I would have had her on it.

For families with children abused sexually before you adopted them, please be understanding of your child’s sexualized behaviors. Accept it as part of them and treat them as normal children. Do NOT make it sound like they’re damaged beyond repair (don’t tell me all of you would never do that, because it’s human nature to think so).

I will always advocate for sexually abused children. They need to come to terms with their history and learn that they still are valuable people.

Sexual abuse should never define a child’s life.

Thank you for reading my post.

N. Ann Lamphere, MSW

I support: Wasatch International’s Second Chance for Kids program ( and the R.A.D. Teen Adoption Program (

Please contact either program if you have any questions about how they work.

What Makes Families of R.A.D. Kids Crazy?

There are some specific things people who want to adopt children from other countries or the US Foster Care systems need to consider. These are all those unknown things that can be major triggers.

Kid and Parent

Have you heard the saying “Never adopt out of birth order?” What that means is if you have other children in the home, for example, a 7-year-old and a 9-year-old, you might want to re-consider adopting that cute little 8-year-old. The problems may not seem to be an issue, but the 8-year-old may be jealous of the 9-year-old and wants to do something dangerous to the 7-year-old.

Are you parents who’ve had biological children and then decided to adopt a child older than anyone else in the family? That move can be detrimental to everyone in the family. The new kid may have spent several years in foster care and has figured out how to manipulate people. If so, that’s like adding fuel to already burning candles. And off they go!

How about trauma bonds? Do you know what they are? Children that grow up together should be placed together, right? Not necessarily so. Biological children that grow up in the same destructive environment often have a bond that keeps them from attaching to a different family.  That bond may cause the children to attack each other as well as other family members. The best outcome can be to separate them.

Kara Lamphere

Have you ever felt sorry for the orphan from a poor country? I did! My daughter arrived in Utah with the dress on her back and a pair of underwear. That was it! The first thing I had to do was go out and find her some clothes. Of course, I didn’t know what it meant when you have to buy them a whole new wardrobe. ENTITLEMENT!!! Every time I took her to a store after that, she would scream if she didn’t get something new.

In the past, I always loved shopping, but not for a long time. When she married and moved on with her life, I still had PTSD and could find myself getting out of the store as fast as I could. I’m still that way.

Most parents of children with RAD will tell you they will lie about everything whether they need to or not. Sometimes it seems like they will take the lie with them to the grave. It’s like that’s how they learned to survive.

I don’t know the statistic to tell you how many of the RAD kids steal, but I know mine did – she learned it as a survivor skill and then used it to take what she wanted when she wanted it. Almost all of the kids I’ve dealt with who have RAD have at one time or another tried or did steal. It’s a hard habit for them to break, almost as bad as lying.

The final RAD behavior I want to discuss is about the kids who use dissociation as a way to protect themselves.  My daughter did this every time I tried to correct her. It infuriated me to no end. She would stand absolutely frozen; her eyes would roll back into her head and she was gone. I finally had had it and I put my hands together and clapped very loudly. It startled her and she came out of the trance. I told her never to do that again and she didn’t.

Not many RAD kids do the trance thing, but it’s a protective measured used by kids who have been sexually abused repeatedly. My daughter fit that category. I had no idea about her previous life before me, but that one behavior should have given me a clue

Do you all feel like there is nothing more that can be done for the families except to suffer or send their child to a residential treatment facility (RTF)? I know I’m an optimist, I always see the cup as half full. I always hope for a better solution than years with no one to call as their family.

Anyone who’s read any of my blog posts knows that I’ve not had a wonderful outcome with my RAD daughter. I admit that, but it wasn’t from me not trying. I do believe her outcome would have been better if she had been adopted by a 2-parent family. What the experience did is make me a stronger advocate for children.

I’ve been helping families with RAD for 11 years. My life’s goal is to keep on helping families and RAD kids as long as I’m able.

Thanks for reading my post. If you want more information, please contact me at:

N. Ann Lamphere, MSW

A New Addition to the Alphabet Soup!

New Research:

In May and the first part of June this year, I read many research articles on Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD). What can I tell you who are parents of children with RAD? Probably nothing new. However, I recently read a couple of articles that suggest a better diagnosis for children with RAD is Developmental Trauma Disorder (DTD).

The Diagnostic and Statistics Manual (DSM 5), which is always slow to add new diagnoses of any kind, says RAD is caused by traumatic experiences before the age of five. There have been some critical objections to that age limit, but for the most part children under five don’t have the mental capabilities to fight off the results of trauma.

There is a good article I recommend called “Learn how to recognize the signs, symptoms, and effects of reactive attachment disorder.” The Resource Treatment Center provides comprehensive mental health and psychiatric treatment for youth who are suffering from RAD.

This article really goes into great detail about RAD and all the issues the children have. If you need help locating the article, please let me know – I’ll help you find it.

I read a continuing education article from the American Psychology Association on the subject of Developmental Trauma Disorder (DTD) which I found very interesting and described RAD behaviors in children better than anything I’ve read on the subject.

Here’s an article that might explain it better: Developmental Trauma Disorder – A new, rational diagnosis for children with complex trauma histories by: Bessel A. van der Kolk, MD.


Being informed is the best thing and I think the new designation of DTD is much better than RAD – you know, more alphabet soup!

If you get a chance to read any of these articles, I’d love to hear from you. My email is

Thanks for reading my blog.

N. Ann Lamphere, MSW

Help for Families of R.A.D. Kids

anns face old

I wish I had an open door to talk to adoption social workers all over the country. I would like to talk to them about families in distress because of Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) and the lack of help available to these families.

Every day, I hear stories of families who need help, but no one wants to do it. I want to hear why this is so common. Are these families so scary or do you feel inadequate to help the families?

I can tell anyone who will listen, I understand. I’ve parented a RAD child. I may never have all the answers, but I will try to offer support, ideas for out-of-home placements and offer a shoulder to cry on.

There are times I want to reach through a computer screen and hug an angry parent. It’s really hard to see so many families torn apart by an angry, hurtful child and then being told they didn’t love the child enough.


I’m only one person. I would do everything in my power to help every family with a RAD child, but I can’t. I need to find other social workers willing to realize it’s not the current parents that have made their child behave the way he or she does.

One of the best things for a traumatized child often times is a different family. When they first enter a stable, loving family, children bring along all the issues that caused their trauma and then cause more trauma.

I get sick to my stomach when I think what adult humans can do to a child. I see children who act out sexually because a slime-bag adult took out their need for control and assaulted the child in indescribable torture.

I see parents who recognize the child’s situation and want to rescue that child, only to discover the child doesn’t appreciate their caring and is unthankful to be saved.  

I have been a child advocate for 40 years. I have fought judges and case workers for children. I’ve been a reviewer of foster care files for a group trying to reform the foster care system in Utah. Reading those files would leave me crying, trying to shake off the lack of support any parent had because the people in power just didn’t care.

I’m sitting here in my little office wondering how to reach retired or semi-retired social workers and get them to volunteer and help these families. I do believe in being a caring, loving person to people in need.

If someone knows a person that would love to get involved, please email me at

Thanks for reading my blog.

N. Ann Lamphere, MSW

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