6 weeks since we finished prep! Medicals & DBS completed...(10 Posts)
And we've heard nothing!! Other than our referees receiving a short questionnaire we have had nothing..
Is this normal?
Are you applying to a LA or voluntary organisation. I'm guessing it's a LA. They should have been in touch with you before now, even if it was just to say they were not yet able to begin your assessment. LA social workers are usually very "snowed under" but more in child protection than adoption. Did they give you any indication at the prep group how long it would take to do assessments?
I am a retired sw and team manager for a Fostering & Adoption team, and we always kept applicants "in the loop" and made sure that they knew what was the next step, so I don't think it's good that you haven't heard anything, and this is almost certainly because of workloads. Even so I would expect them to give you an idea about timescales for starting your assessment. I'm afraid waiting can be the name of the game as far as fostering and adoption is concerned and I know things have changed a lot since I retired in 2009.
Why don't you give the social workers who ran the prep group a ring and ask if they have any idea when they can begin the assessment. Your application will be grinding through the system but it's not good practice to leave applicants in the dark and wondering what's happening.
I think there are some new timescales laid down by the govt for adoption, but many LAs are very short of social work staff and if this is the case in your LA, that will also cause a problem. Best thing to do is start phoning the sws as it could take several days to reach them, if they happen to be out, on leave/off sick, on a course etc etc. Think you will find you often have to give social workers a nudge.
Thanks NanaNina you're guessing right! We'll give them a bell, but agree it would be nice to be kept in the loop. During prep they did mention the 6 month time line which I guess is do-able as they seem to be doing all the checks prior to HA. thanks for replying its appreciated. Hope you are having a relaxing retirement ;)
I think it's 6 months from when they start your assessment and you haven't started yet. But I'm a bit out of date-someone else might know?
Nina is right, they are very snowed under and unless you are considering adopting a hard to place child/children , they won't prioritise you . Sorry, but it's a long slow process . Try not to get too stressed.
As I understand the current process, potential adopters should get to panel within 6 months of the date of their formal application. If that's not achieved the LA has to justify the reasons for the delay and it will show in stats used to compare performance.
Hi. It is six months but in two stages.
When you completed the registration of interest form they had 5 days to tell you whether you were accepted. Once they did they had 2 months to complete all your checks.
They notify you that they are fine. You can then progress to stage 2 but can take a break of upto 6 months - this is your decision.
When you want to start stage 2 they have 4 months to complete the assessment, go to panel and get the decision.
They should offer you training in both stages.
This seems within normal time scales to me.
We were at your stage in September of 2005. We got called a few days before christmas to be told who our SW would be and when she is hoping to start our home study. We then started the home study in February, were approved in May, matched in June and bought DS home in September 2006.
It's so hard to be patient but if it's any consolation we were the last couple to start our home study out of our prep group but the first to be matched and to bring our baby home.
NanaNina - please I need some advise, can you pm me. I have no idea how to pm on here and have been advised by someone that you give great advise. Thank you so much X
Hi waiting, we are/were in a very similar situation. Signed up mid November, were sent the forms for DBS and medicals and invited to prep course (beginning Dec). We did the prep course which was run by a different LA and never heard anything from 'our' LA anymore.
So, we called them several times back in December, in order to get the DBS forms signed off - if not for our initiative, they would still be here, waiting to be picked up by a SW.
We were given a phone number for 'our' SW and an admin assistant. However 'our' SW moved out of the team and we weren't allocated anyone else.
So at around 6 weeks since prep course, we started calling the admin assistant, pretty much once every two days. She was eager to help but didn't know anything, she gave us managers' phone numbers but we never reached anyone and they never called us back despite promises.
At around 8 weeks since prep course (so after two weeks of badgering that poor admin assistant) we called the duty number instead and finally got some information - due to vacancies there was in fact no-one on our case but we would be allocated someone shortly. And indeed a week later we had our first assessment meeting with our new SW.
So, lessons learned:
- Sometimes when you are waiting, it isn't the case that your application is 'grinding' through the system; sometimes it is just 'languishing' and been pretty much forgotten.
- Sometimes you need to make a nuisance of yourself and insist on being told what's happening/what the delay is. (I understand that they might not have time for you right now, but they should at least let you know!)
- Some LAs seem not to be fussed by the 8 weeks time scale for stage 1. Ours has now been more like 11 but ONLY because WE kept pushing.
- Once you do have a SW allocated and have started stage 2, things can be VERY different - we have 3 assessment meetings with her within 10 days now...
I think every la must just do things differently, and if you don't feel informed then give them a call.
We initially enquired in November and a resource worker came out for a chat and said shed put our names forward for prep group and social worker but that it would be January before we heard.
We've now just had our 4th prep group yesterday, last one next Saturday.
We met our allocated social worker this week for the first time. She came out with a resource worker, had a good discussion with us and took lots of Notes. Her and the rw then agreed that it does sound like the right time for us etc, and left us the formal app form, medical questionnaires and pvg forms. We have to call her on Monday, then she will come to collect our completed forms. The day after she has our forms, they get date stamped and the social work team have 6 months from that date to get us to panel. She says that as of next week, she will most likely be visiting us weekly, and that as she has already managed to get quite a lot of info from us we may end up at panel sooner. I'm not getting too focused on timings tho as things happen that can end up with delays etc and I don't wanna get stressed out, I want to enjoy it as best as I can.
Hopefully you hear soon x
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