changing adoption agencies

(16 Posts)
MoJangled Tue 29-Apr-14 18:13:34

Inspired by some of your responses to the stonewalling problems I've been having with my LA (taken 8 months to do the 2 month Stage 1, now not allocating a SW for HS to prioritise other adopters, with no timescale on when we might be ptogressed), I have bitten the bullet and spoken to neighbouring LAs about transferring. They're evidently a bit hmm about the situation, but dont have a process for dealing with transfers in non exceptional circumstances. I've sent a very polite email to my LA asking whether they can give us a timescale to progress with HS, and whether they'd be willing to share their assessment so far with another LA if they can't progress us, and am desperately hoping I haven't blown it entirely.

Suppose if my LA still won't progress us, and if we can't transfer, we'll just have to start all over again somewhere <shoulders droop>

Any advice on handling this from you guru ladies?

HappySunflower Tue 29-Apr-14 19:33:52

Have they said why they haven't allocated you a sw?
You could contact BAAF and ask for their advice. I've done that before, did exactly what they advised and it certainly promoted some action.

floatyjosmum Tue 29-Apr-14 20:20:22

To be honest I think I would ask a diff la their timescales as it would prob be quicker to change and redo stage 1.

The guidelines say that they shouldn't accept you for stage 1 if they don't have the staff to complete the work

Good luck Mojangled, it's worth it, stick with it but maybe with a new agency.

MoJangled Tue 29-Apr-14 21:15:45

They say they are prioritising adopters who might take older or difficult to place children (we have a 3.5 year old DS which limits who we might be matched with). I think this is making quite an assumption about these adopters and what their preferences/abilities might be, and at odds with some of the info we were given in Stage 1, but haven't challenged them on it.

Really helpful to know the guidelines say they shouldn't take us on if they can't progress us - do you know where would I find that written down Floaty ?

Thanks for the BAAF suggestion Happy think I'll do that (so used to seeing MN as the authority on everything I didn't think to seek advice elsewhere!)

64x32x24 Tue 29-Apr-14 21:17:59

From one perspective I'd say cut your losses, don't throw good money after bad, all that. You've 'wasted' 8 months with them, why waste any more time? The sooner you switch, the better...

On the other hand, it would be a shame to leave your LA just as things were going to pick up speed. So having timescales from them would be good indeed! FWIW our LA didn't allocate us a SW for some time (not 8 months though!) because they were short of staff. A new SW started work, next day she came to see us, 6 weeks later she basically signed us off. Those were intense 6 weeks but that's how fast things can go once they are moving, especially if you have used to past 8 months to prepare a little.

I believe there IS no protocol for switching LAs. If you leave your LA, you start at the new one from scratch, with the added difficulty that they will query why exactly you left the first one.

On the other hand, your current LA if they are smart, should be glad to have you leaving, as then you wouldn't mess up their statistics. Rather than having to explain why assessment took so long for you, they could just class you as 'self-selected out'. So they shouldn't be wanting to cause you extra problems with your new agency; if they are smart, they should be encouraging you to leave, promising glowing references and any help possible. (I don't think they sound smart though. But who knows.)

MoJangled Tue 29-Apr-14 22:18:19

64 grin

If I'd switched as soon as we were told we weren't being allocated a SW and the new LA did keep to the 2 month timescale, we'd be most of the way to where we are now with the new LA... Good to hear you've come through a similar scenario - hoping this is an effective nudge and we will still do the same (and that they aren't thinking about stats...)

floatyjosmum Tue 29-Apr-14 22:54:20

I can't link as I'm on my phone but if you google adoption stat guidelines 2013 it will be there - make sure it's the 2013 version though.

If you go to the process part it will talk about initial visit within 10 days and registration of interest form and it will be literally just after that - before the pre assessment which is stage 1.

In theory what should happen is you fill in the registration form and get an answer within 5 days and that is the start of stage 1.

During stage 1 they should provide you with some training and possibly a workbook.
You should complete the DBS forms and have your medical whilst they are completing the stat checks and your references.

When you have all that back they decide yes or no. If it's a yes then it's upto you when you go to stage 2.

The government are REALLY wanting the 2 and 4 months to be kept to so I'm surprised any agency is doing this.

In relation to wanting to find adopters for their children they shouldn't be using this as a reason. If your agency doesn't have the right child for you then they should be looking at matching you with a child from elsewhere.

floatyjosmum Wed 30-Apr-14 07:12:28

I've just had another thought ...

If you did move agency they may be able to use the DBS and medical that has already been completed.

MoJangled Wed 30-Apr-14 07:38:17

Brilliant thanks floaty . Duly googled and bookmarked, if the LA take my email badly I will be able to quote this. If we do have to transfer I'd like use all our paperwork including the DBS, medicals, and assessments to date - but who knows if this would be allowed. We have copies of everything apart from the medicals and LA assessments, so some bits would be easier than others...

I'm very sad that it's coming to this though and struggling not to take it personally - hard not to conclude that we evidently aren't seen as very desirable adopters if we're dropped/delayed at every opportunity. We have so much love to share with a child who needs a home, family is our priority and we are lucky enough to have space and resource for more children, and it feels like we've been judged as failing even without completing the process, even though we've passed stage 1. Just my insecurities!

MoJangled Wed 30-Apr-14 19:26:35

Heard back from the LA and alas they seem quite happy to see the back of us. No timescale for progression. But on the upside they have agreed to share their assessments so far with another LA. Which is constructive of them and I'm grateful, but feel very dejected about all this...

namechangesforthehardstuff Wed 30-Apr-14 19:38:28

Chin up Mojangled. You're just not right for them. We were turned down outright by several LAs for having a BC about the same age as yours. We passed panel yesterday and they said some lovely things about what we had to offer so you just need the right LA smile

MoJangled Thu 01-May-14 18:39:48

Thanks namechanges , and way more important than any of this, congratulations on passing the panel!

floatyjosmum Sat 03-May-14 08:17:44

Since saying that you should be able to maedical and DBS etc with you I have learnt that you can do stage 1 with one agency and stage 2 with another!

Please do not take this all personally Mo. It is not a personal thing. Can't remember how old your child is but feel sure he is under 5 (??) if so then with the recommended 2 year gap (some might prefer 2) you would be looking at a 2-3 year old max and maybe your county or agency has a lot of older children? I am not sure where you are geographically but a quick call to your local counties (most areas you would be in the spitting distances of about three maybe, and at least one will have more younger kids. Plus, once approved you can get onto national register.

Apologies if I am wrong here about any factors.

All best wishes.

MoJangled Sun 04-May-14 07:17:21

Thanks guys. DS is 3.5. We always knew that this might mean a longer wait to be matched with a child under 2, but I guess I wasn't expecting them to just refuse to progress us through stage 2. There was no hint of this at stage 1 and we've been left to just work out ourselves that they won't progress us, which is pretty shabby. But never mind! I'm talking to 2 other LAs about possibly taking us on, and my LA is going to see whether anyone in their consortium of 4 LAs is interested in progressing us, so fingers xed!

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