Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on adoption.
Do SWs tend to mind re CWW and BMF?(11 Posts)
To extend the necessarily shortened title, sorry for those who don't know all the acronyms (who does?!), does it put SW noses out of joint if approved adopters sign up to either Children Who Wait or Be My Parent?
I know that there's an (in our LA) unwritten expectance that adopters don't go onto the National Adoption Register for the first three months after panel but are these websites treated any differently?
I know there is no rush and we will find our child. I also know we have had to say no to countless family occasions, shared holidays and, in my case, gigs because we have no idea when and how 2014 is going to change. That's before we get into how my work is coping wondering when I am going to go off and leave my caseload. So while we are theoreticallly not in a hurry, it would sure help with life to move things on asap.
Ou new SW clearly doesn't go as fast as previous ones, she is presumably very busy and we appreciate that. So we would like to look ourselves. We have a fairly broad remit and hope we would find a number of potential matches if we signed up.
But I note that to sign up you have to give your SW's details so the website can (of course) check you are assessed, DBA cleared and approved. That's my question. Do SW say no? Or change their attitude? Or do they see it as an additional helpful thing which the adopters can do themselves?
We have been signed up to BMP since before we were approved. I see it as sort of 'research' - understanding the range of possible backgrounds, and thus getting some sort of context for when our SW shows us a profile. BMP didn't need any SW confirmation. There is one place where you need to agree for them to check if your DBS is ok, but you can sign up without that if you want. Apparently there will just be a few things you can't access but it has never bothered me. I think CWW may be stricter re: checks with SW.
Sorry that doesn't really answer your question. Our SW was happy for us to browse BMP but under the understanding that the first 3 months were 'reserved'. So even if we saw a perfect profile there, we wouldn't proceed with it in any way until the three months were past.
I am not sure I can answer your question Choccy but my feeling is that social workers all vary and so some may mind and some may not. I do know of one couple approved who had such a narrow remit (for legitimate reasons) and so their social worker knew they would be searching further afield from the start and was OK with that.
For us, our remit (if that is the right word, maybe criteria would be better) was broader and so our county felt quite sure they would match us and did not want to share us with anyone else! Very flattering and all that but frustrating as early on I was all eager beaver and wanted to get going. So our county was having an activity day (where kids were present) but it was six months away. After we were approved to adopt I looked on the Internet and found a BAAF activity day that was only about a month off. I needed to ask our social worker to refer us and she said no. Because we were only approved a month and needed to wait three, and as the event was a month off we would still only be two months in.
So all I can conclude from this is it depends, it depends if your country/authority or whatever feel they have a chance of matching you in a reasonable time etc. As we all know the social workers job is to find families for children and not children for adopters so they don't need to pass you on before the three months! that is my understanding. Of course if you do adopt outside your area they get paid and so better (IMHO) for you to go elsewhere and them get paid than to hang on and eventually lose heart! Also better for kids and parents to get the right match!
As far as I am aware you could sign up to CWW and BMP and if you are a month away from being three months in you could then pursue kids after that month even if the social worker was not keen for you to do so, but why not just chat it through with them?
PLEASE someone correct me if I have got it all wrong!
Have you looked at adoption link too? I mentioned it to our sw and she says she's done us a profile but not made it live yet. Might be worth a look?
I haven't got anything up to date to say about CWW or BMP.
But I wanted to pick up on something else you wrote.
I also know we have had to say no to countless family occasions, shared holidays and, in my case, gigs because we have no idea when and how 2014 is going to change. That's before we get into how my work is coping wondering when I am going to go off and leave my caseload
I hope you aren't putting your life too much on hold. It took us 15 months after approval panel before we first heard about our children. Even after hearing about them it took 2 months to get to panel.
So Work will just have to cope, just as if someone suddenly became ill. Actually it will be easier as you will have 8 weeks or so to give them a heads up and to start handing over your work.
Shared holidays - yes I can see if these are being arranged a long time in advance that would be a problem. We didn't book any holidays more than 3 months ahead.
No to countless family occasions - I would say yes but warn them there is a possibility you may have to cancel (but again you would be able to give much more notice than if you were just ill on the day).
Best wishes for a match soon.
We have considered Adoption Link but that seems a step further than these two Profile websites, it certainly requires agreement from a SW (looking at the sign-up form). So I haven't dared go on there as yet.
I realise there is no timescale but for better or worse, subconsciously we are hoping our AC will be here by Christmas, maybe it's natural to put our own boundaries on it, whatever actually happens...maybe we were given to believe things would happen quicker than they have. So we have had to say no to things this year and it's difficult to make plans. But I guess we could just keep everything going until we are actually matched...somehow that's not what has happened.
SW hasn't replied to my questions about this. I think we will sign up for one. I have far more time and personal inclination to peruse profiles than she does, having a job to do which doesn't just involve finding us a match!
I think the whole "local children for local adopters" mindset of sws / agencies is very problematic and needs to change. Who is to say that the very best match for you will be found in the relatively small number of children in one Local Authority, as opposed to the hundreds / thousands waiting in the rest of the UK?
Asking adopters to not consider children outside of the local area serves no interests except, perhaps, the organisational interests of the agency. Yes they used their resources to approve you, but they will be paid handsomely for this if you are placed with a child from elsewhere. What matters most is that children find the parents who can best meet their specific needs, and what are the chances of this if all councils are 'hanging on' to their own adopters?
As far as I know, Local Authorities aren't actually allowed to restrict their adopters from considering other children from the outset. The problem is adopters are led to believe this is not only allowed but perfectly reasonable by their social workers. They may think they know best which child is right for you, and they may try to persuade you that this will be a child in the care of their own Local Authority. Well I'm sorry, but who's life it is that is going to be affected by this monumental decision? Children, and their new parents... not the social worker.
(sorry for the rant... it makes me cross)
BTW, using Adoption Link doesn't need agreement from your agency - only an ID check for security. How you then use it is up to you, a bit like buying CWW or BMP. Nearly 250 adopters are using it at the moment, so it's becoming more mainstream. You can see their stats here: https://www.adoptionlink.co.uk/pages/about
We are having another look at AdoptionLink, thanks.
To update (sorry to witter on, I truly believe there is a condition called 'matchingitis' ), we have joined Be My Parent and Adoption Link.
Our SW was fine with this.
Less than two hours after joining AL we were contacted by a SW with a potential match (we aren't going to go further with it but blimey!).
Today I got confirmation from a SW that a child we enquired about on BMP is already matched. This according to my LA is why they only show one child to one adopter. I now have the experience of this happening and my thoughts are that yes, there is a twinge of disappointment as we had discussed this child at length, however we had not had all their details so were not 'mentally linked' and the chance to discuss a child with those particular needs has helped us as a couple.
So I still lean towards looking at more than one child at once. Life has felt so much better over the past week knowing we are actively looking as well as our LA SW.
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