starting out

(6 Posts)
Mersea Tue 20-May-14 15:00:42

We are starting to look at the adoption process and as a starting point we are looking for an agency to go with. Does anyone have any thoughts on local authority or volunteer agency? What is the main difference and is one better than the other in terms of time, training opportunities or after support available? Cheers

Hels20 Tue 20-May-14 16:12:18

Hi Mersea and welcome to the board.

Look at this thread from earlier in the year. It should answer a lot of your questions. Any further questions - just post!

I went with a VA because the LA wouldn't accept me (I was too white...) but I didn't realise then that you can actually try and get approved by another LA (I live in the South East, so actually there are quite a few LAs that I could have gone to within 40 min drive).

Good luck.

Meresa I was going to say there are currently several other threads on this so you may find some help from them too. Good luck.

Mersea Tue 20-May-14 22:34:27

Thank you. I had a look at the other thread and it was very useful. by the way has anyone heard of fostering to adopt?

64x32x24 Tue 20-May-14 23:03:34

Hi Mersea,
we are open to fostering to adopt/concurrent planning, and precisely because of that, we went with a LA rather than a VA. Though if we could have, we would have gone with Coram (a VA that specialises in concurrency) but we are too far away for them.
I believe the VA we talked to might very well have prepared us better for concurrent planning/fostering to adopt, than did the LA we went with. However, despite their reassurances, we just couldn't see how a VA would be placing many children in concurrency/FtA placements. When a LA has a baby who would be suitable for a concurrency placement, the baby will have to be placed quickly (we're talking about days here, normally) - so presumably the LA will do a brief check to see if they have any approved adopters available who'd be willing to consider concurrency, and if not, they'd find a 'standard' foster placement. Only if they don't have any foster places available, will they look further afield including VAs and even then, they'd most likely be asking VAs for fostering places rather than concurrency places. So if you wanted to do FtA/concurrent planning and went with a VA (that didn't work in conjunction with LAs, as Coram does), you might have a very long wait.
Also, you might say that one advantage of VAs is that you look for matches nationally. However with concurrency you cannot really go too far from where you live, as you'll need to do frequent contact sessions. So this 'advantage' would be negated. FtA on the other hand is usually employed in order to place a child with their future adopters a bit sooner, before placement order has gone through; if such a FtA placement cannot be found by the LA locally, they won't be sending out to the VAs to find a FtA placement, but rather, will keep the child at their current foster placement, and will keep looking for adopters until the placement order comes through, and beyond. In general. (That's just our thought processes, but no-one has been able to tell me otherwise)

Mersea Tue 20-May-14 23:16:14

Thank you 64x32x24 that is very useful. I will do some more research and see if we can attend an information event in our area.

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