Social Services doing first home visit...ADVICE PLEASE

(53 Posts)
oinker Tue 23-Jun-09 13:09:09

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oinker Tue 23-Jun-09 13:13:30

Whoops........Sorry wasn't sure whether I would remember my password...

Anyway.........

The reason I am on here is to try and get some advice.
DH and I have decided to adopt a child. We started looking into it properly in February and have finally had a little sucess. We have been to numerous Local Authority information evenings/days and finally one of them have said they will do a home visit and speak with us for a few hours. Aparently they are also going to check our home to see if it is suitable. Can anyone give me advice on what the may be expecting from us and our home?
We are due the visit in a weeks time...PLEASE HELP....smile

hifi Tue 23-Jun-09 13:36:23

when they have visited us they have obviously checked you have at least one spare bedroom.
they noted surrounding area, parks, play areas etc.
i would make sure its reasonably tidy, not anally so as they will ask whether you would be able to cope with the paraphernalia a child brings.
hide anything to do with smoking/mask smells.
they also do a health and safety check later, this is more involved. stair/cooker guards. window locks etc.
i would make sure everything is in good
repair aswell.
good luck.

oinker Tue 23-Jun-09 13:41:09

This is good.... We have loads of play areas.. Two within a two minute walk of our home...

What about dogs...We have two working dogs. One lives in the garden (kennel) and the other indoors. They are both really friendly and superb with kids?

Thanks for the tip on window locks..We have two dodgey ones. Will get them fixed.

smile

What will they be asking us? There must be some kind of proforma they stick to...

hifi Tue 23-Jun-09 13:53:15

not sure about dogs.
they mainly want to see how you are as a couple, how you interact. you both need to be comming from the same hymn sheet iyswim. have a plan as to if you are giving up work, a b0nus if you are, how it will impact your lives. what support you have thru family and friends.

hifi Tue 23-Jun-09 13:54:22

sorry to be nosey but have you tried to have a child naturally?

oinker Tue 23-Jun-09 14:10:43

Yes we have...

I have had 8 m/c's. The last one was over a year ago and we have not tried since then. We had long chats and decided not to go through with it again. I have had counselling and had all sorts of test too. They have no idea why I miscarry so what's the point in carrying on trying. I am glad that i am not trying anymore. I feel loads better and less stress thinking about it all the time.

hifi Tue 23-Jun-09 16:14:20

they will ask you whether or not you will try for a natural child again. dh and i had to use contraceptives{well we said we would]while we were waiting for dd.

oinker Tue 23-Jun-09 20:11:38

Thanks for the info.

Is there someone else out there with info too. There must be. Everyone goes through the same process don't they. I hope someone wants to share the information with me.
I have been on my knees tonight scrubbing my old slate kitchen floor. The first time in about 10 years. shock It's been mopped etc but not scrubbed. It looks like a new floor. I hope the Social workers are impressed with me hubby and the floor. grin
I have read all sorts to try and find out what they want and expect...
Any info...??

chegirl Tue 23-Jun-09 20:36:09

Hi Oinker,

So sorry to hear about your m/cs sad

Its been a while since our first visit (6 years). Ours was done as an emergency and we only had a day's notice shock

They are coming to meet you. To get an idea of what sort of people you are, how you relate as a couple and to others. They will want to know why you are thinking of adopting, what are your expectations and how you will adapt to having a child in your lives.

Your home is important because it is a reflection of you but its not important to have a flash, super clean home.

If you had a house that was falling apart, damp and you all lived in one room whilst the others were filled with newspapers and old toilet paper, this would raise concerns smile.

I know its tempting to put on a show because this is so important to you BUT dont. Be yourself and be honest and open. The adoption process is long and can be gruelling. There is nothing to be gained from trying to say and do what you think social services want.

There is no harm in giving your house a great big clean and scrubbing everything in sight. I used to do it EVERY time a social worker came within 10 feet of my house. It helped me feel in control and relaxed. I also used to make sure I had some special 'social worker' biscuits in grin

They will want to discuss your dogs. It is common (though no inevitable) for traumatised children to be spiteful towards animals. They will also want to know that you are willing to put the child first even though you love your dogs. I have heard people proclaim that if an adopted child didnt get on with the dogs the child would have to go (during a prep course) shock. I love my animals but ffs!

I wish you all the best and good luck.

oinker Wed 24-Jun-09 13:06:01

Thanks for the reply.
I really do appreciate it.
I can't beleive some people.... The dogs bit did make me laugh. Though I love the dogs they are working dogs and if necessary would have to go. DH would adapt to working without them. He would not lose his job he would just be moved to a different department.

Thanks again

smile

Kewcumber Wed 24-Jun-09 16:26:42

Lets think... (wracks memory for something nearly five year ago now shock)

Clean every bedroom, change all bedding, remove all evidence of anything which looks "not child friendly", house looks bare without all "non-child friendly" things so put half back, dye hair to remove all evidence of grey and try to lose 4.5 stone in 3 days, practice calm and wise smile in front of mirror, visit friend with child to remind myself what they are like and so I can say "oh when I saw X yesterday" reinforcing my terribly child-friendly life, try to recall if have any friedns who adopted so I can drop them into conversation then recall that my aunt was adopted "duh"!

The reality:

Very nice woman sat and drank a glass of water in my living room and never asked to see anywhere else, although did stand in the kitchen whilst I was getting the water. she basically wanted to know if I understood the common issues with adoption, whether I'd thought through going back to work and how much time I could take off. She seemed to be trying to assess whether I was pretty normal, that I knew adiotn could be tough and that I would be able to be flexible with my working arrangements.

All that cleaning wasted <<sigh>>

Good luck I found the early stages very frusttrating but very exciting to have given up on the soul destroying bio route and moved in hopeful territory again.

chegirl Wed 24-Jun-09 20:50:06

LOL at kew. Dont forget the 'scrub out the insides of the kitchen cupboards just incase they need to inspect them'

Oh and making sure you memorised the ethnic backgrounds of all your friends, their partners and extended family, any interesting 'differences' and disabilities that you could drop in to prove how open you are grin

I admit to pulling out my DC's toys and artfully placing their multi racial toys and books around the place.

beemail Wed 24-Jun-09 22:29:07

This is a first visit and so you need to remember that all you are doing is trying to create a good first impression and leave them wanting to take it further.
We just made sure house was reasonably but not obsessively tidy as others have said. Some books and newpapers lying around - not so tidy that you might create the impression that you'd find all the clutter from a child's presence difficult.
Create the impression of having space in your lives as well as in the house for a child. A social worker told me she finds it awkward if a couple are too physically demonstrative towards each other - many children with disturbed backgrounds can find this difficult. Animals may limit the number of children for whom you would be considered but may be a distinct advantage for some.
I think she need to show that you are open , flexible, easy to work with, able to talk easily about yourselves your backgrounds and hopes for the future.
Above all be yourselves because I do think that you really can't be anything else whilst going through the process.
LOL at Kews tidy/untidy routine! I think we all feel some anxiety before that first visit and usually more relaxed as the home study progresses. Good luck.

oinker Fri 26-Jun-09 10:31:28

THIS IS ALL SUPERB....

THANKS

It has made me laugh....

I have jsut finished scrubbing my kitchen.... It looks new.... I have re tiled the floor (removed cracked old one) Cleaned them of wax.... Re coated them and treated the them...It looks superb... I have also scrubed clean all the worktop tiles.... Beleive me the Social worker WILL grin come in the kitchen with me.... I WILL make sure they appreciate all my hard work wink grin

chegirl Fri 26-Jun-09 21:17:57

Good luck oinker

Oh and dont forget the social worker biscuits (hobbnobbs or similar) grin

hester Fri 26-Jun-09 21:41:35

Hi oinker, yes do a bit of a clean and tidy up (but don't make it look clinical - no risk of that in my pit of squalor!), put the dogs out, bake some biscuits...

I guess every social worker is different, but my guess is that they may want to ask you about:

- how ready you are to move on from your fertility problems, and whether they are truly resolved;
- what you know about adoption, whether you know anybody who has adopted or been adopted, whether you have a realistic understanding of what is involved and what the needs of adopted children may be;
- whether you have good supportive family, friends, people who can be there for you and a child;
- whether you are prepared to put a child's need before the dogs';
- what your initial thoughts are about what kind of child you could take on i.e. one child or sibling group, age, sex, any disabilities or special needs;
- whether this is truly a joint project for you, whether you are 'together' as a couple and can work through problems and difficulties as a team;
- any experience you have had of caring for children, what this has taught you, what you know about normal child development and how this can be affected by the experiences adopted children have often gone through.

But probably not all on the first visit!

Try to relax - I am nearly at the end of the home study process and our social worker has been unfailingly pleasant, polite and respectful.

Good luck and let us know how you get on.

oinker Mon 29-Jun-09 07:22:08

Thanks for the helpful advice.
Things have been a bit hectic this weekend. SKIDS were over...They are teenagers and hormonal.
House is now clean and tidy. We are now tackiling the front garden. It is so overgrown. This hot weather is going to have to subside before we get the work done. It has been far too hot to do anything.
I will keep you all posted...
Hester, I will be tracking you down for more info. should we get through the home visit. smile

Thanks again smile

hester Mon 29-Jun-09 16:58:15

Please do, oinker, it will be great to chat some more.
Good luck smile

oinker Tue 07-Jul-09 13:45:51

Did it.............

I felt it went well. They will call us tomorrow with an answer. Hopefully they will say we can join the next prep group which starts at the end of July....

oinker Wed 08-Jul-09 06:03:09

Today is the dreaded day.....

I really hope they say yes.

.....FINGERSCROSSED..... I am expecting a phone call at twoish

bumptiousandbustly Wed 08-Jul-09 09:45:12

Just wanted to say good luck, fingers crossed for you.

Kewcumber Wed 08-Jul-09 09:51:03

good luck

hifi Wed 08-Jul-09 11:25:18

good luck!

Pinkjenny Wed 08-Jul-09 11:27:52

Good luck oinker! Have everything crossed for you!

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