Social Services doing first home visit...ADVICE PLEASE

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

KKKKKKKKKKKkk

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!

oinker Wed 08-Jul-09 12:20:54

This is killing me................

The wait is awful...

Feel sick...

Have had DH on phone he is feeling the same...

oinker Wed 08-Jul-09 12:21:58

Thanks for the support smile

april74 Wed 08-Jul-09 12:45:45

good luck, I am sure it be fine, but you can't help being nervous.

Pinkjenny Wed 08-Jul-09 15:56:18

<paces nervously>

Kewcumber Thu 09-Jul-09 11:15:37

is she still alive, d'you think? <<bites nails>>

Pinkjenny Thu 09-Jul-09 11:25:29

I even did a search under her name this morning! <stalker>

Perhaps she and dh have been celebrating all night and not yet surfaced <clutches at straws>.

oinker Thu 09-Jul-09 11:57:59

Pinkjenny....

You guessed right...

YEAHhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

They said yes...... grin

They have even changed the prep day courses to suit us. We were planning on flying back from spain for the one of the days cos their course clashed with our holiday...

We are over the moon.

I realise that things will be tough but...

BRING IT ON !!!!!!! grin

Pinkjenny Thu 09-Jul-09 12:00:25

HOOOOOOOOOOOOOORAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Congratulations, will follow your progress with nosiness interest!!

smile smile smile

hifi Thu 09-Jul-09 13:11:13

well done!

hester Thu 09-Jul-09 22:18:45

Fantastic news! Well done grin

oinker Fri 10-Jul-09 06:57:00

Now for the next steps....

What happens at the preparation day courses...?

Does anyone remember.

All advice and details greatly appreciated smile

hester Fri 10-Jul-09 10:52:22

I thought the prep course was really useful. For us it was three days, and they were exhausting and emotional. They basically take you through a whole lot of issues you need to think about- why children enter the care system, impact of abuse and neglect on development, attachment disorders, how children may act out loss and trauma, post-adoption support, contact with birth families...

The session I remember best, which was incredibly valuable, was one in which we explored the different ways you may need to parent birth children and adopted children - for example, how 'time out' might work well for a birth child but be really damaging for a child who has been kept locked in a room.

Lots of people also find prep course a great source of networking and mutual support - like the adopters' NCT. This didn't happen for me - the others were perfectly nice, but we had nothing in common (not least because they were all in burkhas and I am a Jewish lesbian grin) but it was still interesting to meet them all and hear their stories.

One word of warning: you are told to be open and honest on the course, and of course you should be, but it DOES form part of the assessment process. One of our group took issue with the ethnic matching policy, and I do wonder if that might have blotted her copybook.

On the other hand, it may surprise you to hear (it surprised me) that by the time you get on to prep course they are assuming that you will probably get approved (no guarantee, obviously). In fact, they told us that they already had children in mind for some of us (not for me, sadly!).

So enjoy it, learn from it, be prepared to feel exhausted, emotionally wrung out, and very challenged. But I think you'll find it very worthwhile.

oinker Fri 10-Jul-09 11:04:54

Thanks again..... smile

oinker Sat 17-Oct-09 16:42:10

UPDATE...........

Had the first home visit....... All went well
Did the 4 preparation days all went well.
We are now well and truly on the path.
Have had a social worker assigned and done my first bit of homework in 20 odd years...

It's sooooooooooooooooooooo exciting.... grin

hester Sun 18-Oct-09 21:30:32

Hi oinker, so pleased to hear from you and that it went well. Did you like your social worker?

My update is that we have finally been approved and the search for our child is now on smile

Kewcumber Mon 19-Oct-09 10:27:29

Congratulations, each step is one less towards your goal.

NanaNina Mon 19-Oct-09 11:44:00

Hi Oinker - I am posting from a slighty different perspective. I retired 5years ago after 25 years as a social worker and manager in fostering and adoption. I now work independently mostly assessing prosepctive foster carers and adoptors. I think it is really helpful that you are being given good advice by others who have gone through the process. Your social worker should be able to deal with any issues that might arise and any queries that you have. Please don't hesitate to raise anything that is worrying you or needs further explanation.

Not sure if your sw mentioned it and she/he probably did but I thought I'd mention you might find it helpful to google "Adoption UK" and "BAAF" (British Agencies for Fostering & Adoption) as there is a wealth of information available from these national organisations.

Good luck with your assessment and beyond!

KristinaM Mon 19-Oct-09 18:37:06

well done oinker

i agree with nina, you shdoul consider joining Adoption Uk and going along to your local group. You will get so much useful information from other adopters in your area and their first hand experiences of your local SS.

best of all, you will hear about their children and the joys and challenges they bring. It will help you work out what kind of child would be best suited to your family

at the beginning , most people start out with

" oh we don't care, just any child aged under x, we will love them anyway"

however, the whole process will be much easier for you and your SW if you can do a lot of work on what things you think you could and could not handle.

HTH

LittlePushka Sun 06-Dec-09 23:03:39

Hello Team,....just stalking your ppost and wondered if you'd any more news.

(I am stalking because I have a dear, dear friend of many years standing who is setting out on this road and I'd just like to know a little more about personal experiences so as to understand more of the issues.

muli Mon 07-Dec-09 19:46:47

be yourself and dont worry to much and be prepared to learn patients and to go with the flow cause before you know it your adopted child will be with you.A few thing!!! , any on going pregnancy issues need to be reslovled, ivf,etc! you need to show them your mentally ready and both you and your partner feel the same about the adoption.We started in febuary 2008 home visit, followed by 4wk induction course going once a week,then by feb 2009 we went to panel to be approved,we then realised after being approved it was the hardest part of the journey just waiting for our social worker to call ,we subscribe to be my parent brochure where it shows photo's and profiles of children waiting ,to which you can do now just for a look cause if you were to find a child in there and your in the process you may speed things up, (that one depends!!! )I reccommend once you've been approved to do your own research , your social worker will suggest you do your own profole as parents and send them out to differnt adoption agancies, plus after 3months after being approved your social worker should register you on the adoption register , the adoption register is where all adoption agancy look to match parents with children, plus you can register yourself on line and call them once a month to see how many enqiures into you as a couple have been made, plus they will invite you to adoption profile days, but all this is ahead of you at the moment so get on board the soooner the better because you'll know how you feel about things as you go along, just keep in mind it will happen, .
wishing you well,

muli.x

we've been matched now with a little girl and will be starting the new year with her, yeehaaaaa

muli Mon 07-Dec-09 19:48:29

be yourself and dont worry to much and be prepared to learn patients and to go with the flow cause before you know it your adopted child will be with you.A few thing!!! , any on going pregnancy issues need to be reslovled, ivf,etc! you need to show them your mentally ready and both you and your partner feel the same about the adoption.We started in febuary 2008 home visit, followed by 4wk induction course going once a week,then by feb 2009 we went to panel to be approved,we then realised after being approved it was the hardest part of the journey just waiting for our social worker to call ,we subscribe to be my parent brochure where it shows photo's and profiles of children waiting ,to which you can do now just for a look cause if you were to find a child in there and your in the process you may speed things up, (that one depends!!! )I reccommend once you've been approved to do your own research , your social worker will suggest you do your own profole as parents and send them out to differnt adoption agancies, plus after 3months after being approved your social worker should register you on the adoption register , the adoption register is where all adoption agancy look to match parents with children, plus you can register yourself on line and call them once a month to see how many enqiures into you as a couple have been made, plus they will invite you to adoption profile days, but all this is ahead of you at the moment so get on board the soooner the better because you'll know how you feel about things as you go along, just keep in mind it will happen, .
wishing you well,

muli.x

we've been matched now with a little girl and will be starting the new year with her, yeehaaaaa

LittlePushka Thu 07-Jan-10 20:39:24

Muli, oinker, Hester....any news lately?

Wondering how you are going along.

oinker Fri 26-Mar-10 17:04:44

Quick update.....

We have a panel date soon !!

KristinaM Fri 26-Mar-10 19:18:07

oh thats great - do keep us updated smile

and you are moving pretty quickly - IIRC you only started this properly last february?

have you decided what age group / number of children etc you are going for?

dolphin13 Fri 26-Mar-10 19:19:59

Hi oinker, I'm new to mn but am a foster carer and adoptor.

Just wanted to say good luck. It must be so exciting to finally be so close.

Are you hoping for a baby, boy/girl, don't mind, and do you still have the dogs.

Fingers crossed for you.

Silver1 Fri 26-Mar-10 22:33:37

When I went to panel I packed odd shoes we had to dash out and buy some and we were first on! smile

All the best.

shockers Fri 26-Mar-10 22:53:51

Hi oinker... just came across your thread and wanted to add my good wishes. I'm very excited for you. We have 2 adopted DCssmile

oinker Wed 31-Mar-10 09:32:26

You are all very kind and thoughtful. We are quite excited but still nervous. The dogs are still with us and have not been an issue fir social services. We are trying to re home the older one.
In response to what we are after we have asked for 0-4 not bothered whether it's a boy or girl and would take on siblings too.
Thanks again for your messages.

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