How clean?

(58 Posts)
nervouslurker Sun 18-May-14 22:17:17

So, home visit this week- I'm right at the start. I've seen people joking on here about biscuits etc. So, a) chocolate hob nobs? Everyone loves those, right? Or should it be home made victoria sponge? And b) how clean does the house need to be? I'm assuming the fact that the homework table will have homework piled on it, etc is okay? Will the SW want a tour of the house at this stage? I use a floordrobe, do I need to madly sort this?

Sorry if this is annoying, and you have hundreds of threads on this- could you point me in their direction? Thanks.

CarCiKoTab Sun 18-May-14 22:26:04

Just relax, I unfortunately don't have any experience what so ever in adoption but I certainly take my hat off to you! Now I probably wouldn't worry about the house being too clean, you want it to be child friendly/safe I imagine and just be yourself, you clearly want this. If your worried about things such as the floordrobe, tidy it but, I can't imagine it being a contributing factor. Biscuits may be nice but don't stress yourself out just make sure you relax and enjoy it. Hope this has helped.

MyFeetAreCold Mon 19-May-14 00:11:11

As long as you're within the realms of normal, it'll be fine. I shouldn't imagine she'll want a tour, ours didn't - didnt even use the loo... If it worries you that much put a throw over the floordrobe and call it furniture. wink

Child-friendly wont matter either at this point.

Good luck!

LocoParentis Mon 19-May-14 00:42:53

Yes chocolate hob nobs, (milk or dark is the tough decision).
Personally I'd make sure the house was definitely clean and relatively tidy. I wouldn't worry about the homework stuff but I'd absolutely rehome the floordrobe to the bottom of the wardrobe just in case.
Ours didn't ask to see the house on the initial visit but did visit the loo so had to walk through a fair bit of the house to get to it. I think others have taken their SW around the house on the first visit so I would err on the side of caution.
Good luck

nervouslurker Our social worker did want to look around. I am guessing she wanted to check we had the space, so we did up the room as it would be for little one. I did go mad cleaning but not saying you should. Having 'evidence' of child/children around is probably a very good thing. Good luck.

HappySunflower Mon 19-May-14 07:30:30

My visiting SW wanted to look round too.
I did tidy and clean everywhere, for starters it was one less thing to worry about, secondly, it burned off some nervous energy.
My (now dd's) bedroom was a junk room when she came and was piled high with car boot sale stuff and Christmas decorations. She was fine with that but just needed to see that I had the space for the child to have eir own bedroom.
Homework stuff-leave it. They will want to see normal living too!

Polkadotpatty Mon 19-May-14 09:56:28

I cleaned like a lunatic. Then two-thirds of the way round the house started to panic that it now looked too obsessively clean to be comfy for a child! I had no choice but to continue though, as stopping would have looked even odder grin

My SW(s) have all wanted to have a nose around, but they have only stuck their head into each room to see that it looked safe and wasn't secretly housing a monster / ten sets of bunk beds for lodgers / some kind of weapons cache.

As long as your place looks moderately organised and the important bits (kitchen and bathroom) are clean, sit down and try not to eat all the hobnobs before they get there! Hope all goes well for you smile

UnderTheNameOfSanders Mon 19-May-14 10:28:29

Whatever standard of clean you present for the first home visit, you may feel obliged to keep up for all the subsequent ones!

As long as it's not squalid it'll be fine smile

Polkadotpatty laughing at the ...they have only stuck their head into each room to see that it looked safe and wasn't secretly housing a monster / ten sets of bunk beds for lodgers / some kind of weapons cache.

Kewcumber Mon 19-May-14 12:08:49

Sorry I think chocolate hobnobs are too frivolous - very risky. Choclate digestives a safer bet, if you want to appear intellectual then dark chocolate digestives.

SW will not eat them and will ask for a glass of water which they will also not drink. Someone will try to convince you that their social worker did eat the biscuits and drank a cup of tea but they were an imposter - no social worker even eats teh biscuits its somehwere in the sw code of practice.

Your house must be spotless - cleaning everything twice is good and shove all the floordrobe clothes frantically into a cupboard. SW will not look in your bedroom but will keep you occupied instead of panicking about visit and stop you sitting there thinking "please don;t ask to see the bedrooms,.... please don;t ask to see the bedrooms..."

MrsM2509 Mon 19-May-14 12:16:29

Our sw has never touched a biscuit at ours, she doesn't eat them as I think she's been inundated with biscuits over the years. She has only ever had two cups of tea at ours, but it was basically hot water as she takes it so weak. She does however drink diet coke when she comes round so we always make sure we have that in

MrsM2509 Mon 19-May-14 12:17:31

And kew is spot on about the cleaning! Our sw didn't venture into a room other than our lounge until about her 3rd visit

MissFenella Mon 19-May-14 12:19:46

Clean and tidy as if an aged Aunt was going to visit.

Hels20 Mon 19-May-14 12:31:07

I always wash the kitchen floor and entrance hall (tiled) with Flash lemon an hour before she comes.

More clean than tidy. And I make sure there are no safety hazards.

She won't eat biscuits...or drink tea or coffee...unless v early in morning...

TheSarcasticFringehead Mon 19-May-14 12:52:24

I'd say it should clean but look homely iyswim? So homework table should have homework on, don't have it obsessively clean, make it look like a cleaner version of an average day, not a show room.

I think custard creams, not hobnobs. grin

Mutley77 Mon 19-May-14 13:05:33

I am (was) an assessing social worker! Yes to biscuits and it's a bit 50/50 if I will have one - usually at a first visit I would to make you feel relaxed but otherwise it depends what I have/haven't eaten that day and how worried about my weight I am currently! I always always have tea though (and drink it) even if I have to interrupt myself....

And I don't really look at tidiness (sorry) - would only be worried if house was unhygienically dirty.Overly tidy doesn't worry me as many people keep their house like that (before children!!!)

64x32x24 Mon 19-May-14 13:55:51

Our initial visit SW had a look round the house. We had our poor cat locked in the bathroom because she had been poo-incontinent for a few days (she is quite poorly) and been leaving drops and piles of poo everywhere - yuck - and this way at least it was constrained to the bathroom. SW didn't seem to mind despite the fact that the bathroom literally stank.
Our assessing SW did too on her first visit. Very cursorily though, she didn't even notice that the wardrobe door in DS bedroom was leaning against a wall (waiting to fall on top of a boisterous child) instead of being attached to the wardrobe.

Our assessing SW never took anything I offered, but she did try DP's homemade cakes (in their one-to-one sessions) and clearly liked one kind better than the other. I think the cakes even made it into the PAR!

HappySunflower Mon 19-May-14 15:41:16

My social worker never had a drink or ate the biscuits but the DID eat my cake! Lemon drizzle was her favourite.

Maryz Mon 19-May-14 17:05:39

They will search inside your kitchen cupboards and look for cobwebs under your bed or I might be lying

Aged Aunt visit would be a good benchmark, I think.

But I've never heard of anyone turned down for adoption because their house was untidy or too tidy. The biscuits, however, are vital. Not to eat, mind you, but to provide a topic of conversation.

nervouslurker Mon 19-May-14 18:11:14

Okay, given I'm a WOTH single mother, cleaning everything once is an achievement! I'll sort out my room a bit, at least hide the mess. The playroom is covered in toys... I have plans to build cupboards/shelves, but surely toys are a good thing? I am hoping a few of you are joking here, or you have way way more time than I do! I don't want to set the benchmark too high for future visits. wink

So, homemade cake it is, then. Didn't want to appear too 'try hard', but I suppose when you're saying 'please give me a child', you can't try too hard!

Do I need to mow the lawn?

nervouslurker Mon 19-May-14 18:11:48

And, if they venture into the kitchen cupboard, they'll probably die from an avalanche of pasta on their heads...

nervouslurker Mon 19-May-14 18:13:11

And I have no concerns over being 'overtidy'. I wish. I'll set the pyrolitic oven tonight!

Maryz Mon 19-May-14 18:13:52

Don't worry about it, seriously don't, we are joking - sorry if you took us seriously flowers.

Don't bake unless you do it regularly and enjoy it.

The weekend before hoover and clean the food from under the sofa cushions. In the morning sweep the toys into the corner and clean the bathroom.

Brush your hair.

That's it.

Maryz Mon 19-May-14 18:14:21

And the hair is optional grin

nervouslurker Mon 19-May-14 18:28:53

Phew about the hair! wink

It's this week! The weekend before is gone!

I do love baking, actually, so spending the night before doing that rather than stewing is probably a good plan.

Devora Mon 19-May-14 18:46:21

Mutley, don't lie. You KNOW you don't eat the biscuits - it would make you feel beholden. And as we all know, this is About The Children.

But one has to provide the biscuits as an act of deference and also to show that we're motherly-type feeders.

nervouslurker, good luck! Hide any soft porn (one couple I came across insisted on their human right to keep it displayed) and make your house SMELL nice. But mainly focus on getting you, not your house, into the right state of mind: alert, but calm.

You'll be fine!

nervouslurker Mon 19-May-14 19:30:54

Well, the pyrolitic oven clean was a really bad idea, then. The house now stinks of burning oven stuff smoke. Ooops.

Haha at the soft porn. I'm hiding any overt religious stuff!

Kewcumber Mon 19-May-14 19:39:40

Hide any soft porn my Devora - I've never actually thought to adivse would be adopters to do that. I'll add it to my list.

Who was it, I'm sure it was someone on here, who already had a young child who showed the social worker out to the door carrying said child and bashed their head on the door frame not once but TWICE!!!!

Maryz Mon 19-May-14 19:45:37

She's a single parent WOTH. I bet she has no time for porn, soft or otherwise grin

or for sex for that matter

The smell of burning cake will drown out the smell of burning oven tomorrow, or you can always have fish for tea grin

nervouslurker Mon 19-May-14 19:48:08

If I time/opportunity for sex, I wouldn't be adopting! wink


RhinosAreFatUnicorns Mon 19-May-14 19:49:53

I'm afraid I committed the cardinal sin. I did not offer biscuits, not once shock Having only found MN after DD arrived I was unaware of the etiquette. I made her lots of cups of coffee though (and she didn't appear to hold it against us!)

Maryz Mon 19-May-14 19:50:35

You do know they are going to ask you about that, don't you? Ask Kew about her embarrassing lack of sex conversation.

nervouslurker Mon 19-May-14 19:56:56

I have no coffee! None! Not a drop! shock

I have some Camp Coffee in the cupboard somewhere...

Kewcumber Mon 19-May-14 20:26:11

Oh god no not the sex convo!

nervouslurker Mon 19-May-14 21:09:50

Are any of you religious? Did you leave any evidence of this around the house? Looking about, I'm surprised how much evidence there is! I was presuming I need to play down my faith? (I'm the sort who supports equal marriage etc. I'm a single mum, FFS, I'm obviously not a fundamentalist!)

I'll stop panicking soon.

FamiliesShareGerms Mon 19-May-14 21:10:08

Our SW did eat the home baking (and asked for the recipes) <preen>. But never drank a drop...

I like the Aged Aunt rule of thumb

I think the sex convo might come a few visits in smile

Maryz Mon 19-May-14 21:17:36

I suspect we had a bible or two.

I think bleeding heart statues or shrines on your tv might be a step too far though.

Relax, she's just getting a first look at you; there will be many more meetings to come for you to stress over

HappySunflower Mon 19-May-14 21:19:43

I have a strong faith. I don't think that's very obvious from coming to our home, but I do have quite a few books on the bookshelves and a few pictures with scripture on them dotted around. I didn't hide any of it, and was happy to talk about it when asked, which was a very good thing as my sw was very interested in how my faith might influence or shape the way I parented.

prumarth Mon 19-May-14 22:11:36

On our first visit, we were asked if we kept porn or weapons on open display (we don't!). My jaw dropped. The next question was did we have a lock on the fridge and the distance between our banister railings. We were very confused about what might come up on visit 2!
I agree on dark chocolate digestives - she doesn't eat them but we fall on them when she leaves and scoff the lot as a release from all the anxiety. Then we put the hand grenades back on the fireplace grin

Maryz Mon 19-May-14 22:22:31

weapons or porn? Do they really have to ask?

I mean, what's the answer to that "yes, we usually have a loaded shotgun in the umbrella rack, but we put it away today in case it upset you".


MyFeetAreCold Mon 19-May-14 22:56:39

I kept the recycling in the boot of my car for months in case we were judged firstly for the number of empty bottles but, possibly worse, also our inability to rembember to put it out for collection on the right day.

Maryz Mon 19-May-14 22:58:50

Oh God yes shock

How could I forget.

ds1 showed them our recycling box when we were being assessed for dd. He showed them by pulling it out from where we had hidden it in a cupboard - an entire box of empty wine bottles blush.

Luckily she laughed.

Nonnimouse Tue 20-May-14 19:03:20

Oh this thread is just priceless!
Yes I have always found the "going crazy cleaning" posts made me nervous, with 4 children in the house it is NOT going to be tidy. (At least not MY house!) We go crazy a couple of days before sw visits and aim for "lived in" rather than "omg have you been burgled?!" It has been ok so far.
Yeah and in one visit my dog was so happy to see the sw it did an excited little pee, and another visit my toddler tried to run after us, tripped and got her first ever bloody nose. Good times.

Oopse, that went wrong! I meant this

I am 'religious', well a Christian nervouslurker. We had a picture frame and a wall hanging with a Bible verse on each, nothing too scary! Plus a gorgeous picture of Jesus washing the disciples feet.

On the first day I wore a pink shirt and realised I had a 'Jesus is the key' broach on the lapel!! ha ha, they still let me in.

We do have Bibles on the bookshelf but also a lot of cook books and I am no great cook so I don't think anything in our house was very 'worrying'! I am also very keen on equal marriage and had my place as a member of Accepting Evangelicals in case that question popped up!

Good luck, nervouslurker, when is it.

PS after I was told to lose weight I stopped bringing out he biscuits and started brandishing the fruit bowl!

My lapel badge saying Jesys is the key was tiny. Somewhat like this my lapel badge and very small tiny

So social worker would almost have had to be sitting on my lap to have been 'offended' by it!

Maryz Tue 20-May-14 20:41:57

That's a bit posh, Italian shock Forrin and dark chocolate, most superior.

It must be the reason they gave you such a special, wonderful, gorgeous child grin - they keep the nice ones for the people with special biscuits.

Italian your link made me smile. I used to administer adoption panels and had to keep panel members happy with the biscuits (jaffa cakes always went down well <taps nose>).

One day I decided to treat them to those Choco-Liebnez biscuits. Unfortunately, it was a warm day and the chocolate melts very quickly. It got quite messy grin

nervouslurker Tue 20-May-14 21:09:10

The floordrobe is no more. I am definitely just aiming for it not to be 'Have you been burgled?!'

I bought special soap (ours is fine, but it's solid, and got that used, cracked look) for the bathroom.

I'm not even conservative enough to be a member of Accepting Evangelicals, Italian!

I will place the fruit bowl somewhere prominent! And bake a cake. You were all right, I feel much better knowing that everything's fine.

Kewcumber Tue 20-May-14 21:16:40

And avoid references to exorcising the demons out of the child and you'll probably be fine...

nervouslurker Thu 22-May-14 18:11:46

She sat in the sitting room the whole fecking time. Didn't even see the kitchen!

FamiliesShareGerms Thu 22-May-14 20:12:09

Didn't you feel like forcing her to look at the lovely clean kitchen?!

How did it go otherwise? Any biscuits consumed?

nervouslurker Thu 22-May-14 20:41:42

Not a biscuit. And the tea was only half drunk... She was very thin, I am not (normal BMI, but not thin). I would eat all the biscuits if I did her job! wink

But... it has begun!

64x32x24 Thu 22-May-14 21:36:30

It's like a rite of passage, the cleaning and panicking before that first visit smile Well done for coming through the other end!

Maryz Thu 22-May-14 23:02:50

Our social worker never made it upstairs until after ds arrived.

Did you like her (or at least not dislike her)? That's usually a good start.

lovehopejoy Fri 23-May-14 13:45:20

Well done nervous lurker...initial visit done! Apart from the tea and biscuits issue how did it go? We're officially 1 month into the 6 month process as of today! We too are Christians and I don't think we 'hid' anything...there are a few bibles / verses around but nothing 'in your face' so to speak. Hope all goes well. Exciting and scary all once!

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