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Starting stage one

(19 Posts)
32flavours Tue 29-Oct-13 11:11:22

We found out last week that our adoption agency are happy to progress our application and we will be starting stage one very soon. We had to wait for a while as I was a smoker and I'm now 6 months smoke free (woohoo!). Our social worker is coming round tomorrow to get us started and give us forms to fill in. Could anyone enlighten us as to what type of forms we will be given and what to expect from tomorrow?

Lilka Tue 29-Oct-13 13:25:10

Congratulations, that's great news smile

Hope your SW visit goes well. I have no working knowledge of the new system, so I'm only hazarding guesses here, but maybe DBS forms, medical form etc?

32flavours Tue 29-Oct-13 14:07:48

What are DBS forms? I'm a bit concerned about the medical forms as I'm on anti depressants to treat anxiety. I know I've asked before about this and the consensus seemed to be that it wouldn't affect our chances. I'm just not sure whether to bring it up tomorrow or wait? I felt quite pushed into taking them by my doctor, and to be honest I really don't think I need to be on them. I've asked to be taken off them but my doctor said that's it best to stay on anti depressants for 6 months once you've started. I had counselling as well and that was much more helpful. I was basically taking on too much at work and this caused the anxiety. The counselling combined with me getting more support at work has made a huge difference. I'm healthy now and back at work.

Lilka Tue 29-Oct-13 14:36:48

DBS is the new name for criminal records checks, I'm assuming they do that right at the start

To be honest, I'd only mention the antidepressants it if it's relevent, eg. if you get asked a question about it. You will talk about medical stuff at other times during the process. If this is the first or second time you've met the SW, I guess you'll still be going through initial questions and the SW will tell you how the process works and what you're filling in and why etc

I've been on antidepressants and had the same advice - if you start, don't come off suddenly and do the whole 6 month course. But I did need them, and they were helpful for me

Best of luck

Choccyjules Tue 29-Oct-13 16:45:23

We are halfway through the two months of Stage One (congrats btw!).

So far our SW has come out and looked at all the docs needed for DBS check, then sent us the online form to complete for that check; done an NSPCC check; asked for reports from three referees; explained about and given us family trees and support networks to fill in and given us our medical forms to complete and return before our GP medicals.

We have also done one day's training but that's because they were in a changeover period. We will do two more days during Stage Two.

Choccyjules Tue 29-Oct-13 16:50:21

Oh and re. the antidepressants. There is a space to fill in about anxiety/depression and medication on the medical form. I guess even if you declined to mention it, the GP would. You can ask to see your medical form once the GP has filled it in and before it goes to the Medical Advisor, presumably if you think your views of your health will differ wildly.

I told each agency we looked at that I was on them and the way our LA dealt with that information was one of the reasons we went with them. They basically don't think their medical advisor will have too much of an issue with them and I (unlike you at the moment) have now made a start in comong offt hem, as it's three years since i started on them and I am much better than I was. The other two agencies, btw, wanted to do medicals before they accepted me onto Stage One.

Inthebeginning Tue 29-Oct-13 17:02:58

hiya 32,
congratulations for being accepted for stage 1.
choccy has given fantastic news already (I was chuffed to see a post I could answer but she beat me too itgrin )
for stage one we did (not all at the same time so don't think they'll all be done on your first visit! ) our dbs' , finance, health and safety check of the house, our reference details and the official signing of the going into stage one form.
Our medicals were sent separately and we went to the dr to have them done.
I have anxiety and finished being weaned off my tablets about a month ago. I think it's v important to be honest about it from the start. Our s worker is very supportive about it but we were honest from the off and she liked that. As far as I can tell quite a few prospective adoptive parents (paps???) have been in them and aslong as you can show you're dealing with it and are 'Stable' they'll be fine.
Good luck

32flavours Tue 29-Oct-13 18:49:07

Thanks for all the brilliant advice. Part of the reason I was considering mentioning it tomorrow was because I didn't want it to appear as though I was hiding anything. I'm definitely stable now, my counsellor has offered to provide a reference to attest to this but I'm not sure if that's something they'd be interested in?
What do the finance checks involve? We're not wealthy by any stretch of the imagination however I have done a breakdown of our finances and we can afford to have a child. We don't really have any debts save from my student loan which I presume won't be an issue.
Sorry for all the questions, mn is my primary source of information for all things adoption related smile

TrinnyandSatsuma Tue 29-Oct-13 19:22:02

Our experience of the financial part of the assessment, was a short questionnaire with incoming and outgoings. I think they are looking to see you can financially cope with taking adoption leave from work etc and are financially stable enough that there are no major worries with money.

Good luck with the assessment!

Inthebeginning Tue 29-Oct-13 21:44:04

Our questionnaire was a bit like applying for a mortgage, being able to show that you are solvent and will cope when you have to have time off. You sound fine especially as you haven't got debts so please don't worry. We also had to show evidence of credit cards, savings, incomings, outgoings etc etc so be prepared and have your paperwork ready! (dh got very confused and somehow managed to produce a statement from when he lived at his moms 9 years before! )
when your par is written their is a part about mental health, if you have any issues, if you are strong and how you will cope in difficult situations. Our s worker is pretty sure they'll ask me a question on it at panel but we are working on how to answer it, that I have support and counsellor has taught me strategies etc etc.
You sound very organised and honest so you will be fine!

32flavours Wed 30-Oct-13 19:07:07

Thanks for all the information everyone, it's really helpful. The visit went really well today. I decided to be honest about the anti-depressants as the sw asked a general question about our health and medical history. I felt as though not disclosing could be interpreted as intentionally withholding information. She didn't seem to think it would be an issue and is happy to progress our application. I know it's just the start of a long process but I feel like we're finally moving. Haven't been able to stop smiling all day!

Italiangreyhound Wed 30-Oct-13 22:33:19

32flavours how did it go today?

32flavours Thu 31-Oct-13 01:29:03

It went great thanks Italian, so relieved! Just been filling in a couple of forms we've been given this evening. I moved around a lot during my teens and early twenties so the past addresses sexton is proving a bit taxing.

Inthebeginning Thu 31-Oct-13 09:41:37

brilliant news 32.
Are you happy with all the forms now?

32flavours Thu 31-Oct-13 16:22:59

Yeah the forms aren't too bad. The sw suggested a book for us to read as well "building the bonds of attachment" I don't know if any of you have read it? I'm definitely going to find out more about attachment as it seems to be such an important issue for adopted children. Can anyone reccomend any online resources?

Inthebeginning Thu 31-Oct-13 17:37:03

we've been recommended this book too but haven't got round to reading it yet. when you go on your course they do ab awful lot on attachment issues which is really useful.

tea4two4three Fri 01-Nov-13 19:10:37

Hey 32, my hubby and I are about half way through stage one, forms complete, medicals done, training booked and now making our way through a heap of reading. We have:
Building the Bonds of Attachment.
No Matter What: An Adoptive Family's Story of Hope, Love and Healing.
Parenting from the Inside Out: How a Deeper Self-understanding Can Help You Raise Children Who Thrive.
Attaching in Adoption: Practical Tools for Todays Parents, Gray, Deborah

Others that were recommended:
Next Steps in Parenting the Child Who Hurts.
Attachment in Common Sense and Doodles

The only one I've started so far is Attaching in Adoption, and I haven't touched it in a week as I was reading whilst my husband was away and got really upset by it. It's hard going so recommend having someone there to talk things through with as you go.

Best online resource I've found so far is mumsnet :-)

Inthebeginning Sat 02-Nov-13 22:59:54

32, just wanted to say the "newbies" thread is a really nice one to be on.

fossil971 Sat 02-Nov-13 23:14:31

"Building the bonds of attachment" was the only book DH read during prep. I conscientiously slogged my way through the whole reading list blush

I would really rate that book and anything by Dan Hughes. It is very likely that some aspects of the child in the book (it's written like a story) will some day echo your own DC and the parenting techniques are spot on.

Better to read up now when you have time TBH. When you have DC placed it will be full on. The best online resource I think is probably the Adoption UK website & forum. Hope the rest of your approval goes well smile

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