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Losing the faith(11 Posts)
Tomorrow was supposed to be our Day 3 training course, starting Phase 2. Last week the LA told us we couldn't do it as our paperwork wasn't in order. They lost one of our references, sent in before Christmas, and only told me because I sent them a chipper upbeat update email; and I've had trouble booking our medicals, which are now booked but I didn't know that they needed the forms back before starting Phase 2.
This is running really late, having registered in August last year we seemed to drop out of the system and didn't do the first 2 days training till December. We should have been heading to the approvals panel next month if the original 6 month timescale had worked.
Technically its only another delay and doesn't matter much, but it's just feeling like they have no interest in us as adopters. I haven't had a reply to two requests for forthcoming course dates so that I can book them off work (managing work diary will be a nightmare and I'd been holding tomorrow's date since December). No acknowledgement of all the work we've sent in. No apology for losing a reference or keeping everyone dangling. I don't expect affirmations but this total indifference and non-communication is wearing me down.
Feeling very deflated and starting to wonder if this is even a good idea...
Sorry to hear about your experiences. Have you been allocated a specific social worker?
We only got a SW allocated when we started stage 2. And until then, our experience was similar to yours. Nobody ever knew anything, things got confused, one day we were told one thing and the next day, the opposite. However maybe it will give you hope, as soon as we did get allocated a SW, things started to move incredibly fast!
I think as long as you don't have a specific SW, no one is 'responsible' for you and hence you are no-one's priority.
Hope you can move to stage 2 soon! Best of luck.
No SW yet, but I'll hope for the same pattern as you! Thanks for the positive thought. I'm a glass of wine away from an email asking why they're still recruiting for adopters since they clearly don't want any more (or perhaps just not us) - step away from the corkscrew and keep the mind on prize Mo!
I have this theory.
Social workers etc try to make it as hard as possible to adopt. They do every thing they can to put us off, they lose things, they cancel things, they delay things, they are rude and off-putting and sometimes unpleasant.
It's all a test - if you can survive being treated like shit, and still want to go through with it, they know you are dedicated and determined and will pursue it to the end. And you will have the dogged determination that all adoptive parents will need.
Anyone not up to it will give up and drop out - a sort of natural selection.
I have no proof for my theory, obviously, but I'm sure I'm right. Hang in there, you will get there in the end.
Hang in there Mojanged I'm not sure it gets easier but I think we/you get more determined as it goes along.
Remember all those little ones out there looking for families, once approved if your local authority still mess you around then three months later you can go on national register and go to national events.
Keep going... if it feels right... and yes, step away from the corkscrew, or rather the email! Just don't send an email when angry, tired, hungry or with glass of wine in hand! (Just my opinion!)
Just to add two things:
First, in the end we started calling them regularly. As in, every other day or so. Always friendly, always polite, but after two weeks of that we finally got the news that we were going to be allocated a SW, and another week later things started moving.
Every time we called, they said they would find out and call us back immediately, but never did call back, so we felt justified in calling again two days later.
Calling had much better results than e-mailing.
And second, at the very end of this, someone finally gave us some suggestions as to what we could do in preparation. As things then picked up speed so fast, I wish we had started sooner with that stuff, then it wouldn't have been quite so intense once it did start. So here some suggestions for you to do whilst you're waiting.
- Start putting together a 'reading list', i.e. a list of adoption related books and resources you have read. For every book, we were told to write a sentence or two about it such as 'I found it very useful where it relates directly to our own situation but found it a bit off-putting that it is mainly relating to the situation in the US.' (This is so they can see that you have indeed read it). You can include webpages, forums, leaflets, TV programmes, radio programmes…
Oh, got to go but will be back with a few more suggestions!
- write your family tree. (sometimes they say 'genogram' and in fact, a genogram is quite a complex thing, however our SW said that (for them) it is just a fancy name for a family tree). To start with, I'd include yourself, your parents, your siblings and their children, your grandparents, probably your aunts and uncles. We were asked to provide, where possible, ages/dates of birth, dates of death, occupation, ethnicity, and where they lived. However not all agencies require the same amount of detail. But in any case, if you have got a draft ready when they come to see you, it will be easy for them to explain what else they'd like you to include/what you can delete.
- start making an ecomap. If you google for it, you can find a template.(It's basically about your support network. If you can't find a template, just start thinking about/writing down who you consider to be a part of your support network, where they live (how far away in miles?), how often you see them, where you know them from.)
- start on your chronology. This is part of the PAR (prospective adopter's report) and I believe many agencies use the form provided by BAAF, you should be able to find it online. But if not, in any case it helps to start collecting all the info you will need for it.
The BAAF form requires:
+ALL addresses including periods living abroad apart from holidays
For every address, give date started, date finished (month/year), Address, Details (include reasons for changes if appropriate and comments).
+Education and Employment, again date started, date finished, event, address or location (our SW wants all addresses of schools etc. not just the town or name of school), Details.
+Significant changes in individual or family circumstances (separation/divorce of parents, death of family members, start of a new relationship, major health events, infertility). Again date started, date finished if applicable, Event, Address or location, Details.
I found the chronology to be the hardest bit, questions such as 'now was it 2001 or 2002 when my gran died?' or 'what was the address of that rental place we lived at for a few months, between houses?' did take quite some research!
Just to be clear, I'm not saying you need to or should be doing all this now. They are only suggestions, for if you feel like you WANT to be 'doing' something. Each of these things does take some time to compile and probably some thought and research needs to go into it, so if you end up having one meeting per week with your SW (or even more as in our case) then you might get quite overwhelmed with 'homework'. So any preparation you can do now, will help to speed things up later!
Maryz I think you have hit the nail on the head. Sad but true!
You lovely people have sorted out my attitude. I gave up on the emails and rang them today, very politely, to ask about expected next steps and what I could do. Begged the docs to move my medical earlier and amazingly they had a cancellation and could do it, so hopefully we'll be in time to do next months course, provided all the paperwork stays in one place. And amazingly, I then had another call from someone else on the team saying they were going to start getting in touch with my referees. Hurray! Really hope the 3 month snooze is over!
Thanks for the tips Meita We've done the ecomap, family tree and chronology plus several essays on our relationship, family background, approach to life and cultural values, but the reading list hasn't been mentioned so I'll start that now. It would be good practice anyway as I seem to forget things as soon as I've read them at the moment!
Feeling much less defeated. You are stars.
I agree with maryz and Meita. Even the prep course wasn't really prep it was another opportunity to test us.
It took several ranting phonecalls from me to even get to the prep course. Everyone else on the course said they had also been persistent. Some ranting, some killing the sw with kindness but you do begin to think they do it on purpose.
My panel date got delayed because they stuffed up the paperwork. A sw has never yet been on time to a meeting at my house. Oh I could go on and on.
Phone them again and don't take it personally. The system is broken.
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