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A bit confused by matching

(18 Posts)
Familyfinder Thu 20-Feb-14 16:57:16

I am feeling a little disheartened at the moment about the matching process and would welcome your comments please.

My DH and I went to panel and were apparently passed unanimously despite the fact that I take and will continue to take antidepressants. However, they did state that a child without additional needs would be a sensible criteria for us in matching. So we have found about 5 different children based on this but have been unsuccessful in being chosen or matched with them. Our SW thinks the fact that I take antidepressants is off putting when a SW has a choice of couples.

Our SW is now saying we might be more successful with a child is harder to place because of additional needs and some uncertainty about their future. She has given us a profile of a child who sustained serious brain injury at the hands of her parents and although is making good progress her future development is uncertain and may be resticted.

Has anyone else had to compromise the panels guidelines or their own personal preference in order to adopt??

allthingswillpass Thu 20-Feb-14 17:47:54

We had problems with matching too. (PM me if you wish to know more). Waited 16 months from approval to eventually finding our LO on NAR.
Be clear about what you believe you can manage and if you don't feel able to meet the needs of this LO then you must move on.
Just wondering, are you with a LA that practises competitive matching - might be worth asking to be placed on the NAR if you've been waiting a while.
Good luck.

Middlesexmummy Thu 20-Feb-14 18:10:46

Hi there
Just to add that if you did consider the child you speak about try to get as much medical information you can as possible . Friends of ours had exactly the same situation but went with the boy and apart from a slight speech delay he is doing really well for his age and is the loveliest funniest boy you could meet ... Don't be put off what s presented to you at first sight . Good luck

roadwalker Thu 20-Feb-14 19:53:56

I think they don't have much of a clue about the children anyway
My DD's SW had barely met her, all the info came from FC who was at best neglectful and took little notice of my DD
We were told DD had no issues and was developing normally. It was clear at our first meeting that she had significant issues but we didn't realise how extensive her needs would be

I am glad no-one realised how challenging she was as, because we have SN BC, we would not have been matched with her and I am so grateful she is our DD

I have met other adopters who were told their child had 'uncertain developmental issues' whose children turned out to be much less challenging than my DD

The danger of being clear of what you can/cannot cope with is that you may get it anyway
Our SW was very clear on that point, rightly so IMO
We said no to sexual abuse because of impact on BC and our SW said you do realise that we may not know and information may come out at a later date when it is too late
It really made me think

crazeekitty Thu 20-Feb-14 22:26:15

Ditto to roadwalker. My dd's fc supplied me with info that turned out to be a crock of shit. Her sw didn't know her well enough to tell me what to expect. I 'chose' dd from a profile and was matched and whizzed through really quickly. In hindsight I think they were just grateful to get a much older child off their hands and I don't think the matching process was done thoroughly enough. So I think I'm saying be open to lots of criteria for matching because I've got a super (if challenging and pretty traumatised) little girl who is nothing like the little girl portrayed during matching.

Thepoodoctor Fri 21-Feb-14 10:06:28


I do remember your previous post. I think as you're experiencing, SWs and panels can have some pretty odd and sometimes ill thought out views about the best match. From what you're saying the panel has suggested that you can only cope with a very straightforward child because you're on anti depressants (not a view Id agree with), and now your SW is saying you should go for a child with more challenges because being on ADs somehow makes you less 'saleable' (a view that sounds contradictory and a bit offensive to me!)

Can you consider your own capacities and what YOU feel you can, or want to, cope with? I know that is a difficult decision but unless you have a very wise SW (sounds unlikely) I think you know yourselves better than they do.

Obviously the decision must be taken in the realistic knowledge that matching information is an imprecise science and a child who is described as 'straightforward' may not turn out that way. My DCs are the reverse of their matching forms in terms of how tricky they are to parent. Parenthood can be a bit like that though grin

If you yourselves think you are only in a position to take on a child who has no evident challenges or uncertainties, then hang on for that and accept you may be waiting longer. No shame in that. If you're prepared to consider individual children with individual challenges then go for it, and remember that every child and every match is individual. But trust yourselves a little more and defer to the SWs a little less would be my advice.

With reference to the specific child you mention I have known adopted and non adopted children with significant head injuries as babies who have made very good recoveries. Tiny brains are very plastic. However obviously this isn't always the case. If you pursue a match with this LO you should be able to talk to the paediatricians caring for her and at least get a good idea of the range of possible outcomes.

Good luck grin

Thepoodoctor Fri 21-Feb-14 10:18:15

A PS - one thing that in my experience the majority of SWs are very bad at are translating medical information. For both my DCs the medical info was partial, misunderstood and plain wrong in places. SWs aren't doctors and their access to medical records can be limited.

So if future uncertainties for a child relate to illness or injury as with this LO I would always say insist on detailed medical info and talking to the doctors if things go further. You may get a very different picture, in either direction. And it's not just fussiness, one of my DC would have got the wrong treatment if I'd believed their medical forms.

Familyfinder Fri 21-Feb-14 16:58:56

Thank you everyone for your advice. We feel we take one step forward and then two back with this process. I feel you have to be very cautious in every conversation we have with SWs for fear of upsetting them in anyway. We would like to change of SW but are not sure if we can do this.

2old2beamum Fri 21-Feb-14 20:47:51

crazeekitty is so right some foster carers are rubbish (not all she adds quickly) and as said the SW do not know the full story. Yes our DD had problems but FC never mentioned the poor child had poo coming out of her fanny! Also was atrocious to feed. Had a gastrostomy and colostomy within a year of placement.
Am not blaming SW but they do not have the full story.
Good luck.

twirly1 Sun 23-Feb-14 19:00:01

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Bananaketchup Mon 24-Feb-14 20:37:57

I can really relate to your experience Familyfinder. I was approved for 2 siblings aged 3-6, and panel recommended that as a single adopter, I be matched with children without significant needs. Then I got shown a load of profiles of children 'inhouse' with quite significant needs, including one set of 3(!) and a couple of pairs of sibs who even I could see would be next to impossible for anyone to parent as a couple, let alone a single parent however hardy and well supported. I enquired about lots more from other LAs, and got very little interest from SWs, most didn't even reply. I waited a long time for a match, and the adoption team manager helpfully told me that no family finder would ever chose a single adopter over a couple for easy to place children, so I needed to 'lower my sights' (yes she actually said that) to harder to place children. I was completely demoralised and pretty convinced I would never find a match. Fast forward literally a few weeks after this helpful hint, and I was linked and then matched with a 1 and 4 year old who by anyone's standards would not be considered hard to place on their needs or previous experiences. I was the only family considered for them, and they are upstairs asleep now. So I would say as hard as it is to wait, and feel you will never get there, don't compromise on what you feel you can handle because you fear you won't ever get a match. Wishing you all the best.

twirly1 Mon 24-Feb-14 23:01:13

heart warming and reassuring to read your story Bananaketchup. Thanks for sharing. Lovely..

KristinaM Tue 25-Feb-14 15:43:55

The problem is that there are very few waiting children who do not have any additional needs or risk factors. And there are lots of approved adopters, like you, who want one.

When such a child needs a placement, the social worker concerned has a choice of families. They are less likely to choose you as you are higher risk .

I'm sorry but it's really that simple. You may have to wait a lot longer ( and may never be matched ) or be more flexible. Or you may get matched tomorrow.

I don't know of anyone who hasn't " compromised their own personal preference " in order to adopt. Or to marry , for that matter . Or to buy a house. Compromise is always necessary IME.

Italiangreyhound Wed 26-Feb-14 09:54:22

Familyfinder how is it going?

Can I ask if you are on the national register and have been to any national profiling events?

twirly1 Wed 26-Feb-14 11:52:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

roadwalker Thu 27-Feb-14 19:56:19

What would you do if you had a child placed who then turned out to have one of your 'no' criteria
I am not trying to challenge you but to have an absolute no over something is risky
I say this as an adopter who got a child placed who turned out to have several diagnoses of our no list
Sometimes these issues are just not know or not yet diagnosed
Sometimes it is a failing of SW or FC to pick up on things

KristinaM Thu 27-Feb-14 20:48:38

It's quite common for SW to delay on getting a diagnosis on conditions that might make a child hard to place. This is done on the grounds that it would be better to wait until the child is permanently placed first, as they don't know where they might be living and what services might be available in the area

It's also virtually impossible to say that a child in care has never been sexually abused. All they can say is that they are not known to have been sexually abused, they have no history of abuse or they are not showing any signs.

The only way to rule this out for certain would be to have a child placed from birth and have the child with you all the time ie never have any one else care for them

roadwalker Thu 27-Feb-14 22:03:13

that should be off our 'no' list
our SW was very upfront with this and warned us about the unknown

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