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First ever post on Mumsnet and I'm not even a mum......yet!
Hi all looking for some advice and reassurance. Having been approved as a single adopter in April i feel like I've been pretty much in the dark and frustrated ever since. My SW is very nice but i worry about how affective she is. To date she's forgotten to book me on to an activity day depsite me checking 3 or 4 times in the lead up to the event and getting answers to questions is like getting blood out of a stone which leaves me frustrated. I have shown interest in 3-4 children but have heard nothing back from either mine of the childrens SW. There was one particular child i showed interst in via BMP but getting any information or feedback from the childs SW proved tortuous. I was told there were a number of parents interested in this particular child and therefore a short list would be created.....3 weeks later i had heard nothing depsite following up with 3 light hearted, non pushy emails. Eventually my SW told me I hadn't been shortlisted but it took her 3 days to tell me. Is this normal? Communication and feedabck seems to be a problem with the SW's ive dealt with thus far.
Hi Daisy congratulations and well done on getting this far.
I would say, as an adopter one year in that you are experiencing a mixture of things and this is just my personal opinion but....
Having been approved as a single adopter in April i feel like I've been pretty much in the dark and frustrated ever since.
If it was right at the start of April that is two months, if at the end of April that is one month, so for the sake of argument let's say 6 week's. That doesn't seem that long to me.
My SW is very nice but i worry about how affective she is.
It is very possible she is nice and ineffective so do keep a very clear record of when you contact her, how long it takes her to reply and try if you can to work out what will get you faster reply, if she better by phone or email?
To date she's forgotten to book me on to an activity day depsite me checking 3 or 4 times in the lead up to the event and getting answers to questions is like getting blood out of a stone which leaves me frustrated.
That is bad, very annoying. Did you finally make it to the day?
I have shown interest in 3-4 children but have heard nothing back from either mine of the childrens SW.
Is this all within the last few weeks?
If so then that is perhaps understandable but if over a longer period of time I would probably ask for a phone call with her, see if you can book it into her diary for a catch up and ask if you can get some feedback on child A, B and C etc.
There was one particular child i showed interst in via BMP but getting any information or feedback from the childs SW proved tortuous.
Well I have heard BMP can take ages and you may get no reply to some enquiries, so this is normal, I think! - Correct me, please, anyone who knows different;y, please.
I was told there were a number of parents interested in this particular child and therefore a short list would be created.....3 weeks later i had heard nothing depsite following up with 3 light hearted, non pushy emails. Eventually my SW told me I hadn't been shortlisted but it took her 3 days to tell me.
So you waited three weeks for the decision and then it took three days for her to tell you?
To be honest I am not sure this is unreasonable. Everyone is very busy and although it is I know hugely frustrating for you, there may be all kinds of stuff going on behind the scenes.
So if you ask Is this normal? I would say it might be!
And finally Communication and feedabck seems to be a problem with the SW's ive dealt with thus far. I think it can be with some because they are so busy and if you are looking at BMP these are children and social workers almost certainly from a different area to yours. Within the area social workers might know each other and communication might be better. But your social worker could be taking to anywhere in the country and might be chasing up etc and hitting a dead end. I know our social worker did when we looked at a child out of county. We eventually adopted in county and the process was smooth.
That is not a reason to avoid out of county adoption at all but it does mean that you need to be aware there might be delays.
It does sound on balance as if your own social worker is a bit rubbish at organisation so please keep on the tail in a nice way, build up your relationship with them so they are motivated to help and so they know you will be calling or whatever because if you chase them eventually it will be in their interests to answer the call!
You know, I am sure, as a single adopter that you will find it harder to get a match so don't be too down hearted. Your child is out there.
PS Re do keep a very clear record of when you contact her, how long it takes her to reply
I should clarify why I said this. Firstly, this is not for the purpose of making her/him feel bad or calling him/her to account.
Secondly, I would say, please try all you can to make it work nicely because complaining is not really helpful. I know it seems logical, she should be working for you, helping you etc. But it's not quite that simple and I think you need her to be on your side and complaining about her will not get that to happen IMHO.
Social workers need to find the best possible match for the children. So in time, if things are still slow, make sure your information is correct and puts you in a good light, says all you want it to say.
Also once you have been approved for three months you can be put on the national adoption register for England and Wales. You can then get referrals through that and also go to events.
Dates for Exchange Days
If you are an approved adopter who is interested in attending one of the following events then please get in touch with us.
Tuesday 7th July - Leeds
Thursday 17th September - London
Tuesday 19th January 2016 - London
To some extend it does not matter if you are local to one of the exchange days, because the children featured (not present but featured) will be from all over the country.
Or for activity days, you could try BAAF...
Activity day dates
Are you an approved adopter or an adopter in Stage 2 approaching panel?
We have adoption activity days scheduled for the following 2015 dates:
30 May - East Riding -Full
13 June - Southeast - Full
28 June - East Anglia- Full
11 July - Lancashire
Brilliant response from Italian and I agree with 99% of it But I don't think being a single adopter will mean it takes longer to find a match. There will be waiting children who will have good reasons why they need a two parent family, or a family with no other children, or a single parent. It is recognised that in some cases, a single parent is able to provide a simpler relationship dynamic to a placed child because the child only has to build one bond, and the parent can offer 1:1 attention without any other claim on their time and energy.
I wish you luck with your future linking/matching. Take some deep breaths, try and stay calm while keeping that communication open with your SW, and go easy on yourself - the waiting is hard!
To add to Italians post.
Imagine a child in BMP. The SW may get 20 enquiries over 2-3 weeks. They then need to exchange information and do a first filtering. If they are lucky they may get 5 possible parents. Then go an internal meeting to discuss which of the 5 they want to visit, this meeting may only be held fortnightly. They don't have time to visit all, so they will pick 2 or 3, perhaps. They arrange those, and then get round to saying no thanks to the others. Or maybe they won't say no until they have done the visits. It all takes ages.
This is a convoluted way of saying that the SWs are very busy
- looking after people in intros or new placements
- assessing people
- forms for court applications
- finding new families for children
They are over-stretched and under resourced. Communicating with someone who is approved but not yet linked is not their top priority.
In your situation I would
- ask social worker for a timescale that you can contact her in if you haven't heard from her (e.g. every 4 weeks)
- settle in for a long wait
Congratulations on being approved. Waiting was the hardest part for us, because there is genuinely little you can do. We waited 15 months for our girls (that was 8 years ago, things may be different now). But is was well worth the wait.
Sorry, yes, SponsoredByTheBadFai
thanks! time foe me to take a chill pill me thinks! its a marathon not a sprint.
It is and use this time wisely to:
read up on adoption
de clutter (I wish I had done this/more of this)
find out what is around in your area
do those things that are harder with a child in tow! (haircuts/dentist/smear test (!!!)/nice meals out/mini breaks/shopping/house renovations/painting things/cleaning bit items like the cooker or fridge (!)/socialising with friends and wine - actually almost anything that focused n a child!!!)
Best of luck.
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