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Support Network & Income concerns

(11 Posts)
Jumpoline Thu 11-Jun-15 14:39:36

Hello All, first post here, but I've learnt a lot from you all recently as I've been loitering and reading. smile

I'm hoping to apply to adopt in 6 months or so. I'm single parent to my little boy, so I know SS will be particularly interested in my support network. My mum is close by (just a few minutes walk) and would always be there for us when needed, and I've a few new mummy friends, but I only moved back to the area a couple of years ago, so I've no old, long-standing friends here. I was wondering what SS are looking for when they're discussing your support network? And do they talk to people who you put down as being part of your support network? I guess I'm really asking how much support do they expect you to have...?

And money...I'm financially ok, but I earn money in a rather unconventional way. I do matched betting, which means I'm earning money from betting, but what I do is risk free, so it's not gambling. The money I earn from betting pays for everything we need (Butlins rather than luxury holidays, mind), but I'm concerned how SS might view this. Any thoughts? On the upside, I work from home every evening when my son is in bed, so I'm effectively a full-time stay-at-home mum so no issues re taking time off/returning to work. I get a lot of raised eyebrows when I talk about how I earn a living to people for the first time...I worry SS might not like it...?

Would appreciate any thoughts on this. smile

iwishkidslikedtomatoes Thu 11-Jun-15 17:16:26

In terms of support network ours is quite limited but it's definitely been judged on quality not quantity. Our LA would ask you to provide 3 referees all of whom will be interviewed, but your LA or VA could do things differently. The stay at home mum bit will be a big bonus but I do think they may be concerned by your income. I'm presuming you don't declare earnings from it, ie pay tax, so not sure they'll even consider it as earnings??? Have no idea to be honest. It's something you'd have to approach them with and ask I think, as a bit unusual. I'm sure they'd have a lot of questions but if they did think fine, then I think the major question would be what would you do, if say, that industry shut down that way of betting, to ensure you have long term financial security. Obviously people can lose their job and be in same boat but social workers tend to look at risk of things that could impact on the child and I'd reckon they'd highlight that as a risk. Also bear in mind that it's not just about being approved, you're then often compared to lots of others adopters when being matched. If you have good back up plans that would be good. I really think you'd have to ask though, however, you never know, there are so many mums on here, with so many types of experiences, you may just find someone whose been there and done it! The above is just an opinion based on my experience with process, I'm sure they'll be various opinions on this one but as you hadn't had an answer yet thought I'd post smile Good luck smile

Italiangreyhound Thu 11-Jun-15 17:45:37

I've no idea about the money side of it.

Support is people who support you, so people who could look after your child/children if you were ill, who could get shopping for you if you were suddenly in need, people who talk to you and help you work through problems and issues in life/with parenting, people who understand your situation and provide a place for you to pop in for a coffee, or who come and see you when you can't get out of the house.

That is support,and it doesn't matter how long you have known those people, except, of course, if they are babysitting for you then you need to trust them.

How old is your child?

Good luck.

Jumpoline Thu 11-Jun-15 20:26:50

Thanks for your thoughts Iwish and Italiangreyhound.

Re the money, you're right's classed as winnings, not earnings and so doesn't need to be declared for tax purposes. I can't see how what I do could ever be stopped by the industry, but not sure how I could convince SWs of that! smile I'm building up a savings of (hopefully!) 1 year's worth of the amount I 'pay' myself every month, I thought having that year's buffer would look good to them? I own my home, no mortgage, so we'd never be homeless. I was a teacher before I was a mummy, I have no desire to teach again and my teaching qualification is from an overseas university, but I'm confident I could get work with school hours if I need to. Hopefully that will help reassure any concerned SWs. It is my biggest worry regarding being approved though. And yes...hadn't thought how it would be then be compared to other more conventional incomes of other families waiting to be matched... :/

I think, from what you've both said re support network, I'll be fine on that front. My LA is 3 references also, from people that have known me for 5+ years. Do they need to be people that are local to me and know me as a parent, do you think? My new mummy friends have only known me 2 years, but would old friends who I no longer see regularly, due to living in different cities/countries, be ok as referees?

Italian, my son is only 2 years and 2 months. Very young, I know. I can apply to my LA when he's 2 and a half, I figure he'll be closer to 4 by the time we're anywhere near being matched, if we get that far... I've already been to the LA's information evening and chatted to the SW there. Was a bit worrying that she told me that there's a slightly higher rate of adoption break downs when there are birth children in the family, although she said that was more likely due to the parents parenting their adopted children in the same way as they had parented their birth child, rather than the fact that they have a birth child, if you see what I mean.

My son is my biggest concern of course, and really, the impact on him is my only reservation regarding adopting at this point.

iwishkidslikedtomatoes Thu 11-Jun-15 20:55:00

Sounds well planned out to me smile And if you're a secondary school age ex-teacher the opportunity for supply work, if you absolutely had to, is quite likely. The fact you own your home, so you wouldn't have to worry about mortgage payments and therefore losing your home, or having to disrupt a child's life by a forced move, would be a bigger plus I should think. I would just be prepared on the first meeting to have some written info on how it works, how there's no risk etc. so the SW gets it smile

I would recommend picking people close by. We didn't and ended up having to swap 2 of our referees (after they'd already written references) for ones closer by who could be interviewed. It helped to have people who would be our support network as referees as they got asked how they would support us (during their interviews) which further supported our application. Again, those that had seen us with children was useful, but one of our 3 hadn't smile

Kewcumber Thu 11-Jun-15 20:55:30

OK I'm an accountant and I think I grasp how match betting works - essential you take advantage of the free offers to get people to sign up in order to generate stake money but offset the bet at a different site so that you don;t risk any money but do get left with the stake money to start you off then essentially ontinue to do the same thing.

I know you can make money if you are careful and cautious and don;t make mistakes and don;t get lured into the idea that you would make so much more if you didn;t lay off the bet with another site.

But most social workers won't understand that and the if/if/if combination might set their spidey senses haywire - I suspect that they will quite commonly come across vulnerable children who are impacted by online gambling and will be very hard to convince that this isn't what you're doing.

I'm not sure what the answer if but I think you might struggle to convince them that you have a stable income which isn;t going to impact on your childrne in future.

You also need to consider what you will do if (like my DS) you get a child who doesn't neatly go to bed at 7pm and wake up at 7pm but is constantly (and I mean constantly) calling out for reassurance and who can't sleep in his own bed. I work from home and often work evenings but there were times when there was no way I could have done this - and this went on for years not months.

I wish I had a solution but I can;t think of one just now!

iwishkidslikedtomatoes Thu 11-Jun-15 20:59:50

.....sorry, should have added - We'd read online they could do phone interviews with referees but we found our LA didn't and SW's couldn't travel to them. It's probably worth asking your LA for advice on it smile

AndNowItsSeven Thu 11-Jun-15 21:04:33

Hi totally off topic Jumpoline so I hope you don't mind me asking.Is there any advice you could give me re match betting it's something I am looking into, or any websites you could recommend?
I hope your adoption journey goes well. I was adopted, my parents also had a birth child.

Jumpoline Thu 11-Jun-15 21:16:37

Exactly right kewcumber. smile More than just the sign ups though...reload bonuses, deposit matches, offers on particular sporting events...lots of opportunities out there. I came across it on the MSE forums (I like to tell people that as I think it gives it a bit more respectability!) I was desperate to find a way of earning money from home so that I could take a few years off work to stay at home with my son. I've earned an average of £1k a month in my 20 months of doing it, so it's good money, and I can prove that to the SW with bank statements, etc. but still, I agree with you, it could be very hard to convince the people that matter that this is a safe and stable way of earning money. I also thought that if there were anyone on the matching panel that was very anti-gambling (even though it's not gambling smile ) for, say, religious reasons, then could I be scuppered even if I'd managed to convince the SW??

I hadn't thought about them having worked with children who have been impacted by gambling though...aah...another mark against it...

And yes, very valid point about not being able to guarantee the time to do it in the evenings. I've been very lucky with my son sleep-wise, but who know next time.

I'll remember that about referees Iwish, thank you. Makes it a bit more difficult.

Jumpoline Thu 11-Jun-15 21:19:55

Btw, forgot to add: if you do think of a solution kewcumber, please let me know! grin

AndNowItsSeven if you want to send me a private message, I'll happily give you some advice on where to start. smile

AnnieS2777 Fri 19-Jun-15 16:55:33

I'm starting to get into matched betting and would love to talk to other people about it - does someone want to start a group on Facebook perhaps?

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