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Switching Agencies? Are we being silly?

(15 Posts)
poetboywonder Mon 13-Jul-15 18:51:13

I recently posted that our LA told us we would need a 6 month break before we go into stage 2. This was due to their misunderstanding and unwillingness to assist when it came to our financial plan/budget.

Through the lack of support we contacted a VA(Adoption Matters) which is local. I asked them to look over the financial plan and advise as to whether there was a real issue or if our agency was focusing on an error and misunderstanding.
They came back with a helpful table to show finances and said they couldnt see any worries and if nothing changed they would take us on.

Has anyone else switched agencies, what happened, why? Do we sound like we are being silly? We have zero connection with our Support worker.

Sorry for another rant we just want to know how other dealt/would deal.

StaceyAndTracey Mon 13-Jul-15 19:09:05

Do the new agency place the kinds of child/ren you are looking for ?

poetboywonder Mon 13-Jul-15 19:11:44

Yes we are not looking for anything overly specific we are already hoping for 'older' around 4 and are not specific about male or female. We are even open to the idea of siblings if they feel we are suitable.

Etihad Mon 13-Jul-15 20:48:13

I don't know about switching agencies, but Adoption Matters did my assessment and helped me find my little one and they were absolutely brilliant!

Tangerineandturquoise Tue 14-Jul-15 10:54:03

I have heard Adoption Matters are very good.
With regards to switching- if you switch you will be asked why-through the process and at approval panel most likely. It sounds like to AM it wont be a problem, lots of people do switch for lots of reasons, and go on to adopt successfully.
What may well be a problem is highlighting your finances for any match.
Just because an "older" child will be at school, it doesn't mean there wont be problems and appointments that you need to make-
Can you afford to take time off work?
Could you afford to take extra time off work if they needed you to delay your return to work because they were struggling to settle?
Does your budget as it currently stand for debt repayment and as it will stand in the future allow for the costs involved in raising a child- trips-clothes shoes-food-treats?
If these will be a strain you can ask for an adoption allowance, but these tend to come with harder to place children and then you are back to perhaps needing to take more time off work.
Lots of people do switch-you are not being silly to switch, but have you read between the lines of what has been said by your LA? Because they are the group that places children-and they have hinted at what they will be looking at.

abeandhalo Tue 14-Jul-15 16:55:48

We switched from our LA to a VA and it was the best decision we ever made. Seemed like the LA was looking for reasons not to take us forward, VA were much more pleasant, positive and cooperative from the get go, and I felt so confident having them represent us.

Loads of people come to VAs after being rejected or messed around by LAs, it will be asked about but it certainly is not a problem.

poetboywonder Tue 14-Jul-15 21:46:56

Well our SW hasn't gotten in touch on her return, I am sure she is busy but we have had to wait to weeks to hear about medicals etc..
We are just feeling the LA want it to be a smooth easy deal. they have made this decision on false information and have firmly refused to even regard revision. There is a total lack of support and pro-activity. Its good to hear people have switched and that AM have a good reputation. They have already showed more support than our SW.
If it comes up at panel we will just explain that the LA just didnt seem to get us and our set up, it is better for the potential child too if we are represented positively and by someone/agency that believe in us.

StaceyAndTracey Wed 15-Jul-15 16:14:18

Can I ask - are the fist agency wanting you wait 6 months until your financial situation improves ? Sorry if this is a sensitive issue

poetboywonder Fri 24-Jul-15 17:27:50

So we finally had a meeting and the agency manager insisted that we were not a statistic and that was not the reasoning behind them asking us to wait. They have asked that we reduce the personal loan until there are just 2 months payments left. We understand and feel better that fingers crossed it will be down to us to be financially smart and get it paid off fast.
It did feel like we were throwing toys out of the pram but its important that we feel well represented and that we feel that we are being treated fairly.

I would just like to say how much these forums help me to vent!

StaceyAndTracey Fri 24-Jul-15 23:34:39

Sounds like it went well . I'm glad they have clarified things . So are you going to stay with the first agency ?

NanaNina Fri 24-Jul-15 23:45:43

The only thing about VAs is that they don't have any children of course and they have to "sell" the families they recruit and approve to the LA, and this can be a problem because of LA budget constraints. This has always been a problem but is much worse now that the govt have demanded massive savings from already depleted budgets. I'm not sure about the charges of VAs to LAs but the most cost effective way for LAs to place children for adoption is to use their own adopters and so this will always be the first choice.

The other thing is you mention OP about "older children" e.g. 4 years, but in terms of adoption "Older children" usually means middle years aged children 7 - 11 and the need is for sibling groups, older children and children with disabilities. Most adopters want children between 1 and 4 years (well younger than 1 if at all possible) and so there probably won't be any shortage of LA approved adopters waiting for a child in that age range.

Maybe ask the VA how many children they have placed in the 1 - 4 age range in the past 2 years.

poetboywonder Tue 28-Jul-15 21:42:15

we are sticking with the LA as they really didn't want us to feel like we should change. our Sw classes older children as 4 upsmile

fasparent Tue 28-Jul-15 23:22:15

Charges NanaNina Conservative estimates LA too LA £12000 +.,
VA's too LA's £24000, +.

tigger29 Wed 29-Jul-15 10:18:38

The fee is the same between any agency now - around 27k for a single child.

Also, the govm are paying the fee out of a new £30m fund for the next year. This means for certain children an LA will 'get' a VAA adopter for 'free'.

tigger29 Wed 29-Jul-15 10:24:06

...also, LA's need to remember that it costs them money to recruit, prepare and support their own adopters. The cost has been independently estimated to be around £30k. So the situation now (for some children) is that it will be much more cost effective for LAs to use adopters from other agencies.

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