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SW not supporting us.

(12 Posts)
Waiting88 Thu 04-Feb-16 12:45:58

I posted a previous thread that we were hoping to get a guardianship order of my unborn nephew and having not heard back from social workers 4 weeks after our first meeting. Yesterday we received the viability assessment report in the post and they say they are not supporting me and my partner, which we kind of knew that's what they would say mostly due to my partners medical background (he has anxiety and did have alcohol problems and did self harm the odd time when drunk but happened 3 times in the past 8 years). I can see why they would be concerned but all this happened 2.5 years ago and he now drinks once maybe twice a week in the house when our girls (3 and 5) are in bed for the night. I don't drink at all.

They don't think we could provide a stable and normal household for the baby based on this, they think we wouldn't cope. We have brought up our own two girls perfectly fine. They also are not going to continue with any other meetings because we both seemed nervous during the only one interview we had with them which lasted 20mins :-/

I know they have to be sure the baby is going to a safe home but am I right in thinking them saying they don't want us to have him based on a 20min interview and my partners medical background which I know Isn't great but a lot of things have changed in 2 nearly 3 years. X

Waiting88 Thu 04-Feb-16 12:48:43

Sorry the bottom part should say I'm I right in thinking their decision isn't fair based on the above. x

mydutifullaunderette Thu 04-Feb-16 13:24:26

I'm sorry, it sounds incredibly hard to go through. I did wonder, reading your post, whether the SW's decision was based around trying to protect you and your DH? One of the reasons that assessments can be rigorous (and can feel intrusive/judgey) is that SWs know that adoptive parenting can be tougher than so-called regular parenting, and can put immense pressure onto the adoptive parents? Perhaps the SW was worried that putting you into that situation would place unfair pressure on your family (including your DDs) - they may well have really admired the strength and effort you and your DH have made to continue to take great care of your DDs through your own medical issues, and not have wanted to jeopardise your existing family stability? Your DDs are also very young to have an adopted child brought into their family - it's not unusual for SWs to prefer not to place another child until other children are at least 4 or 5, preferably older, because the newly placed child may well need a LOT of your attention and energy, which is very hard for your other children. This is obviously not a simple situation for you and your family, and there will be a lot of complexity in the decision. If you really feel the decision is the wrong one, you can ask for another meeting (perhaps somewhere neutral where you would feel comfortable) and get them to talk you through the factors. You might not be able to change their mind necessarily, but it might help to understand that it won't all have been about judging you... flowers

FarrowandBallAche Thu 04-Feb-16 16:59:02

I don't think you'll get the SW to change their mind. And from what you've written I think they are right not to carry on with the assessment tbh. It's not just a case of taking in this baby and giving it a good home.

There's SO much more to it. The parents of this baby and having them involved in your family's life, the child and all the issues it is likely to have and the impact this new baby will have on your children and your marriage. There's obviously more to it than that but those are the biggies.

You probably feel it's unfair but given your circumstances I think it's the right choice. You tried but it wasn't meant to be.

Dolly80 Thu 04-Feb-16 17:12:02

If the matter is in court you could seek legal advice and decide whether to challenge the decision within that forum. That said, as a pp suggested, requesting a further meeting with the assessing social worker to ascertain exactly why they said no may also be beneficial. For example, if the child is being removed from its own parents/caregivers due to alcohol abuse it may not be felt appropriate to place within a family that also had this as a historical factor

Dolly80 Thu 04-Feb-16 17:18:09

Apologies, I posted too soon.

Have any other family members been assessed? It may also be that someone else is felt to be 'more viable' if that makes sense. The full assessment is, understandably, intrusive and in depth and if the worker doesn't think you are likely to be successful, they may feel it better to rule you out now rather than following this. That said, if it really was only a 20min interview, that is quite limited (I used to assess family members and even with a woman I could pretty much rule out immediately I still spent an hour with her getting the required info).

Italiangreyhound Thu 04-Feb-16 17:50:31

Sorry this is hard Waiting88. I hope you will feel more at peace with this if it does happen or challenge it in a suitable way if you really feel it is not right for this baby.

I agree with others, 20 minutes is a short time to get the handle on anyone!

But I also agree that parenting a child by adoption can be very hard. It puts a considerable strain on an existing family. We were a family of three for nine years before ds (then 3) joined us, and the first year was pretty hard as dd reacted quite badly and was very jealous, despite wanting us to adopt.

You really don't need to answer this but may I ask - why do you want to parent the baby? Is it because you wanted another child, is it a sense of duty or something else?

Is the child related to you or your partner? Again you do not need to answer. Finally, and again only say what you want to share...are you and your partner on the same page with this?

Is there a chance that the social workers could have felt one or other of you were not so keen? It really is a massive thing to be asked to do. We adopted ds 2 years ago and a factor was we could not have any more children biologically. And we wanted two children not one. We are delighted with ds and do not treat him any differently to our biological child (except when appropriate, e.g. he is nearly 6 years younger than dd). However, to have this suddenly presented when you were not expecting it, that must have been hard.

Please only share what you feel comfortable sharing.

mybloodykitchen Thu 04-Feb-16 18:47:55

To be fair to waiting everything here is true of adoption BUT we all know that Ss have a HUGE amount of leeway when assessing kinship carers. And even more so post re BS.

So in your shoes op I think I'd be quite confused. Unless there is another viable family option as pps have suggested?

I think Ss would need to have some pretty good reasons to find a non - related adopter for a child when there is a family member waiting in the wings. Not sure that the grounds they have given you would stand up to that scrutiny unless there's something else they or you aren't mentioning. ..

Waiting88 Fri 05-Feb-16 10:17:58

Hi, thanks for the replies. I found out lastnight that they told my brother they were worried me and my partner wouldn't cope with the stress of having a newborn that wasn't ours. Which they've came to that conclusion based on my partners medical records not by talking to us or anyone who knows us. I can see why they would be concerned as mentioned in my first post in the past my partner has got really really drunk and ended up self harming and getting arrested as he was found in the streets drunk but that was 3 separate times in the past 8 years we've been together, the last being in 2013.

I have nothing on my record apart from i was on anti depressants for 3 months 2 years ago and a bit of anxiety. As far as I'm aware there are no other family members suitable.

It really was only a 20min interview/questions. I was expecting them to stay longer as I'd read that they sometimes stay for 2 hours but they didn't with us.

There really is no-one else that could take the baby on in the family, my parents can't afford to give up work to look after the baby as much as they would want too. My brother currently still lives at home with my two sisters and my 4 month old niece there really isn't the room for another baby there.

I do know baby's are stressful and we already have our two DDs but I feel they haven't really gave us a chance and toom one look at my partners records and decided NO. x

FarrowandBallAche Fri 05-Feb-16 10:52:33

I do think your partners past is a cause for concern. Drinking, self harming and being arrested aren't things to be taken lightly.

Those are red flags that will concern in their own let alone adding a newborn baby that isn't yours to the mix.

You could ask them to speak to you again but I don't think SS will change their mind.
I know it's not what you want to hear and I'm sorry you're disappointed but what you're wanting to do is life changing for all your family.

The LA have to look at this baby's future and they have to decide what they think is the right choice for it. The baby will already have a stressful start in its life being parted from its mother and where it then moves to has to be the right place for it to adjust and grow up.

mybloodykitchen Fri 05-Feb-16 17:41:27

Yeah I think the police involvement probably does change things there And would push it over into red flag territory. Sorry op. How do you feel?

Mama1980 Fri 05-Feb-16 23:18:34

I agree with others that 20 minutes does seem a very short time to get a sense of anyone but and I Say this gently, alcohol, self harm and police involvement are huge red flags. Ss need a good reason to place outside the family but any of the above would be causes for concern alone.
I'm thinking that they quite quickly given this thought that you were unlikely to be successful ultimately and as the process is so long and involved felt it wasn't in the baby s best interests.
I'm sorry this isn't the outcome you were hoping for. I have custody of my eldest and adopted my youngest as a suitable kinship carer (bm and I are distantly related) so I honestly feel for you, its such a hellish position to be in.
I hope you can make peace with the decision and move forward.

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