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CPD while waiting to be matched

(11 Posts)
PamelaPatricia Mon 23-Jan-17 12:55:20

What CPD did you find most valuable as you were waiting to be matched? Or, with hindsight, what would you have done/learnt/read before being matched, while you had the time and energy?

We have been waiting two years and have been proactive in this time but all suggestions would be gratefully received.

JustHappy3 Mon 23-Jan-17 16:00:40

flowers That's a very long, hard wait. No advice i'm afraid.

donquixotedelamancha Mon 23-Jan-17 18:31:03

I like to read about everything, and the traditional advice is to go and learn about all the different needs adoptive kids might have (FASD, attachment etc), but... I bet you've done a lot of that already; and I'm not sure how much I'd have got out of doing lots more reading. Until you have kids, it's hard to conceptualise.

Three thoughts:
-I'd do every job you've ever put off, get the house perfect. You'll never have a spare minute again.
-I'd get as much practice with kids as poss.
-I'd try to seal off the adoption to a manageable chunk of my life and get on with living (yeah, I fully realise how hard that is).

My sympathies on what must be a horrid wait. If it isn't too nosey, why do you think it's been so long?

PamelaPatricia Mon 23-Jan-17 20:56:00

Justhappy3 Thank you for your kind thoughts.

Donquixote Thank you for your suggestions.

We have done lots of wider reading, including the topics you listed. We have also researched conditions when we have been linked with children, so that we can better understand their needs. But, as you say, it's very hard doing lots of reading when it's so theoretical and you can't envisage how it will be applied in the future. We have also attended training days and studied online courses, including play therapy and speech and language therapy.

We have worked through a long list of jobs around the home and are now improving the garden. Possible jobs may arise if/when we're matched but nothing that is necessary yet.

We both have extensive childcare experience, including ongoing time with friends and families, but we may look to gain more formal nursery experience as this is the age group we probably have the least experience with (although we still have more experience than many).

In terms of not being matched, we have had several links progress well but lose out to another adopter/s. Very often we have been given very vague feedback, such as 'stronger match available'. Where we have been given more detailed feedback there is a range of reasons, so it's not as though just one thing is holding us back.

The main thing we can improve is our health and fitness. We are both overweight, but me especially. We have both made good progress with this though - through community support groups and increased exercise - and will continue to lose weight. Right now, that is the only thing that marks us as 'not good enough'.

I think we have also been unfortunate to have been involved in competitive matches. We are a same-sex couple and, while this hasn't generally been an issue, some profiles, particularly for older children, say they are seeking a mummy and daddy.

We just keep going and trying to do what we can. We try to compartmentalise the waiting but, as you acknowledge, it is easier said than done.

donquixotedelamancha Mon 23-Jan-17 22:35:07

We were lucky not to wait with matching, but a long wait for AO gnawed at my nerves- it must be rubbish.

I suspected I was suggesting things you'd already done. I think focusing on weight loss is a really good suggestion, it has the additional benefit of making you feel a bit better at the same time. In the last 3 years, it seems some LAs have got much fussier about this.

At the risk of suggesting some more stuff you've probably already done:
1. I assume you're looking on children who wait.
2. Go to all the activity days/exchange events in your region. Chat up SWs even if you don't want the specific child they have at the mo.
3. I'd push a bit harder for feedback. Its awkward, but I think a proper conversation with a childs SW might highlight if there really are any small things putting them off (not easy to get SWs to be blunt- may not be anything to find out).
4. Is your SW looking hard enough? Is your marketing sheet strong enough? We'd had several links in the weeks before approval panel- doesn't sound a lot for two years matching (Obvs there may simply not be kids that match what you want).

Ultimately the only big factor you can change is your matching criteria- broaden age range and needs you'll consider. I'm sure you've been through this, and I wouldn't encourage you to take on challenges you wouldn't be comfortable with; but you may click with kids you thought you'd never consider.

So sorry for a list of the bleeding obvious- just on the off chance its helpful. I'm sure that your child is out there and I promise it's worth all the frustration in the end.

PamelaPatricia Tue 24-Jan-17 10:46:41

Donquixote Thank you for taking the time to give a thoughtful and detailed response. I have made a note of all your suggestions. Most, if not all, we are doing anyway, but we appreciate it needs to be ongoing. Besides, it is reassuring that your suggestions are in line with our own thoughts and actions.

Think we need to focus on weight loss, improved fitness, and self care for now. As you say, we will feel the benefits of those now and in the future, regardless of our adoption outcome. Thank you again.

Kewcumber Wed 25-Jan-17 21:35:18

I learnt Russian but as that was the main language of the country I was adopting from and I had a 3 year wait it had somewhat more point for me than you! Did keep me busy though and I was might.y glad I did when I was out there for 3 months with mostly no translator

donquixotedelamancha Wed 25-Jan-17 22:35:23

"Thank you for taking the time to give a thoughtful and detailed response." Most welcome. Glad it was some use.

I'm curious about your experience of matching (if it isn't too nosey). I volunteer with my VA and we get a lot of harder to match people (singles, older). They typically get told to expect matching to take a year, but that's to manage expectations, the average is much less. I'm always surprised when I speak to people who've waited so long.

We were looking at profiles, expressing interest and meeting SW before approval panel; though that wouldn't happen where approval was unlikely. We spoke to our SW at least weekly (usually more). We got invited to 4 exchange/activity events in 2 months. There are less kids now (not loads less, we are recent) but is your experience similar or do you think how much effort goes into matching is part of the issue?

Rainatnight Thu 26-Jan-17 08:56:28

No advice, only to say I'm so sorry, that's such a long wait. There really should be some recourse for people who've been waiting for so long. There's another poster on here who has been waiting even longer.

The same sex thing really shouldn't matter. I'm in a same sex couple and have other same sex friends who've adopted.

PamelaPatricia Thu 26-Jan-17 15:55:25

Kewcumber You had a very long wait but I’m glad that you were able to fill that time with something as interesting and valuable. Focusing on health and fitness is the main thing we can do that will be beneficial to us regardless of if/when we are matched.

Donquixotedelamancha I’m not sure that how much effort goes into matching has been relevant for us. Of the people who attended the training course with us, we are the only ones still waiting to be matched, yet we have been the most proactive in seeking a match (from the very beginning and not just because of our extended wait). We have done the most reading, attended the most courses, gained the most experience, and put the most effort into matching, such as amending our profile and search criteria, creating videos, and attending family finding events and activity days. Additionally, our social worker is seen to be more proactive than many others within the LA.

Rainatnight Thank you for your kind thoughts. I don’t think that being a same-sex couple has been an issue overall but there have been instances when a male carer has been stipulated, which we cannot offer. I would imagine it is much tougher for single adopters as they can have the issue of a specific gender being stipulated as well as the, more common, request for two carers.

Kewcumber Fri 27-Jan-17 17:41:13

I was a long time ago (10+ years ago onow) it all seems a bit irrelevant in the grand scheme of things. Not that it was any consolation at the time. In those days you were told to expect a wiat of 2-4 years, it really wasn't uncommon. Now people have been led to expect a shorter wait because of changes to the system and then when everyone was getting used the shorter time frames it all slowed down again.

It is torture. Focussing on health and fitness is great. And go to the cinema A LOT it may be a while before you manage it one you have a child

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