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Matching panel/introductions(10 Posts)
We have finally been matched and have a panel date booked. If it goes well how long after panel do you start introductions. Only found out Panel date on Friday so in the initial excitement I didn't question my social worker. I think I need to get a list of questions for what happens next and timescales etc. Any help with what to find out and ask will be appreciated. Thanks
In our LA panel is a bit like doing a viva. So the panel recommend go ahead but it needs to be ratified by the head honcho. Ours was rushed through and signed off the next day but that's super unusual. I think 1-2 weeks is the norm.
There's usually a meeting to be booked with you and the foster carers and all the relevant social workers to look through and agree the introductions timetable.
And then the intros begin!
They're wonderful but exhausting.
Ask about food. Are foster carers wanting to feed you - so you're all having meals together with kids. Or do they feed kids separately to themselves so you'll perhaps get time out while little one's asleep so you will you be bringing your own sandwiches. (Trust me if you get chance to escape the house for half an hour you'll take it!)
What are you expected to do if other kids in the house? Worth asking - we were annoyed that we were left to supervise the other baby they were caring for - messed up my bonding a little.
We had panel on Wednesday and intro's started 12 days later.
It depends on random things like SW holidays and these endless bloody courses that they go on. Fortunately you are clear of public holidays. It s the only job I know where work seems to grind to a halt for two weeks either side of a PH.
Usually you will start introductions within a few days of the plan being agreed. Everyone wants to get on with it by this stage.
SW role is just to make a plan bwteen you and FC, after that it's up to you and them.
My advice is to be as nice as you possibly can be to the FC, even if you don't like how they do things. They have more information about your child that anyone else and you want them on your side.
Introductions are a very tough time for everyone and it's even harder if you piss them off. So bite your tongue if there's something you don't like unless its major. It's only two weeks of your life, just fit in with them.
If they have others kids ( own or foster kids ) take a small gift for them ( packet of sweets, pocket money toy ) on first visit as well as for your child to be.
After panel the Agency Decision Maker has to ratify the panel's decision (they will). They have two weeks to do this, many take all this time, so intros are often 2 weeks after panel. It should be easy enough to speed up if there is a reason.
Ask the SW about food and mileage allowances (they won't volunteer). Be a bit pushy about making the intros timetable work for you and the FC. Some SWs don't think about practicalities and intros are intense.
Ask the FC about as many practicalities as poss, e.g. nappies, creams, milk, food, routines; all depending on age of course.
Freeze some meals; finish any jobs; have sex one last time; try to get a bit of time to chill; in short, assume you will be very, very tired for the next month. As others have said, totally worth it.
Panel is dead easy; nice even. Have a little think about likely questions, but mostly just be yourselves.
"we were annoyed that we were left to supervise the other baby they were caring for - messed up my bonding a little."
Bloody hell, that's terrible. Very unusual, I'd have thought.
Don Quixote - i guess it was unusual. To be fair we chose to interact with the other baby. We were supposed to leave that baby in the playpen peering through the bars while we interacted with our new dd. It felt like some terrible social deprivation experiment so we ended up cuddling that baby too.
Thanks everyone for your advice. You've made me laugh Don Quixote!
I've just seen our social worker and she is chasing dates. We are adopting from an authority outside our own so this seems to create its own problems.
The foster carer only has our LO so no other children in placement to consider but we already have 2 boys so this needs to be considered. I was hoping for Easter hols but that was wishful thinking looks like it will be after that when intros start. I'm noting the advice regarding foster carer .
All we seem to do is wait for emails/phone calls. Should be used to it by now. Xx
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