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Starting out - home requirements (prior to registering to adopt)(14 Posts)
I would like to ask what type of house/home is suitable for adoption? e.g. Do sibling groups (of 2) have to have a bedroom each? Does the house have to NOT be in a busy road? Does the property have to be newly decorated? Does every room have to be 'finished' so to speak? What if the hallway is shabby and in need of a real tarting up? Does there have to be a downstairs toilet? Do there have to be a particular level of pre-school places or primary school places available?
Also are your salaries and savings taken into account? And if you have some savings and only have a mortgage but no other debt does in count in your favour?
I’m going through the process at the mo and don’t think the condition of your house matters.... ours is in good condition but I’ve met another couple who have adopted and theirs is, shall we say... a work in progress?!
With regards to bedrooms, Our LA prefer 1 bedroom per child - we said we’d prefer siblings and they asked if we had more than 1 spare room.
Also they go through your finances thoroughly. All savings and debt has to be declared, but I wouldn’t say savings would go in your favour as such, they are just looking for stable families that would manage financially.
Hope that helps, good luck!
They prefer own rooms, but not always. You have to prove that you can financially manage, but you don’t need to be wealthy, your house needs to be safe and warm, but not a show home. Don worry - you can ask all these questions during your home study. Also, regarding school places, LAC or previously LAC get priority so that isn’t normally an issue.
I have happy children, muddy shoes, untidy hallways and a dirty oven 😂
Take the sensible and longer term approach.
Kids have stuff, loads of it, I think it breeds. You need to have sufficent space for them, you and the stuff. You would probably get away with siblings of the same sex in one room, but it wouldnt be ideal in the longer term. Depending on the age gap they may have very different bed times, need different bed time routines, longer term they will want privacy, somewhere quiet to do homework etc.
No your house doesn't need to be perfect, I live in a wonky Victorian terrace, but I'm glad I decorated pretty much the whole house before arrival because it hasnt seen a paint brush in the last 6 years. Depends what you can live with I suppose, I'm not overly houseproud but after 6 years it is starting to look a bit of a mess and I am irritated by it. I would definitely do any big jobs like kitchens or bathrooms, simply because once you have kids you may not have the time, money or inclination to do them. Hallways take a lot of punishment from kids - give it a coat of paint to freshen it up, kids will fill it with coats, shoes, school bags, and mud and knock hell out of the paintwork with scooters and bikes soon enough.
I do have a downstairs loo, but I don't have an upstairs one.
Your home needs to be safe, so if you live on a busy road do you have suitable fencing and gates so that an escaping toddler can't rush out into traffic. If not, put them in.
Savings could be important depending on your adoption leave package. I had very generous adoption leave, 6 months full pay, 3 months half and 3 months no pay so I only needed enough savings to tide me over 3 months.
Do sibling groups (of 2) have to have a bedroom each?
Broadly speaking yes, this would be the norm.
Does the house have to NOT be in a busy road? No.
Does the property have to be newly decorated? No.
Does every room have to be 'finished' so to speak?
The kids rooms have to be in a good state. The place looking like a building site would be a problem.
What if the hallway is shabby and in need of a real tarting up? Fine.
Does there have to be a downstairs toilet? No.
Do there have to be a particular level of pre-school places or primary school places available? No.
Also are your salaries and savings taken into account? Yes.
And if you have some savings and only have a mortgage but no other debt does in count in your favour? Yes.
TL;DR: You have to be able to look after the kids. You have to have an appropriate home and be financially secure. You do not need to be rich and fancy. What you will be like as a parent is more important.
I would get any DIY jobs that you plan to do out of the way before kids- you will never have free time again :-)
Hope you don’t mind me asking a question on your post OP...I was just wondering whether small-ish DIY jobs need to be done before an initial visit? We’ve got a few bits of cosmetic touching up to be done...eg a wall that’s bare plaster, a wall and are waiting to finish the decorating before putting new carpets down.
Part of us wants to get on and send the forms in to give us the kick up the bum to get the jobs done. It’s a bit of a chicken and egg thing...we don’t want to lay new carpets until the plastering and painting is done but don’t want a visiting SW to be put off by bare scruffy floors. At the same time if we rush and stress ourselves out trying to get it all done at once send off the forms and then end up waiting around for a visit we’ll be kicking ourselves that we could’ve spent a bit more time on it all iyswim
We didn’t actually have kids rooms all through home study. They were still actually being built when LO SW visited. (And I do mean built, not decorated or plastered...) They were ready about 3 wks before matching panel.
I wouldn’t recommend doing it that way, but it wasn’t a barrier...
Sounds very stressful and at the same time reassuring for me!
Oh for the bedroom thing we asked this at an open evening as we only have one spare room but would be open to siblings. They said the general rule of thumb is that they need a room each, however in that particular area there’s a real shortage of adopters and lots of kids waiting so they said when they’re actively recruiting because of this that they can relax these rules. I guess whether it’s right for the children is another question I don’t have the answer to...I think that would be a case by case thing.
We were told that we had to have a spare room for each child, but it didn't need to be set up as a kids room already. I think that they are supposed to be pragmatic (eg a hard to place sibling group of three boys and one girl could be accomodated in one large bedroom and one smaller bedroom, rather than four separate rooms). But there can be some variation on absolute requirments: I have heard of adopters having to fill in their fish pond, having to put safety netting around it, or having to agree that they need to be careful with children outside, for example.
The general rule of thumb is that the house has to be suitable for children, but it doesn't have to be perfect. (Thankfully!)
Dont' worry about schools, by the way - the admissions rules mean that adopted children can go to practically any school that you choose.
Slightly off topic but I remember the SW doing her health and safety check half way through my home study in the days when it took years to get through and be matched (I took 3) and asking me why I didn't have safety gates on the stairs...
"Becasue my friends would have been certified if I did that about 2 years before I had a sniff of a child living here"
To be fair my SW laughed and I don;t think she wrote that down verbatim.
That made me laugh out loud Kewcumber! My sister asked me if we wanted the cot she’s been saving us to ‘dress’ the room for our initial home visit. I pointed out it might seem a little presumptuous! The equivalent of going to a job interview, before they can ask any questions putting your feet up on the desk and saying ‘so, when do i start?’
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