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Between Linking and Matching panel

(8 Posts)
Jessica78 Wed 31-Oct-18 07:46:02

Hello! Very excited as we have been linked and it is moving forward (Hurrah!) BUT what happens in the run up to matching panel? What should we be doing before we get to that point? I think intros might follow on quickly from panel, so trying to figure out what I need to get done! Help!

OP’s posts: |
Smudgymoo Wed 31-Oct-18 09:26:23

For us we basically were told once we were linked to get completely ready, so we did the nursery for our newly placed LO, got a cot, pram and car seat and started buying some toys. We bought clothes in the age bracket above our LO because we didn’t really know what size he was, but we only did this because we wanted to. We knew that things can go wrong in the inbetween stage you are at, but were told by many people at that stage it’s very unlikely to go wrong.

Though other people have different things, our intros could only start after the agency decision maker had ratified the decision made by panel, and this actually took longer than the 10 working days they allowed. Yours may be different and they may allow intros to start immediately after panel. You may have this time between intros and panel but if you don’t, you probably want to get everything ready!

Your social worker should complete a document (can’t remember what it’s called) similar to the PAR for approval panel, which will be sent to panel. The majority of the work will be completed by the social workers with you only answering a couple of questions.

I cooked lots of meals that could be frozen and reheated - this actually was such a good thing. We are currently a couple of weeks into our LO living with us and we’ve only just managed to finish what was in our freezer. It has made the beginning part of placement so much easier!!

Congratulations on getting to this stage and good luck! Introductions can be incredibly stressful/exciting/emotional so make sure you talk with your support network as much as possible during the introductions when you can. I called my mum pretty much every day!!

tldr Wed 31-Oct-18 16:19:31

Yes, get totally ready, assume intros will start within week or two of matching panel. (And if it’s a straightforward match they’re not going to say no...)

donquixotedelamancha Wed 31-Oct-18 19:21:23

What should we be doing before we get to that point?

- Get the room ready.
- Tidy your house. Take a photo. It will never be tidy again.
- Do any household maintenance that needs doing.
- Go out to a posh restaurant, you will miss that.
- Get drunk, you will miss that too.
- Sleep a lot, you will miss that the most.
- As pp says, do a lot of batch cooking and plan to do nothing for the first month.
- Make clear to your support network what funneling is and why it will happen.
- Visit your friends.
- Have sex one last time.
- Buy some bits, but not too much before panel. I'd be diving charity shops- expensive clothes are totally wasted on kids. You always need more clothes.
- If you are matched with a baby by 200 muslins, they are great.
- If you can fit more storage anywhere, build or buy some.
- Try to chill out as much as possible (yeah, I know).

Panel is (usually) pretty easy. Once you are firmly linked, it doesn't often go wrong. Don't be put off by it being hard at first, it gets easier. Congratulations- it's even better than you imagine.

Jessica78 Wed 31-Oct-18 19:31:30

Thank you! Lots of great advice! We are very excited and I was worried because some people don't do anything til after matching panel that I was jumping the gun a bit by prepping! You have reassured me it's ok, I was feeling guilty buying things, like I'm a bit of a fraud!

Better get on with it!

OP’s posts: |
PicaK Wed 31-Oct-18 21:05:42

Buy things. Sniff them. Pick them up and cuddle them. Once your child is here you won't have any time to appreciate them. And have sex. She's not joking!

tldr Wed 31-Oct-18 21:12:09

I felt like a total fraud and also didn’t know what I was meant to be buying. I found shop staff to be really helpful for things like car seats/prams - I just explained why I was so clueless, not worried about the colour and no I couldn’t wait 6-8 weeks, they were all lovely.

And for everything else, a combination of 24 hour supermarkets and Amazon Prime saw me through. Err on the side of not buying for now - beyond the essentials - you have no idea what your child may arrive with. (Mine had tons)

donquixotedelamancha Wed 31-Oct-18 21:20:17

She's not joking!

He was kind of joking. Once a year is fiiiiiine [twitches slightly]

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