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What happens at initial home visit?(29 Posts)
We are right at the start of the adoption journey and have had our phone call with the agency who have recommended us for a home visit from a social worker. Can anyone please advise what is likely to happen?
What sort of things are they looking for?
Obviously we will make sure the house is clean and tidy but our garden is a bit of a mess at the moment as we've had some work done and need to get a skip to get rid of some waste - will that go against us?
Any advice gratefully received!
We have had ours recently. It took quite a while, they were here for over two hours. They went for an overview of a wide range of topics, including our relationship history, families, job and working hours, finances, plans regarding adoption leave, support network, health. They explained the next steps and the full assessment process. And then we looked round the house.
One of hour rooms is absolutely full of stuff waiting to be donated, and that was fine. I don't think they were expecting it to be all perfect and the fact is if you're planning on adopting you need to get the house in order first! So I don't think your garden will go against you.
Obviously it's probably a different LA/agency but I imagine it'll be fairly similar.
It's basically a skim-over of everything they'll assess in more depth during the whole assessment to get to know you and to try and quickly identify anything that might be a major issue. Be prepared for brief questions about you and your motivation to adopt and expect them to look round your house. They won't expect your house to be in full order yet but make sure that it's basically safe and clutter free and that you can showcase the child(ren)'s room(s) (I would make them neat and demonstrate their space as much as possible but no need to decorate/make them up for a child just yet) I wouldn't worry too much about the garden. They'll understand that it's winter. Just ensure them that it's going to be a safe space well before you're matched. If you can take any car loads to the council tip in the meantime then bonus but I wouldn't worry if not. They may well point out issues with the house as they're extremely safety conscious and you won't possibly have thought of everything just yet. Just take it on board, don't take it personally and ensure them that it'll be sorted prior to approval and it shouldn't cause an issue. If you want to be really on the ball you could make sure your cleaning products and medicines etc are safely locked away, have up to date carbon monoxide and smoke detectors and a first aid kit. I really don't think they'll mind if you don't as they'll do a more in depth assessment of the house later on but this is probably all stuff they'll expect at that point so might as well do it now and get brownie points. It'll all be pretty informal at this stage though so honestly don't worry. Just use it as a chance to gain info from them and get to know your SW. Good luck! It's an exciting and often harrowing journey but just like labour the pain is forgotten as soon as your beautiful child is in your arms xx
I would have a clear idea plan to take a year off work too, who is going to take that time off and how you'll manage financially. If you don't have the finances for that then be clear that you're intending to save. Xx
Thank you guys, really helpful!
We are due our initial home visit on thursday
We are excited and nervous all at the same time.
It would be great to bounce off other who are at the same stage.
Hi, my wife and I are also at the same stage as you, we have our first home visit on the 5th. Am so glad we found this page as alot of your concerns are also ours! Weve been frantically running around trying to make our house a show home ready 🤣
We had a social worker with us for about 4 hours, asking lots of questions about our jobs, previous jobs, finances, support networks etc. I spent hours tidying the house and she said she didn't need to look around, ha!
She then explained how the rest of the process works and answered all of our questions. We waited about a week for her report to be completed and then we were sent over our paperwork to start stage 1 within a couple of days
We have also recently had our initial home visit and our social worker was also with us for almost 4 hours! Our discussions followed the same themes as previous posts, we had the opportunity to ask lots of questions, the process was explained to us and then we had a look around our house. Currently waiting for the report to be completed.
How did everyone get on with their home visit?
We got on great! We've started stage one now. My references have been in touch asking about when we met and things! The next thing is having to book a medical, which I'm dreading.
Oops. Not sure how to edit my post. How did you get on @Potts13?
They're pretty good about work being done. Our garden was (still is...) A mess and we were having a kitchen put in when we had our home visit! They said so long as it was all ready before panel it was cool. Our garden is safe now but we're putting the lawn in this week... Introductions start next week!!
I think so long as you're open to making changes and don't get all hoity toity about things, they're accepting of the fact that it won't be perfect straight away.
At our first visit we showed her around, she met the cats and talked about reasons for adoption, finances, timescales and stuff.
Initial interview went well however we were pushed back 3 months, we have a rottweiler who is still very much an excitable puppy (we knew he would be an issue due to stigma of the breed) so need to do some further training with his greeting of people (he still jumps up), we need to loose some weight and I need additional time with no nicotine so that I have 6 months quit time before we go to panel. Sigh i was so upset, had a little cry ...but the report states everything else is perfect and we make ideal candidates. 3 hurdles to jump over before we can start
I’m sorry you’re delayed but tbh nothing would happening during lockdown so you’ve got time and space to address the things you need to without really relying too much. I think a young excitable dog would be an issue regardless of breed - they’ll want to see how he settles before introducing a scared child/children into the mix.
Hang on in there, it’s all part of the process.
Good luck with the process.
"What sort of things are they looking for?" Ours wanted to know about our fertility issues, which had been over a number of years (6.5) trying to have baby number 2.
A bit of general stuff, which I have forgotten (it was almost 8 years ago now, our son has been with us almost 6 years).
I did clean up a lot, and the social worker did look around the house. Just really looking to see we had room for another child, I think. But I needed to feel confident the house was OK!
"Obviously we will make sure the house is clean and tidy but our garden is a bit of a mess at the moment as we've had some work done and need to get a skip to get rid of some waste - will that go against us?"
I don't think it will go against you if you have plans to sort it out, IMHO. I agree with Jannt86 " Just take it on board, don't take it personally and ensure them that it'll be sorted prior to approval and it shouldn't cause an issue."
we had our daughter for 9 years and they still found things about our house that we needed to change for adoption!
Of course at the moment lockdown means you cannot do much, other than plan how it will be. You can do some planning re safe plants (we were asked about the plants in our garden and if any were poisonous) and also just security etc, if the garden safely fenced in etc.
@Potts13 was it because the dog was a rottweiler or because it's a puppy (excitable) that the social worker was concerned?
Good luck with losing weight and hope it goes well.
Do you mind telling me, did they advise oy on what an acceptable weight would be?
Op, can I ask what their issue was specifically with your dog? We have a very excitable lab x. She's not a puppy, but she does still act like one in some ways.
She's very jumpy when she first meets someone, but it's not a constant thing. We have had behaviourists in, but it's ongoing battle.
Does anyone know if this would be a deal breaker?
@Hotwaterbottlelove I don't know about the poster who mentioned weight but when I went through the adoption process about 8 years ago they seemed more interested in my BMI, which was very high. I just said I was trying to lose weight and tried and told them how.
I really do not know as I don't have a dog, but my understanding with the idea of deal breakers is more to do with how this will affect a child.
So for example if a child was placed with you and could not get on with the dog, or the dog count not get on with them, or the child developed an allergy; could an adopter be able to prioritize the child over the dog.
I know it sounds really silly and in once sense everyone can say, of course, they will prioritize their child over a pet.
For new adoptive parents with existing pets that could be a long standing relationship with a pet and a child you hardly know. Others may feel differently but I am imagining the official line is always what is best for the child is the priority.
So for lots of kids a dog is great, and even an excitable dog could be great but it's getting the right match with the right child - knowing that if anything goes 'wrong' you must put the child first.
A bit of both I think, she agreed that the breed had a stigma and he is is still young, she wanted him to have a bit more training to give him the beat chance of passing their dog assessment:-)
@hotwaterbottlelove the agency we are using have a guideline that bmi should be under 40. We are both just over that due to getting comfy and sedentary jobs! As long as you demonstrate u are working with ur doctor to reduce ur weight then I'm sure u will be fine :-) you need to be able to pass on those healthy eating habits and be able to run around with the children!
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