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Is this an excessive wait?

(15 Posts)
smeemoo Tue 15-Sep-20 07:17:02

We were told of a bio sibling in July, and asked would be consider taking them. We said yes. We were told we had to wait to see what was happening. 3 weeks later we were told the plan was indeed adoption, and we would be transferred to the approvals team to become approved to be adopters. We then waited 3 weeks to be assigned a social worker and have a meeting with our social worker as an initial meeting to discuss our approval (not start the process). Two day later we were sent the ROI to send back to officially start the process - so we waited 6 weeks to start the process. Now, we have waited 3 weeks and still haven’t heard anything about any meetings. We have emailed pretty much every other day asking questions but replies take a day or two to come. In my last one I cced the head of service and this got a faster response. We are getting so fed up with the delays and the waiting for anything real to happen when there is a child just waiting for us. There is literally no urgency.

I suppose what I am asking is am I being unreasonable to email our social worker every day? The trouble is I don’t have his phone number so we literally have never spoken. I feel like it’s ridiculous what’s happening but it seems like for the social workers this is totally normal.

OP’s posts: |
Whoisillthen Tue 15-Sep-20 08:25:16

Perfectly normal especially now, SW told us it can take 6 months to adopt a sibling. There is no urgency at all. It's terrible.

Allington Tue 15-Sep-20 08:32:16

I don't think this is an unusual wait - which could be lack of resources/focus on the baby's needs, or it could be the timeline of the legal process - especially as the courts have been affected by lockdown.

I would expect the SW to be clear with you about the expected timeframe, and would focus first on getting an outline of what they expect as the steps in the process, along with the timeframe. Then you'll know when to chase, and when to go with the flow.

smeemoo Tue 15-Sep-20 08:46:44

Thanks for your replies - I think thats the problem Allington - we have basically no communication with our social worker so we don't know what's going on! We haven't even had a phone call!

I think the thing I hate the most is the snatched conversations we have they are deluding themselves when they say things like: "its in their best interests that it takes this long". Rather than - "we don't have the resources to speed things up," or "I wish it could be faster but I have 17 other cases to get through before lunch"....

OP’s posts: |
Stinkyjellycat Tue 15-Sep-20 10:53:59

It took 4.5 months from hearing about our child to them being placed. It was very slow at the start but towards the ends things happened very very quickly. Make the most of your time wisely now and enjoy sleep, sex and going to the toilet on your while you can! grin

drspouse Tue 15-Sep-20 11:08:30

@Stinkyjellycat as they already have this child's birth sibling I suspect they have none of these things to themselves at the moment!

Stinkyjellycat Tue 15-Sep-20 11:29:22

I was hoping that all these things reappear in our lives as a child gets older. Are you telling me they don’t @drspouse ?! 🤦🏽‍♀️

drspouse Tue 15-Sep-20 11:39:27

Erm... 6 and 8 here... a bit more sleep... I'll let you know.

smeemoo Tue 15-Sep-20 11:49:56

I do dream of a day I can sit on the toilet uninterrupted for more than 5 mins, but our dc is only 3 at the moment so I’m hoping it becomes longer eventually.... sleep is good though - no complaints there but dc has been more clingy with our return to work...

I’m stock piling wine regardless. Forget pasta or toilet paper........

OP’s posts: |
Ted27 Tue 15-Sep-20 17:58:18

My cat follows me to the loo, just saying......

hope you hear sonething soon

Jellycatspyjamas Tue 15-Sep-20 18:48:32

I suppose what I am asking is am I being unreasonable to email our social worker every day?

You could do, but if everyone on his case load emailed him daily he’d spend all his time replying to the daily emails and not actually getting anything done.

I’m assuming the baby is either pre-birth just now or with foster carers? If so then, sadly for you there is no urgency here in that the child is safe, or as safe as they can be. The social worker will have a hugely mixed caseload and those children in care and awaiting permanence decisions will be the safest for the most part.

I’m assuming you’re not under foster to adopt, so the legal status of the child will need to be secured before placement too which is definitely taking time because of meeting schedules and court dates.

By all means chase him up, but it will take the time that it takes. And tbh in many cases it is in the child’s interests that the workers take their time and get it right, and that they get the legalities right because it’s never in a child’s interests for placement to breakdown due to administrative issues. Yes SW are massively under resourced, but you’d need to live under a rock not to know that, it literally doesn’t help SWs to spend their day telling people they can’t do X because of lack of resources - people know and still vote for governments and councils who place no value on social workers.

No, you’re not remotely unreasonable wanting things to go more quickly, but neither is the social worker necessarily (and I’m on record criticising SW fairly frequently so please don’t think I’m sticking up for my fellow SWs).

smeemoo Tue 15-Sep-20 21:13:49

Thanks for your reply. The social worker responsible for us is not responsible for the baby. They are only responsible for getting us approved.

I think its because I'm not sure what's going on behind the scenes. I think better communication is required by social workers - if I knew a time frame I wouldn't get so cross - you know? I don't even know what the approvals process involves the second time around and I'm just waiting and waiting and waiting.

I'm not necessarily asking for reasons they can't do things - I just would quite like to know why it's taking so long - or if its normal to not really have to do as much the second time around!

OP’s posts: |
smeemoo Tue 15-Sep-20 21:14:48

not all social workers........ just our social worker.

I suppose as well our first social worker the first time around was excellent at this and we never felt like we were in the dark!

If there was a wait, we knew why - or what we were waiting on!

OP’s posts: |
Jellycatspyjamas Tue 15-Sep-20 21:40:38

I know it’s massively frustrating - given your going through the process for this specific child, I imagine they’ll not press ahead until the status of the new baby is really clear which means things will go at the pace of the baby’s social worker.

It would be much better, and much less frustrating to have an idea of timescales or an update - and SWs should give this if they can. To be honest, your allocated SW may not necessarily have picked up your case yet if you’ve not heard from him. Rather than emailing daily I’d email the team leader and ask what’s happening explaining you’ve not had contact with your SW. they’ll be able to see if the case is allocated and unactioned and will move things along.

Allington Wed 16-Sep-20 09:02:48

Re: going to the toilet... I hate to be the one to break it to you, but me going to the toilet is still the moment when my 13 year old decides it is time for a long and involved discussion about (today's example) how someone as old as I am knows what WAP (as per the recent song) means... grin or some similar crucial topic (how Donald Trump gets that orange, how much of our DNA we share with chimpanzees, a detailed study of Billie Eilish's career etc etc)

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