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Apointment with SW of potential match

19 replies

flossymuldoon · 30/12/2010 23:41

Our social worker contacted us just before Christmas about a potential match and came on the same day and brought the details.
She has left them with us as it was her last day before Christmas and the next day in the post we got a note to say that she has aranged an appointment with the childs social worker on the 5th January.

Does anyone know what is likely to happen at this meeting?

OP posts:
maryz · 31/12/2010 00:33

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

flossymuldoon · 31/12/2010 00:44

Thanks Maryz :-)

OP posts:
NanaNina · 31/12/2010 13:15

I have 30 years experience in fostering and adoption for a LA but am now retired. It is really the child's social worker who needs to be satisfied that this is the right match, but this is best done in collaboration between your soc wrk and child's soc worker.

Both social workers will come out and see you and the child's soc work will be giving consideration to whether this is the right match. Incidentally this is a 2 way process, you too need to be considering very carefully whether you think this is the right match. You have had some info but the child's sw will have more detail he/she will be able to talk with you about, and you must take the opportunity to raise any queries that you have.

You need to be fully in the picture about any behavioural/developmental problems this child has etc. Your sw clearly thinks this is a good potential match so the signs look good.

The link does have to be approved by the adoption panel but if both sws are in agreement it will be very unlikely that there will be any problem.

Take it steady - get all the info you need and then think very carefully whether this is the right match. It would be interesting to know how the foster carers are coping with the child.

Good luck anyway

hester · 31/12/2010 21:54

This meeting is like your job interview. The social workers may have already identified you as the most likely match, or they may be considering another couple or two (I have heard that this happens, but it didn't to me: we had two meetings about prospective matches, and in both cases we were first choice).

So, it is exciting. And NN is right that this means you need to do lots of thinking beforehand about this particular child/ren: do you have sufficient information to feel confident that they are a good match with your family? What more do you need to know about them? Are they any aspects of the information that are missing or you need more detail on?

A word of warning: I did feel a certain amount of pressure at both our meetings to be very positive about the potential match (just like in a job interview). But if you have any doubts about the match, it's important to be honest about them. We did turn down one potential match, which felt terribly difficult and guilt-inducing at the time, but it was the right thing to do (for us and for the child) and meant that we now have our wonderful daughter.

Good luck! Let us know how you get on.

flossymuldoon · 01/01/2011 10:18

Thanks so much NanaNina and Hester - ton of info there!!

I have been seeing this as our job interview too as our social worker knows us whereas the childs SW doesn't. I am getting REALLY nervous now!

While we have been reviewing the info we have tried to take our emotions out of the equation so we could look at the info as objectively as possible. Considering the backgrounds that many of the children come from though this is pretty much best case scenario (if that's really possible). SW met the child and FC recently and has completed a report with a suprising amount of info. According the the FC the child is aparently a joy and very easy to parent. He has been with them since birth (so no abuse/neglect after birth)and apparently they are very experienced FC. The child has good attachment with them so although uprooting him is bound to be hard on him the prognosis for attachment with us looks pretty good. He is meeting all his development milestones (although he is too young to be diagnosed with many things yet).

The only risk is whether any behaviour could be inherited from BP we discussed this in length during her visit and with the types of behaviour, it is fairly likely that it is from their own life exeriences rather than heriditary.

Luckily we have a FANTASTIC SW who wouldn't push us to do anything that we didn't feel right (infact she is one who has said all the way through the process that we should not feel pressured) as her focus is that she wants all adoptions to be succesful.
Having said that, from a totally objective point of view the match looks perfect!!!

I have heard that other couples could also be considered and it only ocurred to me to ask that the next day so that deffo the first question on the list!

I think i need to spend today making a big long list of questions!!!

I'll let you know how it goes :-)

OP posts:
Lilka · 01/01/2011 11:01

The last meeting i had like this one was way back in 2002 so i don't think i'm much help now! I was not the only person being considered for DD2 (who was nearly 8 at the time). In the meeting I asked questions and I was asked questions in return by her SW. My SW was very posiitve about the match although I was not! The other people being considered were a married couple who didn't have children and i was a single gay woman with an older teenager. i thought that would go against me, but they went with me because DD2 was presnting woth many of the same issues as DD1 had done so I knew how to deal with the behaviors having raised DD1. I was asked questions about that, and about my time management (making time for both kids) and DD2 SW looked around my home as well. I asked lots of questions about DD2 and luckily both SW thought this was a positive thing (I do know a couple who wrere passed on one match because they wreren't positive enough ie. too many questions) although this couple now have gorgeous siblings). I needed to know though because I already had DD1 and she needed to be prepared for things DD2 would do and these are big issues we're talking about so most people would not even consider adopting her in the first place - I had to make sure I was going to be able to parent her and help her heal as much as i could be sure and try to work out whether she would fit in my home, which wasn't easy considering i wasn't given that much information until i met the FC's

anyway.. the very best of luck to you. I hope this is your litte one Smile

NanaNina · 01/01/2011 13:59

Hi Flossie - as you say there will surely be other couples in the pipeline for a baby removed at birth and attached to the foster carer, so try not to set your hopes too high.

You say you are nervous and that is natural, but try to relax, the child's sw is human (I hhope!) and at the end of the day will make the decision he or she feels will best meet the child's needs. A lot depends on the experience of the child's sw. Sometimes as an assessing sw I could influence the sw and he or she would be grateful for that, as new sws can often be floundering if this is the first time they have been involved in such a case. It also depends on how collabarative tyour sw and the child's sw can be, so there are many things at play here.

Just be yourself, and ask whatever you feel you need to. Glad to hear you have got a good link worker. Remember if this placement does not go ahead,another one will in the fullness of time. I know it's easy for me to say that, but all adoptors will tell you that the waiting is very hard.

Yes, let us know how you get on.

hester · 01/01/2011 20:26

Yes, there may be other couples, though as I said IME it was ours to lose by the time they visited us. Our social worker says she thinks it is poor practice to interview more than one couple by this stage - though this does NOT mean that this child's social workers share the same view!

I stress this NOT to get your hopes up, but to impress on you that you will be expected to know pretty quickly whether or not you want to proceed. I went into our first meeting thinking it was a chance for us to get information, and we could then consider whether we wanted to go ahead. Not so. Though of course you can decide not to proceed afterwards (we did), I recommend that you and your dp spend time NOW talking through your in principle position on this child, what the deal breakers might be etc, so you can use the meeting to really focus on what's important to you.

Sounds like you're really excited about the potential of this match. I hope that it all works out for you Smile

snail1973 · 01/01/2011 21:52

So exciting for you!!!

My experience (in 2 different LAs) has been that we were 1st choice couple. ie if we said yes then they would not interview anyone else. BUT I do know that some places do it differently, although I think that is less common now when the child is a relatively 'easy' one to match.

I'd echo what others have said - be on your "best behaviour" and put your best offer forward eg. willingness lots of time off work/SAHM

If there are any medical things you would want advise on then you can usually ask for a meeting with a paediatrician attached to SS who can advise you.

Also ask now about timescales as things can happen quite fast (or not)

Good luck :)

Kristingle · 01/01/2011 22:01

hi flossie

i agree that you need to think about whether or not this is the right child for you.

you are right that getting a young child means that there are a lot of unknowns

you need to think about the child's pre natal exposure to drugs and alcohol. if the baby was removed at birth then the mother probably has a history of addictions and /or mental illness or learning disabilty. this is a big risk factor

you should consider what (if any) information you have about the birth father and his family and how you would handle this

there are probably older siblings , some may remain in care or with family members, some may be adopted. there may be ongoing contact issues and you need to think about how you could cope with this for the next 20 years or so

if there are older siblings ( in care or adopted) you need to ask why the baby is not being placed with them

for the avoidance of doubt, i am just raising issues you must consider - please don't post anything about this baby here

and nina is right, there will almost certainly be other families in the running, any panel would expect a choice of placement for such a young child.

good luck Smile

flossymuldoon · 02/01/2011 11:02

Thanks you all sooooooo much all for your responses!!!!

Also thanks for the words of caution. It's really helpful to be reminded of those.

The great thing is that we have been given a TON of info from the SW so we know all the ins and outs of the birth family and child - i was actually really suprised that we would have so much info at this stage.

As part of the approval we discussed in length and read a ton of stuff that would give us a good idea of what the risks of this age group is (0-2). It made pretty harrowing reading at the time but it meant that we fully understood the risks.

Hubby and i have have gone thorough every element, any risks, contact issues, likely trauma pre birth, and ideas on how we would share some of the difficult info with the child, and all other risks in detail in a totally objective way without our emotions calling the shots. We have questions but non of the answers to them are deal breakers and it's only now that a tiny bit of excitement has started now we have decided that we want to proceed.

We are definitely not going to get our hopes up. As yet we don't know whether we are the only couple and we have another 3 sets of people to approve the match. But more than anything we trust the matching process. If this child isn't right for us then there will be another child that is.

We were only approved in September and were told that it absolutely wouldn't be before Christmas so we don't really feel like we have been waiting at all yet.

Going to spring clean the house today. I know that won't make much difference to the childs SW but it will make me feel better Smile

OP posts:
flossymuldoon · 06/01/2011 08:26

Hi Folks,

A little update!

I spoke to our SW on Tuesday. She said that we were the only family being considered at this stage as we are the 1st choice.

Childs SW came to see us yesterday. Heads a bit of a muddle as i can't gauge how it went. Hubby says it went well but i have no idea. I was suprised that the childs SW had no questions to ask us, so our SW kept having to prompt the convo (which really suprised me). I just assumed she'd have a million and one questions just like a job interview Smile.

She said she would let us know next week after she had spoken to her manager but our SW was pushing her to try and sort it this week so they could get panel booked for mid February. So, we'll see. Head's a bit of a muddle and i guess it will be until i hear. I've been waiting to be a parent for more years than i care to remember so i'm sure i can cope with another couple of days!!

OP posts:
NanaNina · 06/01/2011 13:50

Glad you are first choice flossy. It sounds to me like the child's sw was fairly inexperienced, especially if she had to be led by your link worker. Also the fact that she had to speak to her manager suggests she is inexperienced - an experienced sw would not need to have to do that, she would tell her manager it was a good match - sounds like this sw needs her manager's approval. Good thing your sw is pushing her to sort it out to get to Feb panel (as they are usually monthly and get very booked up at times) and the sooner this child is placed for permanancy the better.

you could get in touch with your link worker to see how things are progressing. Sounds to me like you will be ok - do hope so.

Let us know the outcome!

Incidentally the adoption panel should not be a problem if both sws are positive about the match.

Do sympathise though having to play the waiting game when you have so much at stake. SWs tend to forget this and the child's sw may have to wait for a time to talk to her manager etc etc.

Kristingle · 06/01/2011 18:23

thats great news! i agree with nina that the Sw sounds very inexperienced

it all sounds very positive and hope you get a slot on the feb panel.remember to ask if the agency's decision maker will be at the panel and if not, how long to have it ratified. you need to check if there are any further meetings to take place before you have have a planning meeting

After that intros should start very quickly as she's so young and last for no more than 2 weeks. really you should have her home no later than a month or so after the panel

you must make sure to get lots of time with the Fcs to ask questions. They are a really really important source of information and advice for you, especially if the Sw is clueless

you need to start reading now about attachment parenting and make your plans. when are you going to notify your employers? you will both need time off for the introductions

hifi · 06/01/2011 19:07

Hi Flossy, have you seen any photos yet?

hester · 06/01/2011 19:33

How exciting!

flossymuldoon · 06/01/2011 20:49

Hi folks,
i think your are both right NanaNina and Kristingle. I spoke to our SW this morning and she was as puzzled as we were about the lack of questions, but she also suggested that she may not be very experienced. She did have our form F beforehand though and as it details everything short of the brand of toothpaste we use Hmm maybe she didn't feel the need to have us sell ourselves to her? I dunno.

Actually our SW also rang me back at the end of the day and apologised as she forgot to mention this morning that she thought we were fantasic at the meeting Smile. Bless her - she's so lovely.

Our SW doesn't work Fridays or Mondays so we won't hear anything until Tues but if we haven't heard anything i might speak to her at the end of Tues and ask whether we could book a provisional panel date. Apparently there is on on the 1st (which there isn't anough time to get everything ready) but the next one is 16th Feb. Maybe she could provisionally book it and then cancel if anything changes? She did that with our approval and took the flyer that we everything would be ready, and it was.

Descision maker won't be at the panel and will 2 weeks to be ratified.

Work have known all along and i have told them about the new developments - same with hubbys work. They know it isn't a done deal but know that if it is approved i'll be off from March for a year, and hubby will be taking a month. I also mentioned reducing my hours once i go back and my boss said no probs, and that she would do what she needed to to make it happen.

Yes hifi we saw photos Grin. He's such a cutie and i haven't been able to get his lovely face out of my head today.

OP posts:
hester · 06/01/2011 21:55

flossy, this happened to me too - a matching meeting with social workers at which I desperately made conversation because they didn't seem to have anything to say, or ask!

It's all sounding really positive. fingers crossed for you.

Lilka · 06/01/2011 22:01

Oooh, great news! Looking positive, got my fingers crossed as well Smile

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