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Adoption

How long did you wait for an answer after the initial visit?

13 replies

Aphrea · 08/03/2019 21:13

Hi everyone,
Just wondered if anyone could tell me how long they waited after their initial visit from the social worker to find out if they had been accepted on to stage one?
In a few days it will be three weeks since our visit and I am getting so anxious. Is it usual for it to take this long?
TIA xxx

OP posts:
Moomooboo · 09/03/2019 06:56

We waited a month, but I emailed after a month to ask. We were being assigned a different social worker and that had not happened as of yet.

I would email/call and ask in a very polite and positive way - something like: “excited at the prospect of starting stage 1, is there anything we can do?”.

Aphrea · 09/03/2019 07:46

Thank you moomooboo, I will do that. It’s reassuring to know that this is not unusual then xxx

OP posts:
donquixotedelamancha · 09/03/2019 09:51

What part of the UK are you in?
What made you choose this agency?

For us, stage one started immediately. We might have waited a few weeks to meet our SW, but in that time we'd started the paperwork and attended training.

Aphrea · 09/03/2019 12:31

Hi donquixotedelamancha, we are in Kent using Kent County Council. We went with them because we met lots of the staff, asked lots of questions and were really pleased what they told us, including their post adoption service xxx

OP posts:
donquixotedelamancha · 09/03/2019 13:03

England has the quickest timescales, but there is a lot of variation between agencies. Stage 1 and 2 should take no more than 6 months, but delays are common.

A common strategy from slow agencies, (to avoid the targets) is to delay the formal start of stage one, which strictly has started already when you sent the application.

I think repeated chasing is a vital skill in adoption, but it depends on how you feel. If you are more comfortable being led then waiting might be the relaxed option.
When you are chasing it's important to emphasise the positive and constructive tone that moo suggests above.

Aphrea · 09/03/2019 18:18

Thank you, I really appreciate your advice x

OP posts:
topcat2014 · 09/03/2019 18:32

The process is 'adopter led' and the clock starts from the date you fill in the "expression of interest'

Everything in adoption can be agonisingly slow, but no reason why you can't phone every week or two to follow up.

Aphrea · 10/03/2019 08:57

Thank you Topcat2014, I’m definitely going to make contact on Monday xxx

OP posts:
Hitchyhero · 10/03/2019 21:25

I agree with @donquixotedelamancha

IMO agencies seem to try and keep to targets by not officially starting stages and having gaps in between.

For example, we went to our first open day in August but didn't officially start stage one until mid Oct. Stage two lasted 2 months as it should. But then we hit Xmas period and so didn't start stage 2 until mid-end of Jan.

We are nearing the end of stage 2 now. Should complete that in two weeks, but we don't have panel til May.

So the stages seem to run on schedule but the periods in between or before seem to take long

donquixotedelamancha · 10/03/2019 21:38

For example, we went to our first open day in August but didn't officially start stage one until mid Oct. Stage two lasted 2 months as it should. But then we hit Xmas period and so didn't start stage 2 until mid-end of Jan. We are nearing the end of stage 2 now. Should complete that in two weeks, but we don't have panel til May.

Unless you didn't apply after the open day and asked for the interstage delay, that is an appalling timescale just for approval. My nearest LA (broke; formerly failing, now OK) gets through 60% of approvals in 5 months from application and 85% within 6 months.

Only genuine delays like: complex medical issues, adopters who need to do additional work and references from abroad should run over 6 months.

It is so important to shop around and pick a good agency.

Hitchyhero · 10/03/2019 23:45

If we get approved in May, it would have been 9 months in total (but that is including initial contact. It would have been 7 months from official stage 1.

So to be honest I don't think it's that bad. I'm on other adopters groups and people have told be their time scales have been a lot longer

topcat2014 · 11/03/2019 06:42

Whilst we didn't take any official gaps, it took us a year to the day to approval panel. We probably were more complex because we have a 12 y/o as well.

Moomooboo · 11/03/2019 07:22

Hitchyhero we had the same. Information evening in August. Prompted social worker early September and then initial meeting late September. Then stage 1 in January (after many missed meetings), stage 2 in March, approved in June. I hate to say it, but we were told we would go to panel in April... then it became May... then it became June...

It’s all good though now. LO been with us since October. Also upon reflection I think the process took as long as it should have done - but I remember how frustrating it was having to send positively framed emails/ring up and say - “what’s the hold up?” Without sounding rude. One email was slightly rude though. Our sw had arranged a meeting, which we’d taken off work, but then she hadn’t cancelled or turned up!! After that though it got much better!!!

It is trial by patience - good luck everyone!

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