Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Things start to rev up!

Today was the day we met our social worker for the first time. We were really nervous about the meeting, mainly because we really hoped we would get someone that we warmed to! We're very aware that our SW will be one of the biggest parts of our lives over the next 12 months. She'll be coming to our home virtually every week for the next few months, we'll be sharing our most personal thoughts and experiences with her, and ultimately it will be our SW that writes our recommendation to panel, and then starts to find our potential family. So, as key influencers of your life are concerned, it's a fairly important relationship!

Good news is, we did get on - so that's a good start!!

The first meeting was with her and also her manager. In previous discussions, it has felt a little one sided, I do of course agree that the whole process has to be child-centric, but at the same time this is a big part of our lives, and we're giving our entire life over to home a child that is currently the responsibility of the state. It was very reassuring therefore, that they started this meeting by saying that they do need us, and that they are keen to see us succeed, and that they have a lot of people that call the office to apply that they won't progress as far as they've taken us so far, so that to get to this point, they are already fairly sure that we've got a lot to offer and a good chance of success. So that was a really nice way to put us at ease.

We talked through the process, we talked timescales, we talked about some of our learning from the course, we discussed the sorts of children we are thinking about, we talked about the expectations of the home visits and we talked about the various stages that we've already experienced.

The good news was that the feedback on our learning logs was positive, I didn't get told off for talking too much on the course and they said that they felt that we had both had a very enriched childhood, and that this was a great starting point for our own parenting skills, because we don't have to learn how to give love and support, because it will be instinctive in us because of our own upbringings. (thanks parents!!)

We then sat and planned some dates for home visits, and I was really pleased that we have scheduled in 10 visits between now and Christmas, pretty much one a week with just a couple of weeks off in the middle. That's great progress, we will probably only have about 12 in total, so looks like we're on track for panel in the first few months of next year. I had been worried that we may end up only being able to book these in ever three or four weeks and that the process could drag, so it's a huge relief, and excitement to know that by Christmas, we should have done a fair proportion of home visits.

We asked about time scales post panel, and she said that we wouldn't be waiting long, perhaps two to three months until we have a match - the sad truth is that currently they are only approving around 20 adopters a year, but currently they have 60 children waiting for a family. Of course in a perverse way, that's good news for us, but a really sad statistic when you consider those poor children.

We've come home armed with a thick pile of forms that we need to complete, CRB checks, local authority checks and an in depth medical questionnaire.

And our first home visit is next week - so not long to wait at all!!

We've driven home feeling really upbeat - it feels like the brakes are off and we're making progress again.

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