Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Home Visits

Phew!!  We have just had our initial home visit to start the adoption process again.  What a more relaxed meeting it was this time, compared to our last time.  The Social Worker was really lovely and gave a clear picture without being overly negative.  She said that we would have to be restrictive of the age range we could adopt, due to Katie's age, so we would have to apply for the 18months to 3 years age range.  Katie would be 5 by the time her sibling came home.  She said that that might delay us a little due to being restrictive but she felt happy with our interview and would be recommending that we are put forward for training.  There is a backlog for training anyway in our local area so we might have to wait until March/April 2012.  That isn't really a problem for us and is pretty much what I expected to hear.  She described the needs of some of the children coming forward for placement at the moment and that was helpful to give us a clearer picture.  We gave her a guided tour of the house (thank heavens for the whirlwind cleaning yesterday!) and she liked everything.  She particularly loved Leo, our Maine Coon, who was very friendly and particularly liked the product she had in her hair.  I need to work with him on boundaries I think.  He's quite imposing, especially when he puts his paws on your shoulders!

So am feeling very positive about where we're headed next.  We've been told to expect a wait of around 3 weeks to hear the outcome because the Social Worker is part-time and has two other assessments to write up.  The local Childrens Services team has been recently reorganised and it sounds like people in the team have a lot of additional work whilst all the changes are being implemented.  I hope Mr Cameron is aware that his big statements around speeding up the adoption process will have a huge impact on some very hardworking and, already stressed, individuals.  We can wait three weeks for a decision.  It's the least we can do for such a lovely Social Worker!

One thing that was interesting was we had a discussion about the figures currently being quoted in the media about the lack of adoptions compared to the huge number of children in the care system.  The Social Worker said that a huge majority of the children currently in the care system will be returned to their birth families.  The same applies for the numbers of babies placed for adoption.  We already knew that very few children are relinquished, which means that every effort has to be made to try and make the birth placement work.  Children are often in and out of care whilst this is attempted (not always to their benefit).  I do wonder what the real figures are i.e. children approved for adoption in the care system.  How many of those are adopted and how many waiting?

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