Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Panel Date....

Great news! After many delays and some ridiculous requests from our Local Authority including planning to postpone our panel date yet again so that they could take up a reference from 25 years ago (I kid you not!) and deciding our PAR was too long we finally have confirmation that we will be going to panel NEXT WEEK!  Thankfully sense was seen by the Overseeing Adoption Manager who vetoed the need for the reference, particularly after I used the word "ridiculous" to them and highlighted that it was not needed with our first adoption.  I'm saving the word "escalate" in case things get any worse!

At one point thing got to the point that I offered to do some of the rewriting of our PAR because our Social Worker was on annual leave.  In the end she had to cut her holiday short to return and sort it all out because the Manager who was supposed to read our PAR didn't open the document until a few days before the deadline to send it out to panel.  I feel this is really unacceptable.

We are still awaiting a time for the panel (which is in a week's time). Daddy is champing at the bit because he has an incredibly important meeting to arrange for the same day and needs to know the time so that he can sort that out. There is also the issue of collecting Katie from school.  I am fully anticipating that we will get a time for something like 2pm which will cause us all sorts of problems. I am sure there is someone else who I can arrange to collect Katie that day, if need be, but ideally not as it's her first ever school disco on the same day and it's a big date in the diary. I'm also helping out at the disco (which has been pointed out to me is rather stupid as I will probably have a migraine by then from all the anxiety of the day).  I think I'll take some pre-emptive tablets that day to try and ward anything untoward off.

Still, in my opinion, these are minor worries.  WE HAVE A DATE!!! I can't actually quite believe it at the moment. I'm still waiting for them to postpone it for some, as yet, unknown reason. They'll probably suddenly realise a vital piece of paper is missing and postpone us for another 3 months!

Yes, we've been delayed this time already by 3 months because of a missing personal reference.  A reference which, I should add, I suspect was never really missing in the first place.  I suspect it was simply "misplaced".  It seems too much of a stretch for my limited imagination to believe that the missing reference was amazingly "received" on the very day that I complained about how slow our process had been thus far and the Deputy Manager was looking at our file.

My frustration levels since December have been pretty high with this adoption process, for very different reasons than the last time.  Last time I was so anxious about being approved. That someone would finally say that I could be a mum had my blood pressure on red alert (ok that's an exaggeration as I've always had low BP). This time the anxiety has been more linked to the various delays we have experienced along the way.  As I have mentioned previously, we were promised an 8 month process. We are now 18 months into that process.  We are second time adopters.  All our information was current from our last adoption.  The only thing that has changed is the addition of Katie to our household.  Now that is a pretty major change and I have no issue with a full assessment being undertaken to ensure that Katie is going to be ready to accept a sibling into her life. That part was totally easy.  Our Social Worker is very happy that that is the case.  The delays have been admin-related in origin: 

  • Lack of assessing Social Workers,
  • Lack of coordination and clarity between our Local Authority and our agency Social Worker,
  • Lack of coordination of our personal file,
  • Lack of clarity about information that was required,
  • Misplaced CRB checks,
  • Misplaced references,
  • Three changes in the PAR form required by our assessing Social Worker
 I'm not going to point any fingers other than in the direction of David Cameron and the current government.  I suspect that the staff at our Local Authority are stressed to the hilt because of the staff and budget cuts and also structure reorganisation. Mistakes are going to be made when working under those conditions. My message to Mr Cameron is this:

"Don't advertise and promote adoption when you are making funding cuts to public services. What are you trying to do to the staff that work there? Do you really think that adopters will be able to assessed quickly and easily and in shorter amounts of time when you don't have the infrastructure in place to support this aim?"

I do like to end on a high, and a high there is to end on. Not only do we have a date but.....

We also have the name of our Matching Social Worker!!

I know, I almost fell off my chair when I received that information.  Are they suddenly being organised or is there one of two other options to consider:

  1. They have a match in mind for us or
  2. They are worried we are about to complain.
What do you think?

So now all I do need to do is decide what to wear to panel...........





19 comments:

  1. Very pleased for you, but my word, you've really had to jump through hoops. Your experience doesn't bode well for intentions to speed up the process. And all the while, a child has been waiting ....
    Anyway, you won't need it, but good luck.

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    1. Thanks Sally. Much appreciated. I should be very fit from all that hoop jumping shouldn't I?

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  2. I don't think I used the word "stupid" to describe your offer to help at the school disco. but if that's what you think it is then thats fine with me! ;-)

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    1. Hmmmm not sure I will argue with you about that but it was a fair point anyway honey. I can feel the headache coming on already!

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  3. Yay for you finally having a date... good luck for it (not that you need it at all)

    I'd take it as a positive sign that you've got a matching sw already...

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    1. Great news eh and thanks for the Good Luck. Nothing is set in stone although I'm more relaxed this time round than last time I must admit. I'll be a wreck on the day I'm sure LOL

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  4. So glad to hear your panel date is soon - fingers crossed they don't arse it up on the day and need to postpone a decision! Good luck with the disco - you never know, you might get to go along on the high of a positive decision :)

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    1. I'm certainly hoping so. Have asked if they can change the time so we'll see if that's at all possible. Have organised for a friend to collect Katie from school and take her to the disco if need be. I'm hoping I'll make it back in time.

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  5. Brilliant that you've got a panel date...hope all goes ahead as planned :-) Can't believe what a ridiculously long wait you've had for this date, but in my (limited) experience social services departments don't have strong administrators in place. (In fact I wrote our entire post adoption assessment, as PASW had it all wrong, poorly written!).
    Anyway, can't wait for the update next week :-)

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    1. Thanks Vicki! I think you're right about the administrators. We had cock-ups with personal information with our first adoption due to temps being used to send things out.

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  6. brilliant you have a panel date - but so frustrating and doesnt bode well for others that this has taken 18 months. hopefully the end and the new beginning is in sight.

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    1. Hopefully the new legislation will speed things up for others. I live in hope!!! xx

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  7. So very glad to hear you finally have a date!! Keeping everythinf crossed for you that things will now go smoothly and there will be no more delays xx

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  8. Congrats on panel date, same week as ours :-) I tried on a blouse the other day and it gapes at the buttons in the bust area - my body is not designed for blouses so I am trying a drastic diet to see how much I weight I can get off in a week OR going to have to wear something that does not button down the front........

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    1. *big grin* Brilliant news Greta!

      I've put on weight so I'm going for a jumper dress with leggings LOL!! Good luck to you xx

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  9. So pleased you've got your date, what a relief after everything you've been through. I will keep everything crossed for you. It seems ridiculous that you have had to endure so much bureaucracy as a second time adopter with relevant information already in the system. You are right of course that LA's are no doubt buckling under their workload and the pressure created from lack of funding, but misplacing paperwork is just diorganised. Anyway the news is brilliant and as for that school disco...be prepared, I've been there and it is a nightmare. x
    Thanks for linking up with The Weekly Adoption Shout Out

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  10. Someone once told me that delays are angels holding us up, because sometimes we push so fast that we miss crossing paths with the things that are meant to be. Panel will be a breeze after all this. Mx

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    1. Thank you Mumdrah. I am a big believer in angels and the opportunities they bring us. I have said pretty much the same thing about the delays. It's all meant to be and all will become apparent soon I'm sure. xx

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