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
"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:
- They have a match in mind for us or
- They are worried we are about to complain.
So now all I do need to do is decide what to wear to panel...........