Everyone has told us how important the relationship between you and your social worker is. So I really wanted to like Lorraine, our assigned SW from the agency, and hoped she’d be the type of person that I could connect with and open up to during Stage Two.
Unfortunately we didn’t get off to the greatest start. We’d very briefly met Lorraine when we went to get our DBS forms checked and I left that meeting unsure of how I would get on with her. I can’t quite put my finger on what it was but there was something that I didn’t gel with. She also seemed unsure of which boxes to fill in on the DBS and I worried that she was going to fill it out incorrectly.
The first email she sent us was addressed to Mark & Claire. I understand that the email is a standard one that gets sent out to everyone but surely a quick scan would have seen that glaring error. The email also informed us that she only worked three days a week which again concerned me. What if we needed support on a day she wasn’t in? What if a judge needed a document on a day she wasn’t working?
On the day we arranged for her to come to the house to talk through stage one I had a thorough clean of the house and then, under advice from a friend, slightly messed it up again so we didn’t look like we’d be upset by mess when children arrive.
Thankfully, despite all my misgivings, she’s lovely. She had a really nice manner about her that didn’t seem apparent when we first met. She talked us through the process again, explained about the paperwork we had to prepare for Stage One, asked us a few basic questions but nothing too intrusive, and explained about Stage Two. Brilliantly she also signed us up to a meeting specifically for adoptive parents who want to adopt a sibling group.
We then had a wander around the house carrying out the health and safety check. Lots of my friends are often amazed at the hoops adopters have to jump through before being approved and this was one of the ones they were most amazed at. I have to admit that I agree on this one. Our house doesn’t have any children in it but I felt like I had to justify why there weren’t any cupboard locks etc. Obviously when we are approved we can get the house ready for every H&S possibility but it all felt a bit premature. Thankfully, we did have the foresight, when we had the house refurbished at the start of the year, to install locks on the bathroom doors that can be opened from the outside. Anyway, we have a very minor shopping list of things to get and sort out but nothing that can’t be organised very quickly.
So all in all a great meeting...
...until Lorraine dropped the bombshell that she was leaving the agency in three weeks and a new social worker would be taking over our case.
My husband and I have adopted two wonderful children. Duckling is 5 and Gosling, her little brother, is 3. I'll be keeping track of our journey here...