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The social workers first visit to your home

Be prepared for the first visit by the social worker


More and more social workers are doing a preliminary meeting before they begin the homestudy.  This initial assessment, usually in your own home is to see if there is any glaringly obvious reason why you would not succeed in becoming potential parents. The Social worker  should also at this initial meeting offer you advice but this really happens.

This may be your first encountrer with the public sector.  Be warned it is a very different universe from the private sector and none of the same rules apply.

If all goes well and they think that there  is an opportunity for you to become adoptive parents they will schedule a preparation course.  Dates of these vary depending upon the amount of people beginning an adoption and if there are many of you you may have to wait for several months.  The same applies if there are too few applicants. In any event you should not have to wait more then a couple of months.

How much do you tell the social worker?

At this initial meeting you may wonder what you need to discuss with the Social Worker. The initial chat should be one that ascertains that you may go forward. You only need to tell the social work that which is relebant to your adoption. In retrospect I think that I said to much. Remember that social workers are trained to allow people to talk. it is a very interesting tactic and one you could try the next time you are talking to friends or loved ones. when they say something just nod but don't verbally respond - leave a gap and you will see that you frines will only be too ready to fill with an explanation.  This tatic can sometimes put you on a negative footing and you end up with the uncomfortable feeling that you are defending your own position .

Another tactic is to repeat the last few words of your last statement: "I was a quite active teenager", " active teenager?" and before you kow it you have described how irresponsible, undisciplined and disobediant your teens were. Everything you do not want to hightlight!

It is not necessary to your case or serves you well if you hightlight parts of your life which do not benefit your case ie is the fact that one day you were drunk and climbed a lamppost singing at the top of your voice? Jane a single adoptive mother suggested theat the best way to handle the home study is as if you are selling a house. You want to highlight the double doors opening onto the quaint garden but not that patch of suspected rising damp in the bathroom.

I am in no way suggesting you withhold information which is vital for the understanding of you as a person and may affect your abilities as an adoptive parent, I am just saying think before you speak.

Tidy house

There is just no pleasing the social worker on this one.  It is either too tidy or too messy. And no you do not score extra points for having an immaculate  house.  In fact quite the opposite. Rose from Scotland had real problems because the social worker thought that she was too house proud and therefore would not take kindly to children's mess. Poor Rose, she was only to happy to see her house filled with children's mess but in the interium she spent her spare time tidying and cleaning, never for a second thinking that being houseproud would be something that would be held against you.

I used to panic no end to get my house in a suitable state when the social worker was to visit (I am a naturally untidy person). On one visit I was told 'Oh I like to see a house a little dishelved as it means its a happy home and people are living in it". And then as she left she stated 'I'd clean up the house a little more if I were you before the guardian comes - she might not take to kindly to its state"!! There is no pleasing them!

They should never arrive unannounced and should always schedule a meeting with you before hand. But like everything in iternaional adoption there are no fixed rules. Mike and Cheryl received a knocked on the door one evening 'to check if there is any dog poo on the lawn" she had also bought a flash light with her. Enough Said!


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