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The social worker writes up a Home Study report

Once the social worker has completed the home study interview they compile all the information into the Home Study Report.


The Home Study Report is the document that all other agents in the adoption process will read and study.

It is therefore imperative that it is reflective of you. The usual procedure is that the social worker will write up the report and forward it to you, for your approval.

This is when you get a real shock. From what most people have told me, and from my own experience, some social workers cannot write reports.

The English is appalling, there is very poor grammar, and sentence construction is unheard of. In some respects, it is even difficult to understand what they are trying to communicate.  I had to rewrite swathes of my report and I have heard this from a few other people as well. Just correcting the English is a time-consuming task.  My social worker obviously found my offer to 'smarten up' the report welcome, and we basically worked together  on it over the telephone and e-mail until we were both happy.

Once the report is complete, it is sent to the Adoption Agency Decision Maker. The Decision Maker's role is to go over the application, check that all documents are there, that it has the approval from the Medical Health Officer, and that the applicant is ready to go to the Panel. If there are any concerns from the Decision Maker these will be made with your social worker and worked through with you.

Once you have gone through panel your Home Study Report is sent to the Ministry of Education usually directly from your adoption agency.

You must be aware that your Home Study Report, once it goes to the Ministry of Education, then becomes unavailable to you and you are not allowed to see it. This has something to do with confidentiality and the comments that have been written by your referees. This ridiculous state of affairs causes all sorts of problems if you are handling your adoption yourself and need it to deliver it in country. The Ministry of Education will, though, be  happy to send it off to anyone else who is representing you.

A not of caution. Everyone reads this report. From everyone in the adoption department, to the orphanage director, to the orderlies in the UK court.

I was shocked at the laissez-faire attitude in the UK courts about how my son's history and life story was passed around. I expressed my concerns to the judge only to be told  "You shouldn't be so precious' about your documents, everyone here in the whole Family Court building, will have access to them." Dreadful.

There is such a long period of time between you doing your Home Study, and it coming back to haunt you in your court sessions.  Everything that is written in that report will be looked at, and questioned, and explored, and commented upon.  It is not confidential and it is there forever. It gets lodged again and again, in the filing systems of everyone who it comes in contact with it  - from your local authorities, to the panel members, to the government, to the notaries, to the translators, to the agents in the country you are adopting from, to the courts in that country, to the social services,  medical services and courts in the UK.  Be aware of this.

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