Member log in

Forgot your password? | Not a member? Join now

'Placement considerations' of future child

During the Homestudy you will be questioned as to your understanding of your future potential child and the issues that they may face.

You social worker will ask you various questions from which they will be able to assess your understanding about adoption and the needs of your adopted child. Please bear in mind that your views of future potential adoption may differ greatly from that of the social worker.

I was quoted this story by a senior member of the British Social Workers Association, the point  of  which essentially frames their whole thinking about inter racial adoption. "A little black boy was placed with white adoptive parents. Every thing went fine for a couple of years and then, one day, the adoptive parents came home to find their little boy in a bath of bleach."  I just looked at this woman and thought how is it possible that you can believe this classic urban myth? I was bought up in Africa and this was a standard story that was told again and again as we grew up.

My belief is that each of these children already come with their own script. It is for us to acknowledge that script, honour it and do what ever we can to heal, develop and rewrite it. Recognising that it is not the script that we would have liked for our own children, goes part way to understanding your child and the person they are, but knowing that your role is to help, heal and change the script , goes a long way to understanding who your children will become.

I am definitely of the world that anything is possible and unfortunate beginnings can be neutraized through love, care, and correct healing (intervention). This is the way that most of the US views adoption. Here, however in the UK, the conventional wisdom is that no matter how much care, love, healing and intervention is given, children are always hurt/flawed and this will never be overcome. Very sad indictment on the lack of understanding of the resilliance and strength of the human make up.

Social workers will explore these areas by asking these kinds of questions:

Child's background and Heredity:

What do you feel about the impact of heredity on a child's present and future 'functioning' (are they talking about children or machines here?)

Will you accept that there is likely to be very little known about the childs mother and father? And will you accept this child?

What is your attiutde to telling  your child about his/her origins?

Is there anything that you will find difficult to tell?


Child as he/she is:

What is your appreciation of the effects of loss and poor attachments upon children?

What is your understanding of possible behavioural difficulties and the reason for these?

Which sort of behaviours would you  find most difficult? "(For example, delayed or excessive affection, sleep problems, eating problems, rivalry,

 bullying, wetting and/or soiling, aggression, destructiveness, cruelty to animals.)" They do not mention here attachment issues - anger, contol, running off, lying, stealing, defiance which are reactive attachment symptoms bought about by fear and which children are likely to experience and for which you must use a different parenting model.


Identity issues: What importance do the applicant(s) attach to the child retaining his/her first name, as given at birth? Will cultural/religious considerations impact on this in any way?



Are they aware of the particular vulnerability of children who are perceived as different? Do they understand the impact of adoption/fostering on a child's self‑image? Will the applicant(s) be able to support the young person in their search for information (access to birth records)?



Do the applicant(s) understand that some black/minority ethnic children, including those of mixed parentage, will have a negative black self‑image, and some will wish to deny their black identity altogether? How do the applicant(s) envisage tackling this problem? Do they appreciate the rejection/pain they may face from a child/young person in this situation?



Sexual abuse: Can the applicant(s) care for a child who may have been sexually abused? Is there any overtly sexual behaviour with which the applicant(s) could not deal? Have they considered the implications of such behaviour on other

children within the family? What reservations would they have in caring for a child born of an incestuous relationship?



Puberty/adolescence: What is the attitude of the applicant(s) to emerging sexuality/sexual development/sexual experimentation? How would they ensure appropriate sexual education? How would they support a young person who is lesbian or gay? What is their attitude to children and young people experimenting with alcohol, drugs and smoking and how do they think they would cope with this? What are the potential areas of difficulty they envisage for themselves and the child?



Health issues: What is their understanding of and capacity to deal with, the implications of health issues for the type of child who might be placed with them eg. uncertainty of his/her future development, acceptance, bereavement, confidentiality?



Physical impairment/learning difficulties: Can the applicant(s) parent a child with a physical impairment? If so, indicate what specific needs they feel able to meet. Is their accommodation suitable or will they require help to adapt it appropriately? What are the local resources for therapy and short‑term breaks? Can the applicant(s) parent a child with learning difficulties? Please define more clearly the level of difficulties they would be able to manage. Is their expectation that the child for whom they are caring will move on to independent living? Do they understand the implications of caring for a child who may not achieve independent living? What understanding do the applicant(s) have of the sexual needs of a young person with physical impairment/learning disabilities? What understanding do the applicant(s) have of the emotional needs of a young person with physical impairment/learning disabilities?



For baby adopters:Are they prepared for the possibility of a baby being placed with them directly at birth? What is their attitude to this and their understanding of the implications?



c) Links with birth family/people from the child's past: What is the applicant(s)' understanding of the social pressures contributing to children being "looked after". How far do they acknowledge the importance for a child of being able to understand his/her past and maintaining positive links from his/her past?


i) For all carers:

Will the applicant(s) be able to:

‑ Help a child in a positive way to make sense of her/his experience with her/his birth parents?

‑ Maintain a child's link with his/her birth family or significant others through the exchange of photographs and

letters on a short and long‑term basis and, if necessary, through promoting the development of specific

communication skills e.g. British Sign Language, braille?

-- Facilitate face‑to‑face contact, where appropriate, with birth family members and significant others?


ii) For short‑term foster carers:

Will the applicants be able to:

‑ Work with the parents and the agency towards rehabilitation or another placement?

‑ Understand why a child may be distressed after visits?

-- Be willing and/or able to offer visiting parents hospitality? Supervise contact of visiting parents on a regular basis?


Join today graphic

Adoption News

Why UK has low Inter country adoption numbers

Published - Mar 23, 2017

Nepal to begin process to ratify Hague Convention

Published - Mar 14, 2017