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People who will vouch for you

To get a balanced view of you as a potential parent the social worker will ask you for at least two people who will vouch for you as a potential parent.

Your references should be people two have known you for a long period of time. Preferably those with children with whom you have a special relationship.

Select these people wisely. Joan was a single potential parent, and gave the name of her best friend Bex,  as one of her referees.  Joan and Bex grew up together and Joan frequently baby sat for Bex's two children. Bex even went away for a long weekend leaving Joan in sole charge of the kids. Joan had no question about Bex vouching for her. Unfortunately, she was wrong. In the interview with the social worker, Bex stated categorically that she did not think that Joan would make a good parent. It is not difficult to see why Joan almost failed her assessment and is still recovering from the broken trust.

It is therefore best to talk extensively with your references so that know what to expect and discuss with them any short comings they feel you may have BEFORE the interview.  The interview should not take more then half an hour and the most that will be written up about you from your references will be one page.

Recently some local authorities have requested more referees, two to interview and up to four to furnish written statements. They ask them to write a couple of paragraphs about you and what sort of parents you would make as well as your general character. Sometimes they arrange to meet these extra referees. Marnie is a single mother and her social worker travelled to Europe to conduct an interview with her mother.  This confounded everyone and seems excessive as her Mom was unlikely to be on hands support and had written a statement to the effect that she agreed with the adoption and would be there to give emotional support.

Regulation 8(2)(e) of the Adoption Agency Regulations 1983 and Schedule 2 Part IV of the Adoption Agencies (Scotland) Regulations 1996 both require the provision of two references from non‑family members. In England and Wales there is a requirement for both referees to be personally interviewed. There is no such requirement in the Scottish Regulations. In addition some agencies require a reference from a member of the wider family.


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"Never worry about numbers. Help one person at a time, and always start with the person nearest you." - Mother Teresa

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