Adoption Social Worker Hannah talks about the rewards of helping people to grow their families through adoption…
As a social worker I feel privileged to be able to witness the beautiful and fulfilling experience that adoption brings to families. The joy and happiness adoption brings is very special and I understand that the process of adoption can be long and challenging, so I thought I would share the wonderfulness from start to finish through my eyes…
The first visit:
When you first open the door; the first things I see are fear, nerves, worry but above all excitement. The thought of a social worker in your home is often a daunting one and it can feel like they are making a massive decision that will affect you becoming a parent. We at Caritas Care understand this completely. It’s such a wonderful feeling when I start to see you relax as we start to talk. It takes time to build that relationship between us however making that first step and getting to know each other is an exciting time for us both.
Three whole days of learning and fun!
I still get nervous at every preparation training; sadly, I am not a world expert trainer, teacher or celebrity who is used to delivering speeches and training. What I can tell you is that our team really know our stuff and I can assure you that you are in safe hands.
Preparation training consists of a group of people coming together who again have a lot of different emotions, may have little or no experience of adoption – you may arrive with dread at the thought of entering into three whole days of training. There is nothing more fulfilling than observing a group of people who start out as strangers and then develop into friends who laugh and learn together.
I love stage two of your assessment, by this point we have really got to know each other. Many of our families feel they have experienced counselling. Talking through personal parts of your life can be difficult and we are there for you every step of the way. We become a team working out what your parenting style is; what kind of child or children match with you as a person and your strengths and weaknesses. I can see your confidence and excitement really showing now!
Panel- becoming approved adopters:
Our approval panel is made up of social workers, medical and educational professionals, adoptive parents, adopted people, a chairperson, a minute-taker and an independent panel advisor. You will be invited to attend with your social worker. The panel will have read your Prospective Adopters Report (PAR), so may have some questions to ask you or your social worker on the day.
Emotions are often high when it comes to panel day, many of our families have felt worried, anxious and nervous. We understand it feels like everything is pinned on this day and we work really hard at Caritas Care to make sure we are confident walking into panel. If we had any worries or concerns we would not take you to panel – we are open and honest with you throughout your assessment.
When we receive the approval recommendation from panel, seeing the excitement (and often tears) makes me feel proud and over the moon for my families. For me, this is a most rewarding experience and it truly feels like we have reached this wonderful milestone together.
Adoption Social Worker