Stage 2 Assessment – Session 2

Education, Work, Drugs, Smoking and Alcohol – a heady mix for our second session with the social worker!

We talked through our education and how we found school in general, including whether we were bullied and how we handled it, and how that would translate into dealing with the bullying of a child of our own. We were also asked about what our general attitude to education was and how we would be able to support a child academically and beyond. I think our answers were quite good for this as we’ve got a reasonable mix of academia and practicality between us. We know how important finding something that you’re good at is, even if that isn’t something which can be represented by good grades at school. The important thing is the support we can offer in finding what that something is. I have a small amount of experience tutoring people in maths and science which I think will help from that side of things even if they were young adults rather than children. My usually impatient demeanor seems to disappear when I’m helping someone in that way.

The work ethic we have both inherited from our parents is a strong one, and neither of us has a break in our employment history since we left school all those years ago, so I think our responses here were quite good. I wouldn’t say that having employment breaks would have been an issue, these things are usually out of your control, but having the correct attitude to work is definitely important. We both work hard and like to pay our own way and we’re fortunate in that we have always been able to do that.

While on the subject of education and work we were also asked about whether we felt pushed into doing what we did and how we were supported by our parents. We both felt we were positively influenced by our parents’ support and would carry that through to our own children.

The conversation then moved on to drugs, smoking and alcohol and our opinions of them.

We are both anti-drugs (the illegal kind anyway), never seen the point, plus I like my brain the way it is thank you very much. Given the opportunity I have always refused them, I’ve seen some of the detrimental effects that they can have on people and their loved ones (even the allegedly harmless ones) and I want no part of it. That is basically what we said. It was honest and probably the ‘correct’ answer, so likely ticked a big box somewhere.

Similarly with smoking, neither of us do, we don’t see the point, it’s too expensive, has been proven to be bad for you and makes you smell bad. Another box ticked.

We both drink alcohol, never really to excess (I hate hangovers and they definitely get worse as you get older!), and on average well below what the recommended maximum intake is. I think there’s a running joke that whenever someone puts down the number of units they drink in a week then you need to double it and add a bit more, but when we filled in our medical forms we sat down and worked it out properly (and ever since I seem to have been keeping tabs on myself just to make sure I was being honest!)

So, that was session 2. The next session is to be about ‘Lifestyle’ which I think we touched on a bit this week, but expanding on that will be interesting as it might start to show whether the social worker has preconceptions about how gay people live. I should say that we get on well with our social worker, she seems very supportive of us and has certainly showed no prejudice against us.

On a side note, she has booked meetings with two of our references. I don’t think we get to know what is said in those unless told by the references themselves.

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