The Final Countdown

The final assessment session (7) has been completed. We’re now on the countdown towards our approval panel date.

The subjects of this session were “Identity” and (yet again) “Child Care”.

Identity was a little bit woolly to begin with, and attempting to define what I considered to be my identity was odd. Eventually, to make it easier, we got asked “How would you describe yourself in a Two’s Company advert?”. I’m not sure “34 yr old man with GSOH seeks similar for family life” is really what she intended, I didn’t actually say that although we had a bit of a laugh about the potential answers.

The main clutch of questions on identity were about how we would support a child’s own identity. “What would you do if your child told you they wanted to be a Buddhist?”, “would you support that by finding out about it yourself?” and questions like that.

One incredibly controversial question was “How would you react if your child told you they were gay?”… did I say controversial? Maybe I meant easy to answer. We responded to that in a very tongue in cheek way. Fortunately our SW gets our sense of humour, and we rounded off with the real answer of it not really being an issue and that we’d be able to support them using our own experiences.

She said that was a question which all prospective adopters are asked and that she didn’t feel she should skip it for us (which was good to hear).

We also discussed racism, prejudice and multiculturalism and our opinions and experiences surrounding them.

The child care questions were more related to how we’d do things rather than what we’ve done so far, although that was talked about too. “How would you teach your child to learn from their errors?”, “How would you react to your child breaking something special to you?”, questions on discipline and the differences between birth and adopted children. Basically going over some ground we have walked before but in slightly more detail.

The SW also linked these questions to the prejudice ones and asked how we’d deal with firstly, our child suffering prejudice for whatever reason and secondly, being prejudice themselves (older children being likely to come pre-loaded with some opinions picked up from birth parents and previous carers).

And that was that. Assessment over.

Now we have to wait for our SW to finish writing up our PAR which is the report that is given to the approval panel members a couple of weeks before we go to see them. She’s hoping to give it to us to look over on the 20th January giving us 10 days or so to discuss any alterations with her before she has to send it to the panel. From what I’ve read this is actually quite a long time as I’ve seen other people only get a weekend to go over what should be a very long document.

So, we’re pleased, the SW seems pleased, and says has no concerns at all meaning no second opinion visit from a more senior SW will be required to ‘bottom out’ any potential issues. In other words we’re good to go.

Next week we have another training course about how introductions and matching works with some discussions on life story work (which is a child friendly version of their history to help them know where they came from and why).

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