Matching Panel

So, just before being able to write a post about Matching Panel I was “advised” to stop writing my blog publicly. This post is the first one I’ve written since then and is intended to be privately published. Despite having been “advised” for a good 10 minutes about why I shouldn’t write it I am still unclear on the precise reasoning behind it.

Anyway, we had Panel. We were asked a few questions about how we will cope, including about recent losses and how that will affect OH. We were asked about how we would deal with questions about birth Mum and Mummy things (the asker clarified she wasn’t asking because we are a male couple, although in my opinion the way she asked made this clear anyway). I got asked about this blog (this was a little unexpected, but I knew my SW knows about it, so it no doubt got noted down somewhere!) but only briefly, and as it’s pretty anonymous I don’t think it caused the Panel any problems.

The social workers were asked a few questions, fairly generic ones I thought. And that was that. Truth be told I was a little disappointed we didn’t get to talk about the children very much and it wasn’t the emotional ride we had been expecting. It all seemed very matter-of-fact.

We left the room, then waited all of about 2 minutes before the chair person came in with the agency advisor to tell us the panel had made a unanimous decision to back the match. This was possibly the best moment ever! All that has happened with the linking and matching, the fight and the roller coaster to get us there had been for something!

It was then that the social workers decided to “advise” me to stop writing this blog. Basically telling me off without giving me a clear reason why they were telling me off. It included phrases like “you haven’t done anything wrong but… ” and “you’re not in any trouble but…”. So… I don’t know. They certainly took the wind out of my sails that day, knocking my self confidence and leaving me feeling like a bullied and chastised school boy. More importantly they ruined the brilliant feeling we had of being matched with our children.

I had to move forward though, so I made the entire blog private, and that was that.

Since matching panel we have had a “Family Network Meeting” where the SWs came and spoke to a lot of our family and friends about the children. They answered any questions that our families had. They also didn’t disclose a lot of things which is fair enough, but I would urge people who know us to ask us questions. We will answer if we feel it’s appropriate that you know and will let you know it we think it isn’t. Don’t be scared of asking, we want you to be involved.

We have also had a meeting to discuss the introduction plan and we now know when we will get to meet our children and when they should be moving into our home.

What’s next? Well… Introductions I guess, that is a week or so of spending time at the Foster Carer’s house getting to know the children and learning their routines before taking them over, followed by a second week or so based at our house doing the same on our own. All the while being monitored by various social workers.

At the end of Introductions we become full time parents. 🙂

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