The idea of an assessment might be daunting, but your social worker will spend time getting to know you and your family well. Your social worker will guide you through your assessment and answer any questions you may have.
As part of the adoption process, you and anyone in your household aged 18 and over will go through a number of checks, including a Disclosure and Barring Service application, a medical by your GP, at least 3 references from people who know you well, including a family member.
Your social worker will make sure that you are fully informed and prepared for the challenges ahead. They’ll be there to remind you about the rewards of adoption too.
In your assessment, they will ask you about your past, including your experience of growing up. You will also discuss how you’ve dealt with stressful events in your life. This part of the process is about assessing your ability to reflect on past experiences.
You may have had a long-term relationship before or children from a previous relationship. Your social worker will talk to you about this part of your life and with your consent your agency may wish to speak with previous partners. If you have children from a previous relationship the social worker may also need to speak with them.
This might seem intimidating, but your social worker will discuss the process with and make sure it is done with sensitivity.
All families need support from time to time. Your social worker will ask about your support network to make sure that you have family and friends on hand when you need some help.
Once your adoption agency has got all the information it needs, they will write a report and present it to an adoption panel. You can read and comment on the report before it is submitted. The whole assessment process should take no longer than six months.
This is a very exciting and important moment, because the waiting is over and you meet your adopted child or children for the first time.
You will go through a series of ‘introduction’ meetings to help you get to know each other. When you are both ready, they will move from their foster family to join your family.