So we have been ratified, we know what age range and how many children we should be matched with. A few facts and figures;
4,240 children had an adoption decision but were not yet placed at 31 December 2014, down from 5,600 at 30 June 2014.
2,960 children had a placement order for adoption but were not yet placed at 31 December 2014.
50% (1,490) of the children with a placement order waiting to be placed at 31 December 2014 were part of a sibling group. This is a percentage increase from 48% (1,670) at 30 September 2014.
72% (3,620) children were placed for adoption within 12 months of an agency decision that the child should be placed for adoption during the year ending 31st March 2014, compared to 69% (2,740) in 2013 and 71% (2,480) in 2012.
The average time between a child entering care and moving in with their adopted family, for those who have been adopted, was 534 days in Q1-Q3 2014-15.
So with these figures in mind, you would think we would be matched fairly quickly. Unfortuatly that’s not the case.
We were advised to register ourselves with some of the Internet sites that are set up to help place children from all over the country. There are many off them and there is very little guidance on how to use them. One site in particular really does remind me of ebay. You find a child or children you feel would be a match and then you send in an enquiry and a bit of background as to why you would be a good match.
You read the profile over and over again, trying to put into words what would make you a great parent and what you would offer. Whilst your doing this soul searching 10 other potential adopters across the country are doing the same. You press send and the profile updates, 1/2 an hour ago when you started there were no enquires outstanding now there’s more than 6!
It’s at this moment your now competing with several people who feel exactly as you do, who have also spent time trying to put into words why they should be considered.
With the Social Workers having the caseload they do you have to be realistic, it is quite likely that they will only have the opportunity to read a few of the enquiries. They will then have to shortlist very quickly to pursue any potential matches.
There is a chance your enquiry will never be read, that you will not be considered and due to time constraints you might hear nothing more at all.
So there in lies my dilemma, I can have 5 enquiries at a time, however I accept the majority of those won’t even make it to the family finders desk.
A, Put out your five enquires and hope for the best
B, Keep your fingers crossed and hope the match already identified progresses?
Ultimately in order to be matched via some of these sites you need to be a great sales person, you have a limited amount of words in which to make your profile one to read. I struggled with the concept and it seemed so wrong. But on reflection having had several knock backs, it’s effective even if it is a bit like ebay…its a way for the Social Workers to speed up the family finding process. Children should not be waiting 12 months for a forever family. Not when there are so many fantastic people with room in there hearts and their homes for these special little people.