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Did you find your initial contact with the Agency helpful or unhelpful?
• Very helpful, very informative and was dealt with immediately. Didn’t have to wait for a return call, was able to make appointment there and then. • Very swift response, made us feel at ease. Very different experience to our phone call with our local LA. • Very helpful – spoke to Joan she answered my questions, gave just enough info.
Did you find the initial interview helpful or unhelpful?
• Excellent, very positive experience, calmed our nerves • Helpful, Janet Jones our social worker put us at ease very well • Very helpful – Diane put us at ease, very pleasant, gave info without overloading. Answered all our questions. Felt we had plenty of time.
Was there any information which you felt was missing from that meeting, and did you feel able to ask questions?
• No information was missing. Diane was very approachable and we felt we were able to discuss our needs and all questions were answered. ….We felt really comfortable during the first meeting
Comment on how you found the adoption preparation groups.
• Very informative and give a lot to think about. Excellent presentation • Talking with others who were in the same position helped. • The talk from the adopter was very good and honest – Interaction with adopters very good • We thought that Mary was a very good trainer and explained the process of adoption really well • Good to have another social worker in session. Able to share experiences • Without this course there would be many questions we would not have thought to ask so invaluable for preparation for tasks ahead. • Will always remember ‘protector of information’. Great tip • Can understand more of what the children go through or have been through • Made us want to be parents/a family even more • Know more about the role of foster parents “The initial preparation-training course was invaluable as an opening to the whole process, as it helped us make up our minds that this was the right thing for us. It has also provided us with a good friendship and support in one of the couples that we met on the course.”
In thinking about the adoption assessment report undertaken by your St. David’s Children Society social worker and yourselves, would you please comment on the following: Do you feel that the adoption assessment report enabled you to know more about yourselves and whether adoption was right for you?
• We felt the assessment did make you look at your life and made us believe even more that we have got a lot to offer a child/ren placed with us and that adoption was definitely right for us • Helped us to learn more about ourselves, confirmed for us it was ‘right.’ • Yes, very in-depth and reflective – felt really easy talking to Freda.
Do you feel that the family assessment has enabled you to have sufficient information and experience for you to begin looking at children needing families?
• Yes and the assessment also helped us look at our nieces/nephews needs through a different light and to pass on information to family members when asked • Definitely, have learnt a lot along the way
Are there areas with which you are uncomfortable?
• No – not even during dealing with very traumatic events felt able and comfortable working through them with Freda • No, it was thorough but we understand the need as it will benefit everyone in the future.
Do you feel that your completed Prospect Adoptive Assessment Report was an accurate reflection of you and your family?
• Yes very accurate – got us so right • Yes, I feel Janet painted an accurate view of us both.
Comment on how you feel that the assessment report could have been improved upon?
• No improvement – No we don’t think anything else could have been said. • Accurate information, no improvement required.
Comment on the process of being matched and introduced to a child:
• We thought the preparation that St. David’s gave us for the readiness of what we thought would be a very intrusive process was excellent. It can potentially be a concerning and worrying process, but we were ready thanks in large to the preparation given and ongoing support from Edwina. • Fully prepared as far as possible. The introductions to the children were exhausting. No one can prepare you for the physical/ emotional exhaustion, sleepless nights etc., because even when people tell you, you have no concept of what it will be like. • Everything was useful, nothing really prepares you for what happens when the children come. • The process prepared us for the worst case scenario, which was very useful – everything positive which has happened seems like a bonus, and we felt well equipped and prepared to deal with potential difficulties. • We met with all necessary personnel, which was useful. Introductions (7 days) were cut short when we felt our daughter was struggling with going back to her foster carer. This was a relief as our opinion obviously was listened to. • Having the matching process closer to home so it’s not so stressful. Hard enough trying to bond with a child without knowing where you are. • Better training, preparation for first time foster carers for the bonding process.
We would welcome particularly comments about the level and content of social work support available to you:
• The support overall was in place but we have not needed too much. • Excellent. Social work support throughout the process has been brilliant. It has never felt invasive or too frequent. Nor has it felt that we were on our own. Even when at our most irrational, Edwina has understood and been completely solid and supportive.
Can you comment on the involvement of the child’s agency?
• Initially very good but little follow up required on our part. We believe there to be resources available to us should we feel the need. • The children’s social worker changed just before matching! She did not know the children as well as their previous social worker which would have been useful for us.
Can you comment on the involvement of St. David’s adoption agency?
• We know that Edwina et al are just a phone call away • We found the agency very helpful, always on hand if needed and very compassionate. Jane was excellent – always available. • Freda was very helpful, prepared us as much as possible; couldn’t have been better. • St. David’s involvement has been discreet, letters and invitations have been welcomed and we are happy with St. David’s involvement.
Would you recommend St. David’s Children Society to other prospective adopters?
• Yes, they are excellent, supportive and friendly and fully prepared us for the process. • Yes we would recommend them highly and feel we made the right choice in agency, despite the geographical distance. • Definitely –have done already.
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