Here's a snapshot of what we have been up to since mid October:
- When I last made an update this is where we were with family finding: Group one - meeting on 30th October. Group two - family finding underway mid November. Group three - family finding to start in January
- Group one: we decided not to go ahead with the meeting as it was too soon after our previous knockback
- Groups two and three: we have heard nothing
- We were given the paperwork on a set of three children which we read and felt that we could progress them. We are awaiting a response from their social worker
- We found a sibling group of two in the Be My Parent publication and asked for further information on those.
Readers of this blog may recall that we had a link with a group of three children earlier in the year that fell through because the birth family came up with some devious plan to syphon money from the state by way of claiming for 'items' to keep the children within the wider family network. The judge decided that this 'plan' required assessment and the social workers felt that it would probably go ahead. So with the heaviest of hearts we pulled out :(
At the latest court hearing for the assessment of the plan it was reported that the plan had fallen through as the wider family have decided not to progress the Special Guardianship. The birth parents now want their own assessment done again and this assessment will be carried out as a paper exercise and will be submitted for the next interim court case in late December. The feeling is that because a paper exercise is to be carried out it is not going to carry any weight. The judge said that the birth family have now had enough chances and that the children had been in care long enough. He (I am assuming it was a he) wanted to grant the Placement Order straight away! Because of legal formalities it won't happen like that, so the original date of the final hearing in February still stands. And, for now, nothing stands in the way of it being granted. Yes we have heard that one before!
So the children's social workers have started family finding again and true to their word they have come to us first and asked if we would still be interested in them. They have still got us earmarked as the only family they are interested in and they won't do any more family finding unless we say no. We said we are still interested, but as we have been here before we will continue to family find until the Placement Order has been granted. Our social worker supports that decision.
On the one hand this is fabulous news, the best ever and we were jumping up and down! And on the other we were treating it with extreme caution because we had our fingers badly burnt. There is a lot of time between now and February with the potential for it all to go wrong again. Because we said we would continue family finding, our social worker gave us some information on a group of two children. It has been sat on the side for two days and Mary can't look at it. Why? Because we feel we would be comparing them with with the original three.
So we have had a rethink; we spoken some more with our social worker and got some additional information from the family finding social worker. We have decided not to continue family finding at all and to give ourselves 100% to these children. We feel that it would not be fair on other children and social workers if we continue family finding, as we would just be comparing them with these three. When we originally told our social worker we wanted to continue family finding she felt that we would not be giving 100% to any other children and she would feel uncomfortable forwarding information to us. So she prefers our latest decision.
So after everything that has happened we are now in the same situation as we were on the afternoon of the 24th July, the day of the bombshell. We are 100% committed to Midge, Tidge and Squidge ;) We have the interim hearing late December and the final court hearing early February. There may not be very much to update you on as the weeks go by so I will try to update you on our friends' journeys (completely anonymously, of course) and general adoption information.
Signing off for now a happy bunny!