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We've got a Panel Date

Monkey&McMoo June 5, 2019 13:53

So after nearly two years - we've got a panel date - MONDAY!!!

Any advice on what to expect would be great.

On a really girly level, can anyone tell me what to wear?


Monkey & Moo

Edited 05/06/19
Serrakunda27 June 5, 2019 15:48

Congratulations - approval or matching panel?

Wear what you feel comfortable in - I wouldnt turn up in my scruffs, but would go for smartish, not something you need to worry about too much

GK1309 June 5, 2019 15:51

WOO HOO, scary yet so exciting.

Every council is different so I can only say what happened to us. We met our SW before hand and chatted to her whilst we waited to be called in, before being called in the person in charge of the panel will meet you first and tell you the subjects that they wish to discuss with you, then you are taken to a room. We had ten YES TEN people in the room all looking at us (sqeaky bum cheek time lol) but six of those people were going to ask our social worker questions. They ask all of thier questions to your social worker and you are able to chip in and add your own feelings, they mainly pull out things that they are unsure of or things that could show concern. I had panic attacks at 7 they brought up that and my husband and I were in a car accident and my husband had trouble sleeping for a little while after. All things that we had discussed many times with our social worker so it was not a shock and we could fully back up any questions they asked. After about thirty mins of questions we were asked to leave and wait in another room, our SW stayed in the room then about ten minutes later they came out to the room we were in and congratulated on being approved and getting six out of six yes's. YAYYYY. You do have to wait for the ratification to come back which takes up to two weeks. Only after that you are truely approved and then able to go on to adopt.

With what to wear, it wasnt a formal occasion so I opted for smart jeans and a cashmere jumper and boots. Its my usual choice of comfortable clothing that is me and how I dress on a daily basis. I hope this has been some help and again please keep in mind all councils are different this is just how it worked out for us. Best of luck to you, deep breaths and do your best xx

Monkey&McMoo June 6, 2019 07:53

Thanks for your answers.

Serrakunda27, its approval panel.

Woohoo, thanks for the info, that's kind of what I was expecting, but wanted to hear it from someone who had gone through it.

As we are the last appointment of the day, just been given a time, we will probably come straight from work (rather than take the whole day off) so I will be in "teacher" chic.

GK1309 June 6, 2019 10:32

No worries, it is always less scary when you have an idea what to expect. Like I say to my patients at work, if you know if you know whats coming then nothing will be a shock and frighten you.

You could take some clothes to work with you and change before you go, either way it will not matter a bit. Do what ever feels best for you. Good luck, its a massive step to get over and such a relief when you do. x

chestnuttree June 6, 2019 12:10

Our experience was very similar to GK1309's. We also had 10 professionals in the room plus us and our sw. Our agency had send us a letter with pictures, names and the roles of these people beforehand, which was helpful.

We were asked very few questions. We had done a seminar on attachment theory before going into the process and were asked a few things about that. I was asked one or two things about my slightly unusual childhood. It felt a bit like a job interview, but my husband and I could answer questions together. The atmosphere was very welcoming and positive.

For both panels I dressed in friendly, summery coloured clothes I felt comfortable in. I tried to look like I would make a great parent, both from adults' and childrens' perspective.

Izzy June 6, 2019 22:57

Congratulations! I was so nervous beforehand but there was no need to be in the end. We went in and were met by our daughters social worker, which was really nice as she chatted to us and kept us calm while our social worker was in with the panel. Our social worker then came out and went over the questions the panel wanted to ask with us. Then the chairman of the panel came out, and he was lovely, really down to earth and really put us at ease.

When we went into the panel room we had 8 people there (apparently that was 'not many' according to our SW haha.) and they all introduced themselves and asked us the questions our SW had already gone through with us. Ours were about the fact that my husband works away a lot and how I would manage, what my support network was, and how he would integrate back into family routines when home. How we would keep the bond when he was away (facetime etc) and had a general chit chat. It was all very down to earth and relaxed.

We then left and got a phone call 10 minutes later to say we had been approved.

As to what I wore, I wore a favourite pair of jeans and a smart/casual blouse. But everyone on the panel was wearing jeans and t-shirt so I'd just wear what makes you feel comfortable.

Good luck, and remember you wouldn't be at this point if your social worker didn't think you were ready!

Monkey&McMoo June 7, 2019 08:12

Thanks Izzy and Chestnuttree,

Emotionally I'm all over the place as our social worker mentioned a baby girl he is thinking about for us - which I see as a good sign for things going well for Panel on Monday.

I'm trying not to get excited or build up hope but the thought of that baby girl keeps flying to the front of my mind.


growingourfamily12 August 12, 2019 12:15

Hi everyone I’m really new to this so bare with me.. :) Mc moo How did panel go? I have a date for my panel it’s the 18th sept I’m so nervous and can’t think of anything else!

Monkey&McMoo August 12, 2019 20:14

Hi growing your family.

Panel went really well.

We’ve also now been to matching panel and are just waiting for our letter to confirm the decision from the ADM so we can meet our LG - hopefully on Thursday.


growingourfamily12 August 12, 2019 20:37

Oh wow that’s amazing! How long did it take for u you to get matched after panel? I’m so nervous now

Monkey&McMoo August 12, 2019 21:24

We were VERY unusual in that our social worker had a match in mind before we got to approval panel. We had had a very long assessment - it took almost two years!

Our first pre assessment visit was 07/17

Training sessions started 09/17

Our Approval panel was 10/06/19

Our Matching panel was 29/07/19

We are due to meet our LG on Thursday if they sort out the paper work in time!

Please remember this is not the norm. It’s much more normal for adopters to wait much longer to be matched.

growingourfamily12 August 12, 2019 22:25

It’s such a long process isn’t it but 100% will be worth the wait... we’ve been in this process since January this year and got panel on the 18th of sept.. I’m hoping we will get our family by Christmas maybe I’m being optimistic 🙈 but I’m really excited..

how exciting I bet you can’t wait.. I hope everything works out and u get to meet her Thursday

Edited 12/08/19
moo August 13, 2019 09:12

Lovely to read post.... takes me right back to when I too was where you are right now xxx Happy Happy memories 😄 ...

It has become clear to me that a good rule of thumb is 2 years?! 😰 In my circs it was a years wait for la to run an adopters course... Once they did & forms were signed to 'officially apply' it really did start the clock ticking....

So prep was Jan....Home Study March till June... Approval panel July.... wait wait wait cpr for boys received Jan... Met sw March.... Matched May.... Matching Panel June....

So I was a year between panels.... long wait of a year before process even started.... All I remember was the frustration & lack of control... Sw workers always being on leave or off sick.... unable to work out how to use a telephone...!!. 😶 .... All expecting adopters have my respect you/we all need medals for hanging in xxx

So right now all should be o.k. until mid Oct/Nov then it will be close down for christmas.... you might get lucky & have matching or approval panels but ss will not move children after Oct/Nov as its too close to christmas.... Things may have changed but that was an unwritten 'law' back then.....

Also if approved by a la it was very common for approval sw & child's sw to have regular meetings so that they could exchange adopters & children waitings details within the approval la..... I would imagine that is more common today as each approving agency charges for adopter training.... In my day la wanted their own approved adopters to stay in county for children they adopted xxx

McMoo's lovely situation was much more the but she too has been in the magic 2 years! It really is a good rule of thumb.... I am sure there are many exceptions tho 😉

So... very good luck to youxxx it really is the most wonderful of times xxx

Xx moo xx

Edited 13/08/19
John August 13, 2019 19:36

Growingourfamily12 - in our case it took 6 months exactly last year from being approved by panel as prospective adopters, to the children moving in with us. In between that time we expressed interest in several children, we had long discussions and meetings about two children which didn’t work out at the end, we found and were matched with our little ones, attended matching panel and had a 1 week introduction with them. They actually moved in with us on the 4th of December. We read that the average time these days to get matched is 6 months from being approved as a prospective adopter, but I guess this will depend on many factors, including the type of children you are looking for (in terms of gender, age, single child or siblings, etc.).

Edited 13/08/19
moo August 13, 2019 19:52

WoW great to hear an updated timeline John so reassuring...

It felt so very long winded all those years ago soooo much waiting! This sounds so much better xxx

How long from expressing your interest, prep & home study to first panel?

Thanx it is good to hear new timelines xx

Xx moo xx

John August 13, 2019 20:33

In our case:

Early September - expressed interest

27 September - linking meeting (home study)

1 October - matching meeting (between social workers)

12 November - matching panel

27 November - start of introductions

4 December - placement date

Early February - submitted adoption order application

March - directions hearing

April - 1st hearing

28 May - final hearing (adoption order approved by court)


Edited 13/08/19
moo August 13, 2019 20:40

WoW that is amazing.... Thanx for putting me straight xx

Things have speeded up massively great to hear xxx

2 years really was the norm back in the day xxx amazing xx

Xx moo xx

PS... just re-read this... sorry a Q....when was your approval panel? When did homestudy & prep course take place?

I assume you had 2 panels one approval & the next matching?

It took me a year to get to the first ( approval) panel...

Interested personally but feel sure those starting their journey will be keen to get an idea of your full timeframe xx

Edited 14/08/19


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