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Can you join link maker after being jsut approved?

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Hi


Just wondering when approved how long has it taken folk to get matched with a child, and is it all really down to your social worker in the first three months, or can you be proactive yoursleves ie joining link maker which I have heard is good?

Any comments helpful!


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As I remember it your sw has to approve you to say you're really an adopter for you to join link maker. So if you're with an L.A. and they expect you to wait for a period of time to get a match from their children, I imagine they wouldn't do this. We joined as soon as we were approved, but we were with a VA so they had no children to place. We waited around 6 months but that was when there were hugely more adopters than children waiting. From what I've heard from prospective adopters recently that is no longer the case. But I think our matching was pretty quick anyway. Friends of ours waited 2 years or more.


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Our LA wouldn't add us to link maker as they wanted to find a match from their own authority. They matched us fairly quickly although there was a delay to LO coming home. So approval panel mid march, ratified beginning of April, offered first child in may (turned down) and then offered our LO at beginning of June. I think a lot depends on the type of children you're looking for. We were very flexible with our criteria and I'm sure that's why they found a match so quick.


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As soon as we were approved we registered with link maker and be my parent. Our social worker authorised them straight away and praised us on being proactive. We didn't find our daughter through link maker but by sending our profiles out to various local authorities around the country. We were matched 11 months after being approved.


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I definitely recommend link maker. You can actually join link maker and begin discussions about children during the assessment process, although some children are only open to expressions of interest from approved adopters. You can sign up for link maker yourself, although I think you do need your local authority to confirm your identity. As others have noted, it varies completely by LA as to whether they will let you go on link maker and when. In our case there were no obvious matches in their pipeline and they have a policy of allowing adopters to take an active role in matching so we were on link maker early in stage 2 which was enormously helpful as a way to really understand the sort of needs and backgrounds of adopted children.


They day we were approved we expressed interest in a child who we had bookmarked on link maker and who was open to expressions of interest from approved adopters only. That was in the summer. In a week's time we will be celebrating our first Christmas together with her as a family.


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Hi Snowy


Thanks for your comments and all of them in fact. I think we will approach our SW and see what she says as it is with a local authority. She may say that they need to wait the three months and see if they have any children, but I think it is good as you say to be proactive in these things!


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We ignored everything our SW said about matching or we'd probably still be waiting. We joined Adoption Link as Link Maker was know a couple of years ago (as personal members not through the LA) and we were Linked with our children in less than two months, matched a month later and can't recommend them enough.

Your SW has to confirm you are approved adopters but they can't stop you joining. If they do want try to stop you, then ask them to come up with the CPR's for some children they have on their books, when they can't, then insist they cooperate with your application.


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Well, I'm not sure, our LA asked us to wait a few months to give them a chance to see if they had any suitable matches coming up, before looking elsewhere. Seemed reasonable to me after all, they had the cost of assessing us, recommending us and arranging panel, and the social worker involved had been very supportive. In the end we did go elsewhere ( CWW magazine) because their plans went awry when the planned match got stuck in legal sludge, and the local consortium had nothing suitable either, but if your social worker is decent , and you are with a local authority, why not just wait a few months and give her time to investigate options ? Ask her if there is likely to be any potential matches in house in the near future and see what she says. It helped us because when we decided to apply for a second child they were happy to reassess us, and before were approved they had a possible match which was the right one for us. I know that after matching panel one just wants to get on with it, and the waiting is hard, but it's sometimes worth holding your horses back a little if you can.


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I think it is worth remembering that if you are trained by one agency and then placed with children from another the placing agency pays the agency who provided the adopters to the tune of tens of thousands of £ to cover the costs of training. This is how VA’s make their income. In some cases providing adopters to take on a sibling group can net a hefty profit for an LA.


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I know VA's make their money mostly by placing kids on behalf of LA's, but I am not sure how it works with LA's themselves. I never got the impression that our LA gained much if anything from the move of our first child to us. And if they can't place their own kids locally and they have to pay for them to go elsewhere it would cancel any benefit out.

You have got me curious now, FP, I am going to see if I can find out what happens for LA's . Also, it may have been different here because of the move from England to Scotland.

Does anyone ( SW!!) knows what happens, ( would one LA pay another LA, or would a VA pay the local LA anything if a child is placed in their area?)


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We were with a VA - basically VAs "sell" approved adopters to LAs - this saves the LA from spending money on assessing and approving families they may not need - so they find a match for a hard to place child / children with a VA and pay them a fee which covers the cost of assessment training etc - and usually some post adoption support too. VAs can afford to concentrate on working with adopters because they have no children themselves to look after or place. I presume it would be the same between LAs - the one placing the children out of authority would pay the one who assessed and approved the matched family. We in fact found our first child (her sibling was our second) through Be My Parent during the assessment process with a VA and they were quite happy with that (there was no Link Maker in those days)


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All the work to assess us was done by a section on our La that is for adoption ( family placement I think they called it) , so it cost our council to assess us, which is why it seemed reasonable to me to be asked to give them a chance first to see if they had a suitable placement. They certainly used us fast enough when we went back to the LA to request we be considered to adopt a second time !!

They were quite helpful, told us when things got stuck that we would be better to look further afield, and when he was placed they did alternate visits to us, to save the distant SW from masses of travelling, but seemed quite clear they never benefitted from the external placement much financially, from the way she spoke, and she thanked us for waiting a bit. I understood the placing LA paid CWW to advertise in the mag, but that is all. Matching was done by the placing LA themselves.( no doubt with our local SW telling them we were OK !!)

The placing LA funded adoption allowance and sibling visit expenses till he was 18, they never expected the local LA to take over. Local LA did say that, as adopters in their patch they would also support us , including us in carers meetings, training etc.

It is a while back, maybe things have changed or I got the wrong impression. I will ask them when I get a chance.


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I joined linkmaker when I was in stage 2. My sw advised me to. I got a lot of interests before I was approved and the placing sw would check back with me every so often for an update. When I did get approved I didnt follow the expressions on Linkmaker as my la sw had a child lined up for me.


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Inter LA adoptions in England do attract a payment. It is a significant amount although I believe the VA’s get more. This is a matter of public record as it is paid from public funds. If I recall correctly, the training LA was reimbursed in the region of £45,000 when we took on our sibling group.

Compared to the ongoing cost of keeping children in care, this is the lower cost option.

Our LA did offer a sib group to us in the first month after approval but advised us to use whatever tools we wanted to carry out our own searches, they knew that this link probably wouldn’t progress.


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