The importance of a good social worker

It’s been over a month since we heard from our social worker. That’s understandable; our last contact was at the celebration hearing, an event signifying our official role as Little Chick’s legal parents, marking the end of Derbyshire County Council’s responsibility. But I kind of hoped we would hear from her. I’m guessing it is her way of gently lessening contact (now that the adoption order has been granted), but after all this time it is odd not having her in our lives. I knew this day was coming and I know why this day had to come, but I still miss her. In a weird way, I’m grieving her. Or at least that episode of our lives. Getting to this point has needed all three of us, not just the Other Mrs Reed Warbler and myself.

With hindsight, I don’t think it is a coincidence that I became overwhelmed in the period when she was absent. She has supported us for almost four years. She has been a constant in a time of chaos. We can and will cope without her, but we’ve never had to.

I know that our relationship was purely professional: she was friendly, but not my friend. But I would like to keep in touch with her, hear about the changes she is spearheading for adopters, especially considering ongoing regionalisation.

I respect our social worker as a professional. I like her as a person.

Last time I saw her I was frustrated, fed up, and downright peed off. I’m not good at hiding my emotions; I’m especially terrible at masking anger. I’m ashamed I was like that and sad that it’s how I left things. I was in no way angry with her, but she still suffered the consequences of my emotional turbulence.

For the first time, I’m nervous about seeing her. I know there’s been a shift in our relationship, but I don’t understand it or know how to respond appropriately.

I also appreciate that this is a strange position in which to find myself. Most of my friends who have adopted couldn’t wait to receive the official sign off, as much to receive legal responsibility as to lose social services’ interference. But I’ve never felt like that. There have been occasions when Derbyshire County Council have frustrated us, but usually it has been due to constraints beyond their control, owing to larger problems with adoption generally. I have never felt let down by our social worker and acknowledge that we would not be a forever family without here. And that’s not to say we’ve had it easy. It’s been bloody hard at times; there have been moments when we’ve stopped and thought long and hard about what we are doing. But we never lost faith in adoption because we never lost faith in our adoption social worker. The importance of a good social worker cannot be underestimated.

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