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The Assessment Form (Part 3)

Could you adopt Isabella?

Adoption child or children

We are looking for a new family for Isabella. Could you be her new family? Why not find out more?

This part of the form is for applicant(s) who intend to adopt a disabled child. (Note on terms used: 'impairment' means limitations caused by a physical, mental or sensory condition; 'disabled' describes how society views such individuals).

Your agency social worker and you will be asked to:

1) Provide details of experience of disability

What is your attitude towards disability? What do you understand by the 'social model of disability' (which proposes that being defined as 'disabled' stems from society's view of the disabled person as a 'problem') and would you be able to make use of such a viewpoint in planning how you would intend to care for a child?

2) Describe how you are likely to perceive the child.

How capable are you of seeing beyond a child's disability? What expectations of a child's development are you likely to have, and how accepting of a child's condition are you likely to be?

If you are able and willing to look after a child with a life-threatening condition, how aware are you of the implications of this, and how might you cope - for example - with the death of your child?

3) Detail your views on adolescence and the disabled younger person.

Do you have an understanding of the importance of friendships, education and independence for the disabled younger person, and how might you be able to assist the disabled younger person in achieving these?

4) Describe how you understand discrimination.

How will you encourage participation in activities, such as clubs or sports. How do you demonstrate positive attitudes towards disability? How will you nurture a child's self-esteem, and how are you likely to react to discrimination against your child ? How will you prepare your child to cope with discrimination from within the community?

5) Outline how you would expect to minimise the risk of abuse.

How aware are you of the risk of abuse (e.g physical, sexual, emotional) to a disabled child? How would you minimise that risk, and how would you help your child to communicate any problems or difficulties?

6) Indicate whether or not you are willing to consider a child who may have special educational needs.

Would you require help in understanding the statementing/recording process ? Do you understand the importance of being an advocate for the child - i.e of representing the child's interests to the best of your abilities?

7) Suggest what practical support you will need to look after a disabled child.

For example, ramps, bathroom facilities, transport, etc. Where a specific child is under consideration indicate whether or not any existing assessment has highlighted specific practical support that might be required.

8) State how confident you would be in looking after a child with an impairment within the following areas:

a. Eating - for example, dietary restrictions or needing to be fed by a tube.
b. Mobility - for example, being unable to stand unaided, or having behavioural difficulties which impede mobility.
c. Personal care - for example, needing incontinence aids or assistance with a colostomy.
d. Communication - for example, having dysphasia or needing to use sign language.
e. Sleep - for example, waking frequently.
f. Behaviour - for example, hyperactivity, having no sense of danger.
g. Identity - for example, needing help with anxiety, or with self-esteem.
h. Having a deteriorating or life-threatening condition.
i. Having a specific impairment, such as Epilepsy or Spina Bifida.
j. Having a sensory impairment, such as being blind.

Are you willing to attend post-approval courses in order to keep up with current practices? What is your understanding of how birth parents might react to their child's impairment - for example, with rejection. How might this affect a relationship between you and the birth parents?

more follows on next page........

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