Asking military adopters the right questions
The following information has been prepared to support Local Authority social workers and professionals who are approached by military personnel as potential adopters.
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Local Authorities will often have a single point of access or “front door” for all adoption enquiries. The people taking these calls may or may not be social workers and often have a strict set of criteria which need to be met in order for the enquiry to be taken forward to point of initial interview or information evening.
Due to the nature of military lifestyle military applicants will sometimes fall through the net as they are unable to meet these strict criteria. The following should help the adoption social worker teams consider their own ‘front door’ questions and better understand the responses they receive from the Armed Forces community as they seek to adopt.
There are a number of specific questions which it may be helpful to ask a military applicant.
Which service do you/ your partner currently serve in?
Each have a unique structure - their lifestyles and support networks will differ slightly for each one. Further information regarding service specific support can be found on the service specific information sheets.
Which rank or position does the serving person currently hold?
A serving person’s rank and position will often determine the nature of their role, the likelihood of moves and deployments, as well as their pay.
Do you live in Service Family Accommodation (SFA) or private accommodation?
SFA is offered either on military base or camp, or in the immediate local community depending upon the service. Families living in SFA will be entitled to larger accommodation to ensure each child has their own bedroom. The change in accommodation can often be arranged prior to introductions allowing the family to be settled before any adoption placement starts.
Do you know of any future postings or deployments that are coming up in the next 12 months?
Serving personnel will often be aware of any future or possible postings or deployments. A period of non-deployment can be requested in most circumstances to support family life.
If a two parent family, are both partners serving?
Service personnel are entitled to 12 months adoption leave and are able to request a period of non-deployment if necessary.