What Makes a Good Adoption Social Worker?

A social worker and adoptive mother shares her thoughts.

Meghan Rivard October 27, 2015

During the adoption process, you will probably work with one or more social workers. They will be the people who answer your questions, help you with your paperwork, and act as liaisons for communication between you and the agency. As an adoptive mother and a social worker who helps families complete their home study, I think there are many things that make a good social worker.

A good social worker is family-oriented and personable.
1. A good social worker is family-oriented and personable.

Because a social worker is someone you are sharing a lot of personal information with, they need to be personable, understanding, and genuinely care. They need to be focused on you and present “in the moment.”

A good social worker is flexible.
2. A good social worker is flexible.

Life happens, so a social worker, especially an adoption social worker, needs to be flexible.Things will not always go as planned, especially when several people, agencies, and even countries may be working together on your adoption, so your social worker should be ready to roll with the punches.

A good social worker is dependable.
3. A good social worker is dependable.

Your social worker should respond to your calls or emails in a timely manner. He or she should be on time for appointments and should follow up on any questions you have. Adoption is a stressful time, and having your questions answered in a timely manner can help with the stress.

A good social worker is educated.
4. A good social worker is educated.

Adoption regulations/laws/requirements can change, especially in international adoption. A good social worker stays up-to-date with changing laws and regulations so nothing comes up that could impede their process. He or she should also be intimately acquainted with the ethical aspects of adoption.

A good social worker is honest.
5. A good social worker is honest.

You should be able to trust your social worker completely throughout this life-changing process.

A good social worker is open-minded.
6. A good social worker is open-minded.

Social work professionals need to be open to collaborating with people from all races, ethnicities, education levels, sexual orientations, and life situations.

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Meghan Rivard

Meghan is an adoptive mother and a big advocate of adoption and foster care. She resides in Indiana with her husband, their one-year-old daughter who is the center of their lives, and their dog Max. She has a Bachelor's and Master’s Degree in Social Work. Meghan stays at home with her daughter but is so happy she found this outlet to share her personal adoption story and educate about adoption!


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