As an adoptive couple, your social worker may be the person you see the most during the adoption process. They can also be one of the biggest stresses in an adoption. Social workers administer homestudies, evaluate a couple's capacity to adopt and raise a child and also engage in post-placement visits. Some social workers may also counsel couples or birth parents. In a private agency, social workers are instrumental in preparing birth mothers for adoption.
Although social workers may not be the ultimate authority on adoption, nor will they be perfect examples of a human being. However, getting a job with an adoption agency usually requires formal education. Depending on the agency, this may require a Masters in Social Work, or MSW, from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. Those with degrees in social sciences, like psychology or sociology may also be hired by an adoption agency.
Because of their role in a couple's approval for adoption, social workers can be revered with fear. While some social workers work behind a poker face, the majority of them are on your side and want to just ensure the home will be a safe and supportive place for a child.
Social workers are also required to ask difficult questions, particularly if a couple has undergone fertility treatments. While the questions can get tough, the majority of anxieties about social workers and home visits are overrated. So take a deep breath and remind yourself you're all human. You adoption doesn't hinge on a missed spot on the kitchen floor.