Friday, March 2, 2007

Step Four: Making Yourself Stand Out, Part One: A Profile Page

(click to see larger image)

So, you're going to have your homestudy submitted to caseworkers for a particular child or sibling group. You want to stand out and be different from everyone else.

Ask your social worker if they would be willing to include a Profile of you when they send out each study, and then prepare a good one.

A good profile starts with one GREAT picture. Many people are tempted to include several pictures of their family doing all sorts of stuff, but I think that one really good picture of the family is sufficient. If you don't have a photo that is professional, see if you can get one done. Otherwise, have a friend who is a good photographer take one. It would be best if everyone is dressed nicely and color coordinated. If you want to use more than one picture, make sure the central one is eye catching.

Then the profile should be no more than a couple paragraphs that are well written and in first person. Have a few people proofread it for you to make sure there are no grammatical or spelling errors. In those two paragraphs, include some basic information: What do you and your spouse do for a living? What is your house and neighborhood like? What hobbies do you enjoy? And what makes you unique? Try to make your house and home kid friendly.

Finally, I would add a few sentences about commitment and your understanding about children in the system. For example, "Having spent time talking with other parents who are adopted, we understand that raising children with special needs can be a difficult undertaking. We realize that simply providing them a loving home and a permanent family may not be enough to change their behaviors, immediately heal their hearts, or fix their mental health issues. However, we are committed to raising children for the long haul and are pledging ourselves to stick by them regardless of what may come."

A great layout and fancy design is eye catching, but not necessary. If you do not know how to do layout on the computer, have a friend help. Being able to have it saved in PDF format is very helpful since a lot of social workers are now emailing profiles.

If your agency does not provide a service of making profiles, make color copies and take them to your agency. Ask your social worker to include a profile each time they send out your study.


Susan R. said...

There are 3 typos in this piece.

Claudia said...

I found two and fixed them, but can't find the other one. Anyone?

Rebecca said...

Maybe it's:
Being able to have it saved in PDF format is very helpful since a lot of social workers are now emailing profiles.

Should there be a comma after the helpful? My comma placement has always been weak, so I could be wrong.

Susan R. said...

You add an apostrophe to your use of the possessive its. If it's (hah) helpful at all, you can keep in mind that the possessives (my yours her his its ours yours their) never take an apostrophe--only contractions.