Our social worker’s line-manager contacted us last week to say that our social worker is ill – she has had a minor op and recovery has not gone as well as predicted – she will be off until the end of this month (at least). While this is definitely not good news (and we do feel sorry for our social worker who is very nice) it is a relief to know where we are as we had realised that something was not right. We had hoped that we would be at panel in February, that is certainly no longer a possibility. There is only one panel (panel decides whether to approve for adoption or not) a month, so all this represents a considerable delay. Originally we had hoped to be through panel before the end of last year, so things really are moving slowly. We signed our formal application in March ’07, and according to government guidelines panel should be within 8 months of that, so we are feeling a little frustrated.