Homing Team Members are the only Volunteers who are authorised to suggest trial adoptions.
We ask volunteers and members of the public to appreciate that when we offer our dogs for adoption, we explore the skills offered by each family, as well as the family's future ability to settle and support our dog whilst it is in transition. We are looking for commitment.
We do not hand over our dogs into 'trials', where the family assesses whether the dog 'matches up' to expectations in, say, a 48 hour period. NO. We support families after very carefully matching them with a dog, so as to achieve a positive outcome. The emphasis is on the family's adaptation and accommodation of our dog in transition. Our families must step up to the plate and accommodate our dog's ongoing needs.
In the rare cases that the Homing Team suggests a Trial Adoption, they will have discussed very clear reasons with other members of the Homing Team and the receiving family. They have identified 'deal breakers', which are unpredictable in nature, and may take concerted effort to overcome. This is above and beyond the usual settling-in process and we will give specific trial time parameters. A key example is when there is a cat(s) involved. The family should have already dog-tested the cat, and we will counsel on a temporary withdrawal of the cat(s) and desensitisation training until a trust-bond has been established. Another example is where there is a regular visiting dog that cannot be involved in the initial assessment/meeting.
Negotiating a dog's homing requires intense risk awareness and courage on behalf of the accepting family. These negotiations are the domain of the Homing Team. They discuss the intricacies and the psychological framework involved. Our dog should not carry the whole settlement on its shoulders. This is not fair on our homeless and abandoned dogs, who have often arrived into a home out of a prolonged kennelling situation.
Suggestions from other volunteers such as Kennel Walkers, Home Checkers, or Fosterers can undermine all the Homing Team's negotiations. Our dogs and Homing Team Members need collegiate support from all Volunteers to ensure our dogs receive the intense supportive measures they need, guided by our Homing Volunteers. All homing and trial-adoption communications must be deferred to the named Homing Team Volunteer. The Homing Team will negotiate with the family, conducting the intricate conversations required in order to achieve a successful homing.
Serious discussions are already underway with families on these dogs, or the dogs have been homed on a trial basis with Homing Team Approval
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