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6.6.1 The Adoption Placement Plan, Introductions and the Placement

Please see relevant section of Forms Library to access the required template.


  1. The Adoption Placement Plan
  2. Introducing the Child to Prospective Adopters
  3. Notification of the Placement
  4. Adoption Placement Plan Procedure
  5. Placement Day

1. The Adoption Placement Plan

  1. Following the agency decision that a child should be placed with a particular adopter(s), an Adoption Placement Plan must be drawn up, and Schedule 5 to the Regulations specifies the matters to be included in the plan. The plan must be sent to the prospective adopter(s) as soon as possible after the agency decision has been made. The child can only be placed after the prospective adopter(s) have notified the agency that they wish to proceed with the placement. Should any changes subsequently be made to the Adoption Placement Plan, the prospective adopter(s) must be notified of these in writing.
  2. There should be full participation of the prospective adopters in the placement planning process.

2. Introducing the Child to Prospective Adopters

  1. Looked after children being placed for adoption have often experienced considerable disruption to their care arrangements, and may have had a significant number of placements with foster or other carers prior to being placed for adoption. In these circumstances any new placement move is likely to be experienced by the child as stressful. Any previous traumatic experience associated with being separated from primary caregivers is likely to be recalled, and the range of emotions associated with these experiences may be reawakened.
  2. The child's experience of moving into an adoptive family is likely to have some impact on how the child subsequently settles with their new family and adapts to new family routines, and how the child is accepted into the family and the family adjusts to the child. The aim should be to ensure that the transition into the new family is as positive experience for the child as possible. This can best be achieved by thorough and careful planning of the introductory process. The process should:
    • Allow the child to be involved in planning introductions in accordance with their age and understanding. The child should be consulted and his/her views taken into account at every stage.
    • Provide the child with sufficient information about the new family and environment to which they are moving, and the placement process to minimise their natural anxieties and fear of the unknown.
    • Proceed at a pace that takes account of the specific needs of the child involved, and allows him/her and element of control over the process. There can be no set timescale for the completion of the introductory programme but in general the younger the child the shorter but more intense the programme of introductory visits will be.
    • Allow time to review progress, providing opportunities for concerns and unforeseen issues to be highlighted and resolved before the child is finally placed.

There should be flexibility in arranging introductions between the child and the prospective adopters, to meet their individual needs. As well as the child visiting the prospective adoptive home prior to the adoptive placement; information should also be provided in advance to the child to ensure that s/he has a proper understanding about the accommodation and who else lives at the prospective adoptive home, The child should also be given information about how the contact arrangements with his / her birth family will work, and how the child is able to contact his or her social worker.

3. Notification of the Placement

  1. Prior to the child being finally placed with the prospective adoptive family, the Adoption Agency Regulations require that the following are notified:
    • The prospective adopter(s)' General Practitioner;
    • The local authority where the prospective adopter has his home (if this LA is not the adoption agency placing the child);
    • The Integrated Care Board (ICB) in the area where the prospective adopter(s) lives;
    • The Education Service in the area where the prospective adopter(s) lives. (This applies only if the child being placed is of statutory school age.)

4. Adoption Placement Plan Procedure

  1. Following the agency decision that a child should be placed with a particular adopter(s), a planning meeting will be convened. The Adoption Team Manager or Senior Practitioner will chair the meeting, and it will be attended by members of the AI core group, as appropriate, and the prospective adopter(s) The meeting will discuss all matters to be included in the adoption Placement Plan, draw up a programme of introductory visits, and will agree how the child (if not in attendance) will be consulted and involved in the introductory process.
  2. Following the planning meeting, the Adoption Placement Plan will be completed by the chair, and a copy sent to the prospective adopters, and the child's foster carers (or residential key worker) A copy of the document will be sent to the child's and the prospective adopter(s)' social workers, the Children's Independent and Safeguarding Reviewing Officer and retained on the respective files.
  3. Introductions will proceed according to the agreed programme. Departures from the programme should only occur following consultation and agreement with all parties.
  4. The child's social worker must monitor progress from the child's point of view, keeping in frequent contact with the child and his/her carer throughout.

    The prospective adopter's social worker is responsible for monitoring progress from their point of view. The two workers should liaise at regular intervals to exchange progress reports and inform each other of any developments and concerns. Should any changes to the placement plan need to be made, these must be notified to the prospective adopters in writing.
  5. The planning meeting will be reconvened to review progress at an agreed point in the programme of introductions. If introductions have proceeded well and there are no unresolved concerns, the meeting will confirm the final date of placement. The prospective adopters must notify the agency in writing that they wish to go ahead with the placement before the child can be placed. This can be done at the meeting.
  6. The prospective adopters social worker will be responsible for sending out the formal notifications prior to placement.

5. Placement Day

  1. Arrangements will usually be made for the prospective adopters to collect the child from the foster home or residential placement on the agreed placement day. The child or prospective adopter(s)'s social worker should agree who will be present to facilitate the handover process, and ensure that the prospective adopters receive all relevant documents, as agreed in the addendum to the Placement Plan.