Skip to main content
Caption: floating buttons
 
spacer_valid
View East Riding Safeguarding Children Partnership View East Riding Safeguarding Children Partnership
spacer_valid 2
View Working Together View Working Together
Caption: main heading
 

6.4.4 Presentation of Proposed Placements to the Adoption Panel

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


Contents

Caption: contents table
   
1. Introduction
2. The Adoption Report
3. The Adoption Panel
4. Procedure for Presenting Proposed Placements to the Adoption Panel
  4.1 Matching the Child with Prospective Adopters
  4.2 Life Appreciation Day
  4.3 Progressing the Prospective Placement
  4.4 The Adoption Panel


1. Introduction

  1. All proposed placements for children who are being placed for adoption by East Riding of Yorkshire Adoption Agency will be referred to East Riding of Yorkshire Adoption Panel, whether or not the prospective adopter(s) have been approved by East Riding Adoption Agency. Proposed placements of children being placed for adoption by other adoption agencies with prospective adopters who have been approved by East Riding Adoption Agency will normally be referred to the adoption panel of the agency who is placing the child for adoption.


2. The Adoption Report

  1. Before a proposed placement can be referred to the adoption panel the adoption agency must prepare a written Adoption Placement Report setting out:
    • The agency's reasons for proposing the placement
    • Any relevant information arising from the discussion with the prospective adopters about the proposed placement and contact arrangements or any counselling or information given to them in respect of the placement.
    • Clarity of responsibility and decision-making delegated to the prospective adopters about child’s health needs and when/under what circumstances consent to medical treatment needs to be obtained.
    • The proposals for the provision of adoption support services to the adoptive family
    • The proposed arrangements for allowing any person contact with the child.
    • Any other relevant information.
  2. The Adoption Placement Report can only be prepared by:
    • A registered social worker who has 3 years post-qualifying experience in childcare social work, including direct experience of adoption work.
    • A registered social worker who is employed by the council and is supervised by a registered social worker employed by the council who has 3 years post-qualifying experience in child care social work, including direct experience of adoption work.
    • A social work student on placement with the council who is being supervised by a registered social worker employed by the council who has 3 years post-qualifying experience in child care social work, including direct experience of adoption work.


3. The Adoption Panel

  1. A prospective adopter must be notified in writing that the proposed placement is to be referred to the adoption panel. S/he must be sent a copy of the adoption placement report with the notification, and be invited to send any observations in writing to the adoption agency within 10 working days of the date of the notification.
  2. The adoption agency can refer the proposed placement to the adoption panel when it receives the prospective adopter's written observations, or after 10 working days of sending the notification if no observations are received. The adoption agency must send the adoption panel:
    • The Adoption Placement Report
    • The Child's Permanence Report
    • The Prospective Adopter's Report
    • Any written observations made by the prospective adopter.
  3. The adoption panel must consider every proposed placement referred to it by the adoption agency and make a recommendation to the agency as to whether the child should be placed for adoption with that particular prospective adopter. The adoption panel can make a recommendation about a proposed placement only if:
    • a decision has previously been made by the adoption panel, or another adoption panel, that the child should be placed for adoption or the decision is to be made at the same meeting

      and

    • A decision has previously been made by the adoption panel, or another adoption panel, that the child should be placed for adoption or the decision is to be made at the same meeting.
  4. In considering what recommendation to make, the Adoption Panel must take account of the following duties imposed on the adoption agency under the Adoption Act 2002:
    • the paramount consideration in decision making must be the child's welfare throughout his life.
    • Account must be taken of (the welfare checklist):
      • Child's ascertainable wishes and feelings
      • Child's particular needs
      • Likely effect on child of having ceased to be a member of his/her family of origin
      • Child's characteristics - age, gender, etc
      • Any harm the child has suffered, or is at risk of suffering
      • Child's relationship with relatives and significant others, the likelihood of the relationship continuing and value of it doing so; the ability of the relatives or significant others to meet the needs of the child; and their wishes and feelings regarding the child
    • Due consideration must be given to the child's religion, racial origin and cultural and linguistic background.
  5. In considering its recommendation, the panel:
    • must consider all the reports sent to it by the adoption agency.
    • may request the adoption agency to obtain any other relevant information which the panel considers necessary
    • may obtain legal advice in relation to the case.
  6. The adoption panel must also consider, and may give advice to the adoption agency with regard to:
    • the local authority's proposals for the provision of adoption support services for the adoptive family
    • the arrangements the adoption agency proposes to make for allowing any person contact with the child
    • whether the Parental Responsibility of any parent or guardian or the prospective adopter should be restricted and if so the extent of any restriction.
  7. The adoption agency decision maker makes the decision whether the child should be placed with the particular prospective adopter, taking into account the recommendations of the adoption panel. The agency must notify in writing, within 5 working days of the decision being made:
    • the prospective adopter
    • the parent or guardian of the child, if their whereabouts are known
    • a father who does not have Parental Responsibility for the child, if his identity is known, and if it considers it appropriate to do so.
      The decision must also be explained to the child in an appropriate manner and having regard to his/her age and understanding.
  8. A copy of:
    • The Prospective Adopter's Report
    • The Adoption Placement Report and the prospective adopters' observations on the report
    • The minute relating to the adoption panel's recommendations, including the reasons for the recommendations and any advice given to the adoption agency
    • The record and notification of the agency's decision must be retained on the child's adoption record.


4. Procedure for Presenting Proposed Placements to the Adoption Panel

4.1 Matching the Child with Prospective Adopters

  1. Meetings of the adoption implementation core group will provide a forum to discuss possible matches for a child. The initiation of the matching process in respect of a particular family will be agreed by the group.
  2. When a potential match is identified for a child by the AI core group, the prospective adopter(s) must be provided with a copy of the child's permanence report. The child's social worker should liaise with the prospective adopter's social worker to arrange this. The prospective adopter's should be asked to acknowledge receipt of this by signing the relevant form, and a copy of the acknowledgment must be retained on the child and the prospective adopter's file.
  3. If having had the opportunity to consider the Child's Permanence Report the prospective adopters confirm their interest in proceeding, a visit must be arranged to the prospective adopters to discuss the proposed placement. This should usually be undertaken jointly by the child's social worker and the adoption social worker for the prospective adopters. The views of the prospective adopter(s) about the proposed placement must be obtained, and in particular their views about any proposed arrangements for allowing any person contact with the child. The date of the visit and a summary of the prospective adopter(s)'s views must be recorded in the child and prospective adopter's files.
  4. Should the prospective adopter(s) confirm their interest in proceeding with the placement following the visit, the Adoption Team Manager, the prospective adopter(s)'s social worker, the child's social worker and their Team Manager should meet to discuss and endorse the proposed match. Minutes should be made of the meeting by the Adoption Team Manager or Safeguarding Team Manager and a copy forwarded to all participants.

    (NB. When more than one family has been identified as suitable steps 2 - 3 can be carried out for each family, the social workers for each family should attend the meeting and the final choice of family made at the meeting. The minutes should record reasons for the choice).

4.2 Life Appreciation Day

  1. If it is agreed to proceed with the match, the adoption link-worker will liaise with the prospective adopter(s)'s social worker and child's social worker to arrange a "Life Appreciation Day" to which the prospective adopters, the child's current carers and any other adult (if appropriate) who has had significant involvement with the child will be invited to attend. The purpose of the day will be for the prospective adopters to learn more about the child and his/her background, and to have the opportunity to exchange information and to ask questions.
  2. If following the Life Appreciation Day the prospective adopters confirm that they wish to proceed, an assessment of the needs of the child, the prospective adopter(s) and any children of the prospective adopters for adoption support services must be undertaken. (See separate procedure "Assessment of Need for Adoption Support Services and Preparation of Adoption Support plans.") The assessment should be undertaken jointly by the prospective adopter's social worker and the child's social worker. The adopter's social worker will draw up draft adoption support plan (if appropriate.) and forward a copy of this to the Adoption Team Manager for endorsement.

4.3 Progressing the Prospective Placement

  1. The contact arrangements put in place following the agency decision that the child should be placed for adoption must be reconsidered, taking into account the views of the prospective adopters. Any proposed changes should be discussed with the child's birth parents and /or other person affected by the proposed change.
  2. The child's social worker, assisted by the prospective adopter's social worker must complete an Adoption Placement Report for the adoption panel. The Adoption Placement Report must be signed by the social worker's supervisor if s/he is not qualified to prepare the report without supervision. A copy of the draft adoption support plan, if prepared, should be attached as an addendum. The report must be forwarded to the agency adviser (Adoption Team Manager).

  3. The agency adviser (Adoption Team Manager) will advise the panel administrator that the proposed placement is to be referred to the adoption panel. The panel administrator will arrange for the prospective adopters to be given written notification that the proposed placement will be referred to the panel, and to be sent a copy of the Adoption Placement Report inviting written observations on the report to be made to the agency within 10 working days.
  4. The panel administrator will arrange for the proposed placement to be tabled for consideration by the adoption panel at the next available opportunity, following the receipt of the prospective adopter(s) observations or expiry of the 10 days. The panel administrator will send an e-mail to the child's social worker, and a letter to the prospective adopter(s) with a copy to their adoption social worker advising them of the date of the meeting and inviting them to attend.

    The panel administrator will arrange to open a file for the prospective adopters, and ensure that all information received from the agency that approved them as prospective adopters is placed on the file.

4.4 The Adoption Panel

  1. The panel administrator will send the following documents to all panel members and the agency decision-maker (Director of Children, Families and Schools) 7 days in advance of the panel meeting:
    • The Adoption Placement Report
    • The Child's Permanence Report
    • The Prospective Adopter's Report
    • Any written observations made by the prospective adopter.
  2. The child's s social worker should attend the adoption panel to present the proposed placement, assisted by the prospective adopters' social worker. The adoption panel will first discuss the case with the child's social worker and adoption social worker before inviting the prospective adopters to join the meeting. The prospective adopters will be asked to leave following the discussion with them. The adoption panel will then formally make their recommendations. The outcome can be that the proposed placement is recommended, is not recommended, or the matter deferred to a subsequent panel if panel members consider that there is a need for more information before making a recommendation. The prospective adopter(s) will be invited back into the meeting, and the panel chair will advise them of the panel's recommendations.
  3. Following the adoption panel the panel administrator will forward details of the panel's recommendations to the Adoption Agency Decision Maker, who will make the final decision within 7 working days of the panel meeting, taking their recommendation into account. The panel administrator will arrange for written notification of the decision to be sent to the prospective adopter and to the parent (s)/guardian(s) of the child, within 5 working days of the decision being made. The notification will also include details of the contact arrangements.
  4. The child's social worker should ensure that the decision is communicated verbally to the child's parent(s)/guardian within 2 working days, unless their whereabouts are unknown.
  5. The child's social worker must ensure that if the proposed placement is to proceed, the decision is explained to the child as soon as possible in an appropriate manner having regard to his or her age and understanding.
  6. The prospective adopter(s)' adoption worker will ensure that the decision is communicated to them orally within 2 working days of the decision being made.
  7. The adoption panel administrator will send the child's social worker and the prospective adopter's social worker copies of the record of the panel proceedings relating to proposed placement, together with copies of the relevant notifications of the decision.

End