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6.6.2 Supervision, Support and Review of Placements

RELATED CHAPTERS

Adoption Support Services Procedures

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


Contents

  1. Visits and Reviews of Adoption Placements
  2. Applications for Adoption Orders
  3. Withdrawal of Parental / Guardian Consent of the Placement
  4. Safeguarding Concerns
  5. Placement Termination
  6. Supervision, Support and Placement Review Procedures


1. Visits and Reviews of Adoption Placements

Caption: Visits and Reviews of Adoption Placements
   
1. Regulation 36 (4) of the Adoption Agencies Regulations 2005 sets out the requirements in respect of visits to a child placed with prospective adopters. A visit must be made to the child and prospective adopters within one week of placement, and then once a week until the first review. The first review must take place within 4 weeks of the start of the placement. After the first review, visits must be made at the frequency decided at the review. The regulations require that a report is made of each visit. The child should be seen alone, unless they are of sufficient age and understanding to object. The agency is also required to provide whatever advice and assistance to the prospective adopters the agency deems necessary.
2.

A report of a visit made under Regulation 36 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.
Responsibility for visiting the adoptive home will be shared between the child's and prospective adopter(s)'s social workers. However the responsibility for ensuring that the child is visited according to the Regulations and as agreed at reviews will remain with the child's social worker, although during the first month, the prospective adopter's social worker may, by agreement, undertake a visit on behalf of the child's social worker during this period, in order to avoid the duplication of effort and over frequent visits to the adoptive home. Responsibility for providing advice and assistance to the prospective adopters and for monitoring the provision of adoption support services will primarily rest with the prospective adopter(s)'s social worker.


2. Applications for Adoption Orders

Caption: Applications for Adoption Orders
   
1. The agency must continue to review the child's case following the placement of the child for adoption until an adoption order is granted. The first review must take place within 4 weeks of the child being placed, the second review must take place within 3 months of the first review, and subsequent reviews must take place within 6 months of the previous review. (See also separate procedure Review of Children's Cases).
2. The child must have been living with the prospective adopter(s) for at least 10 weeks before they are able to make an application for an adoption order. The prospective adopter(s)'s social worker is responsible for providing guidance and assisting them through the legal process of obtaining an adoption order. The timing of the application will depend on the individual circumstances of the case. Most applicants are likely to want to make their application as soon as possible, but they should only proceed if they are confident about making a final commitment to the child and assuming full Parental Responsibility. In the case of an infant or young child with no significant additional needs it is likely to be appropriate for the application to be submitted at the earliest opportunity. However with older children more time is likely to be needed for everyone, including the child, to consider that the placement is sufficiently established and the prospective adopters feel confident about making an application. The timing of the application should be considered at each statutory review, and the reasons for any unexpected delay on the part of the prospective applicants in making an application should be fully explored.


3. Withdrawal of Parental / Guardian Consent of the Placement

Caption: Withdrawal of Parental / Guardian Consent of the Placement
   
1. When the child has been placed with the consent of the parent(s)/guardian, consent may be withdrawn at any point prior to the prospective adopter(s) lodging their application. However only the adoption agency is authorised to remove the child from the placement. On receiving a notice of withdrawal of consent, the adoption agency must immediately hold an Adoption Review and review its decision to place the child for adoption. If the agency decides that the child should continue to be placed for adoption it must apply for a Placement Order. The application for a Placement Order has the effect of prohibiting the child's removal from the placement until such time as the court has decided whether or not to make a Placement Order. If the agency decides that the child should no longer be placed for adoption it must make arrangements to remove the child from the adoption placement and return the child to the parent(s)/guardian. (See also separate procedure "Consent to Adoption and Applying for an Adoption Placement Order")


4. Safeguarding Concerns

Caption: Safeguarding Concerns
   
1. Should any concerns regarding the child's safety and wellbeing arise whilst they are placed with prospective adopters, these must be addressed promptly and consideration given to whether an investigation in accordance with the East Riding Safeguarding Children Partnership Procedures and Guidance should be undertaken.


5. Placement Termination

Caption: Placement Termination
   
1.

An adoption placement may be ended by either:

  • The agency giving notice to the prospective adopters that they consider the child should not remain with them. The prospective adopter must return the child to the agency within 7 days of receiving the notice. If they have made an application for an adoption order they do not need to return the child unless the court orders them to do so;
  • The prospective adopters giving notice to the agency that they wish to return the child to the agency. The agency must receive the child from the prospective adopters within 7 days of receiving the notice from them.
In both situations the agency must inform the child's parent(s)/guardian that the child is to be returned to the agency.
2. When a child is returned to the agency following notice being given by either the agency or the prospective adopter(s), the agency must carry out a Disruption Review of the child's case no earlier than 28 days or later than 42 days after the date on which the child is returned to the agency.
3. When an adoption placement comes to an end for whatever reason, a review of the prospective adopters' suitability to adopt a child should be carried out prior to any consideration being given to a further placement being made. Even when the placement has ended as a result of the parent(s)/ guardian withdrawing consent to place the child for adoption, a careful assessment of the impact this has had on the prospective adopter(s) will need to be made. They will need sufficient time to come to terms with their loss before they are ready to welcome another child into their family. (See Review and Termination of Approval of Prospective Adopters Procedure)


6. Supervision, Support and Placement Review Procedures

See also Adoption Support Services Procedures.

The child's social worker must visit the child and prospective adopter(s) within the first week following placement and then weekly until the first review. Details of this visit must be recorded, and a copy sent to the prospective adopter(s)'social worker. If any of these visits are made by the prospective adopter(s)' social worker, details must also be recorded and a copy sent to the child's social worker.

The report of the visit must be counter-signed by the social worker's supervisor if they are not qualified to prepare the report without supervision.

The prospective adopter(s)' social worker should visit the adoptive family at least once prior to the first review and record details of the visit, sending a copy to the child's social worker. (If a visit is made on behalf of the child's social worker details should also be recorded).

Close contact via the telephone should be maintained with the adoptive parents during this period in the weeks that no visit is made.

The child's social worker and prospective adopters social worker should liaise closely, keeping each other informed of any concerns and actions taken.

The child's social worker will liaise with the Children’s Independent and Safeguarding Review Officer to arrange the first review, and ensure that invitations and consultation paperwork is sent out to the child and prospective adopter(s) and appropriate other persons as agreed with the CISRO. (See Review of Children's Cases).

In relation to requirement to provide counselling for the child and report on the child’s wishes to Adoption Panel as part of Child’s Permanence Report, prior to the review, the child’s preferred method of communication should be known; there should be no assumption that a child is unable to communicate. The CISRO should advise the child about their right to appoint an advocate, where they have problems or concerns. For further information please see Advocacy Service for Children in Care Procedure.

Following the first review, the child's and prospective adopter(s)'s social workers will continue to visit at the frequency agreed at the first and subsequent reviews, recording details of their visits, and sending copies to each other;

Should at any point the placement appear to be in jeopardy of disrupting, the child's and prospective adopter(s)'s social workers should discuss any concerns at the earliest opportunity, and identify any measures, including a review of the adoption support plan, that might be taken to prevent this.

(See also the procedure "Averting Foster Placement Disruptions" as much of the guidance provided in this procedure is relevant to adoption placements).

When the child has lived with the prospective adopter(s) for 10 weeks, or as determined at the child's review, the prospective adopter(s)'s social worker will advise them to make their application for an adoption order, and arrange for them to be reimbursed for the cost of the application fee.

Once the application is lodged, no one including the agency can remove the child from the placement without the consent of the court;

The social worker for the prospective adopter(s) will co-ordinate the preparation of the agency's report for the court, and submit this to the court within the required timescales;

The prospective adopter(s) social worker will attend the court hearing as the agency representative.

Placements which end prematurely

When a decision has been made to end a placement, whether this has been initiated by the agency, prospective adopter(s) or the child's parent(s) the timescale for the child's move will be dictated by the regulatory requirements, and there may be limited time available to work with the child, prospective adopter(s) and/or child's parent(s) to plan the move. Nevertheless, gaining the cooperation of the prospective adopters will be important if the distress and trauma to the child is to be minimised. This should be taken into account when timing the issue of any notice from the agency to prospective adopters informing them that they consider that a child should no longer be placed with them.

  1. The prospective adopter(s)' social worker will be responsible for ensuring all relevant notices are issued to prospective adopters and the child's parent(s)/guardian. Prior to sending a notice the prospective adopters should be contacted in person if possible, or by telephone in order to prepare them for the arrival of the notice;
  2. The child's social worker will be responsible for arranging an alternative placement and the removal of the child from the adoption placement;
  3. The child's social worker will liaise with the Children's Independent and Safeguarding Reviewing Officer to arrange for the child's case to be reviewed within 4 - 6 weeks of the end of the placement;
  4. The child's social worker should also liaise with the prospective adopter(s)'s social worker to arrange a disruption meeting. (See Disruption Meetings Procedure).

End