Requesting Information about Adoption
We know that taking the first step towards adoption can be a daunting experience and requesting an information pack can seem like a huge hurdle but we’ll be there to support you right from the beginning.
Once you’ve had the chance to read through the information and have made the decision to start your journey with us; just complete the Seeking Information about Adoption Form (found in the Information Pack) and return it back to us.
We’ll then contact you and arrange a convenient time for an appointment with one of our Adoption Social Workers. This will give you the opportunity to discuss the adoption process in detail, the timescales involved, the children waiting to be adopted and any other concerns you may have.
Our team will answer any of your questions.
Registration of Interest
When you’ve made the decision to continue with adoption, you’ll need to complete a Registration of Interest Form. This gives signed consent for us take the necessary checks and references needed to start the process.
You’ll then receive a letter from us acknowledging that we’ve registered your interest and will arrange to meet with you at the earliest opportunity; we aim to do this within seven working days.
During this initial meeting we’ll explain what happens next and will agree an action plan, including timescales, for the next stages of the process.
This step is known as Stage One and can take around eight weeks. As a part of the process there are a number of checks we would need to do, these include:
- A Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. It is important that any criminal convictions or cautions are reported to us at the earliest stage and we ask this to be done at our initial meeting with you.
- We would need three references from you, once of which can be a relative.
- A current reference from your employer and from any previous employers where you’ve worked with children, young people or vulnerable adults.
- A reference from any volunteering you may have done that involved working with young people or vulnerable adults
- We would need to contact any ex-partners. If you have any worries about this, we would make sure to talk this through with you.
- We would need to contact any adult children you may have and if you have any school-aged children we would need to speak with their school.
- We would also need a medical report from your doctor.
But don’t worry we would never contact anyone without having fully discussed this with you first.
Training / Preparation Groups
As a part of stage one, we ask you to join us in group training and preparation sessions which provide the perfect opportunity to meet other potential adopters and to learn more about what it is like to adopt a child.
We provide more information about the different children waiting to be adopted and about what you can expect. Our dedicated social work team will give their expert advice about adoption and will answer any specific questions you may have.
We also have our approved adopters at the sessions to give you their first-hand experiences of adopting and to tell you more about what it can be like.
Assessment and Home Visits
Once we’ve received your checks and references and you have completed the initial training, we’ll review all this information together with you and decide the best way to move forward. If there are any issues that come up we’ll make sure to discuss them with you fully.
If there aren’t any problems, we move on to Stage Two. This is where we arrange a series of appointments for your dedicated social worker to visit you in your home and we will work together to determine what kind of child/adoption placement you are able to consider.
As a part of Stage Two, we also provide more training during your home visits so you can further develop your understanding of adoption. We just want to make sure you feel as prepared as possible for the placement and have every opportunity to get the advice and support you may need.
Your social worker will then put together a Prospective Adopter’s Report (PAR) which will be used to find the right placement for you and for the children waiting to be adopted. You’ll have the opportunity to read your report and make any comments.
The Adoption Panel
After your report has been signed off by yourself and your social worker, you’ll be invited to the Adoption Panel who will consider your application. We’ll make sure we are with you on the day and tell you everything you need to know about the process.
Once the panel have made their recommendations and given advice about what kind of child placement would be suitable, we’ll be in touch with you within seven working days to tell you the outcome of your application.
If there are any problems at all, we have a rigorous appeal process and you also have the option of appealing to the Independent Review Mechanism (IRM).