01481 713230 [email protected]

Adoption Application Process

Initial Enquiry

Firstly, you will speak to one of our social workers to express your interest in adopting. You can ring us on 01481 713230 during business hours or you can email us via [email protected]. The duty social worker will discuss your interest and provide you with an overview of what adoption entails. If you think you would like to know more, an information pack will be sent out to you.

Initial Visit

Once you have had the chance to read the information pack and you have decided that you would like to find out more, you can request an initial visit. One of our social workers will meet with you at home to talk more about adoption and answer any questions you have about becoming an adoptive parent to see whether it's right for you and your family.

Preparation to Adopt training

If you and the service are in agreement that adoption may be right for you we will invite you to attend our 'Preparation to Adopt' training course where you'll be introduced to the challenges of adopting, the kinds of experiences children may have had and why they may behave in certain ways. You'll also learn about the people you'll be working with, for example social workers and other professionals prior to the making of an Adoption Order, and what is expected of you as an adoptive parent. The course will also contribute to your assessment. The course is presented in full days during the week or weekends and for couples, both of you are expected to attend.

Your Application

If you wish to proceed to an application and we are in agreement with this we'll provide you with an application form which we will support you to complete before we can go any further. For couples, both of you will need to be assessed. The timescale from application to approval varies and can take up to 8 months.

Checks and References

We have to undertake a number of rigorous checks to ensure the suitability of our adoptive parents who look after vulnerable children and young people. These are in line with national guidelines and include Enhanced Criminal Record Bureau checks, Social Services and other agency checks as well as medical checks and personal and employment references.

Assessment

If the outcome of our checks are satisfactory we can proceed with your application. The next step is for a member of our team to visit you at home over several visits to get a more rounded picture of how you would cope with the responsibilities of being an adoptive parent. We'll talk about your life, your childhood, the way your family functions and other subjects which may influence the way you'd care for an adopted child.

The Adoption Panel

After you have had an opportunity to read and make comments, your completed assessment will be presented to the Adoption Panel where Panel members will make a recommendation on whether you should be approved as an adoptive parent. You will be invited to attend with your assessing social worker and you will be asked questions that have arisen from your assessment. The Agency Decision Maker will then make the final decision on whether to approve your application.

Approved Adoptive Parent

Once approved, your supervising social worker will visit you regularly and help match your skills and family circumstances with a child/ren who need to be adopted.

Once you have a child/ren in your care, your social worker will make sure that you receive all the help you need to provide a stable, safe and caring environment for the child placed in your home. Following the making of an Adoption Order social work visits will cease but you will still be able to access post-adoption support.

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