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7.2.2 Assessment and Approval of Prospective Adopters

RELEVANT GUIDANCE

Adoption Statutory Guidance (revised 1 July 2013)

RELATED CHAPTER

Dangerous Pets Policy

NOTE

There is a shortened process for prospective adopters who have already been approved as foster carers / adopters - see Section 3, Fast-Track Procedure for Approved Foster Carers and Previous Adopters Who Wish to Adopt.

AMENDMENT

This chapter was revised in September 2019 following the decision that Swindon Borough Council’s adoption services would in future be managed by Adopt Thames Valley, Regional Adoption Agency.


Contents

  1. Recruitment and Assessment of Prospective Adopters
  2. Fostering for Adoption
  3. Fast-Track Procedure for Approved Foster Carers and Previous Adopters Who Wish to Adopt


1. Recruitment and Assessment of Prospective Adopters

The adoption agency aims to recruit and assess prospective adopters who can meet most of the needs of children for whom adoption is the plan. This area of work is undertaken by Adopt Thames Valley, Regional Adoption Agency on behalf of Swindon Borough Council. 

Where an enquiry is about inter-country adoption, applicants will be signposted to the Intercountry Adoption Centre.

There is a shortened process for prospective adopters who have already been approved as foster carers / adopters - see Section 3, Fast-Track Procedure for Approved Foster Carers and Previous Adopters Who Wish to Adopt.

The local authority has a duty to provide information on adoption support services to anyone contacting the authority to request information about adopting a child. See Adoption Support Procedure.

Information about Fostering for Adoption refer to Fostering for Adoption, Concurrent Planning and Temporary Approval as Foster Carers of Approved Prospective Adopters Procedure.


2. Fostering for Adoption

Discussion should take place with the prospective adopter(s) about whether they may be interested in fostering a child for whom adoption is thought to be a likely outcome. This can be where, although the child’s plan is likely to become adoption, other options have not yet been ruled out for that child. Refer to Fostering for Adoption, Concurrent Planning and Temporary Approval as Foster Carers of Approved Prospective Adopters Procedure.


3. Fast-Track Procedure for Approved Foster Carers and Previous Adopters Who Wish to Adopt

The requirements are modified for applicants who are approved foster carers or previous adopters. This does not apply to Connected Persons or to prospective adopters given temporary approval as foster carers, under the Care Planning, Placement and Case Review (England) Regulations 2010 (as amended).

There is no requirement to carry out police checks or to gather the specified information in relation to the prospective adopter(s) and their household, unless it is considered to be necessary. The need for such checks and references should be assessed in each individual case. This may depend on the time since approval and, in the case of foster carers, the time since a child was placed with them.

There is no requirement to provide counselling, information and preparation for adoption.

The preliminary Pre-Assessment Decision stage is not deemed to be routinely necessary, and the assessment process progresses straight to preparation of the Prospective Adopter(s)’ Report.

Any necessary additional training should be provided, such as where the prospective adopter(s) are seeking to adopt a child with needs which are very different to those of the child(ren) who they have previously fostered / adopted.

The decision as to whether the prospective adopter(s) are suitable to adopt a child(ren) must be made within four months of the date on which the prospective adopter(s) registered their interest in adopting a child(ren). This includes the time taken to access information from adoption agencies and fostering services which have 15 working days to provide such information.

Foster carers will need to have an informal discussion with their Supervising Social Worker if they are interested in adopting a child(ren). The Supervising Social Worker will inform the child’s social worker and Adopt Thames Valley in writing of the foster carer(s)’ expressed wish to apply to adopt a child(ren). ATV will respond to the enquiry and inform the Fostering Manager and Independent Reviewing Officer of the expression of interest.

End