- / Procedures
- / Children living away from home
- / Adoption
- / Placing children with adopters
- / Keeping children at the centre of the adoption process
Keeping children at the centre of the adoption process
Children are entitled to grow up as part of a loving family which can meet their needs during childhood and beyond. Where this security and nurture cannot be provided by the birth family, children are entitled to have adoption considered for them.
The adoption process is a service for the child and their needs must be the focus of all decisions made. Delay in providing stability and a sense of belonging will adversely affect the child's development and is to be avoided.
The planning process and arrangements for decision making need to recognise the child's timescales.
The child must be fully prepared and supported throughout the adoption process; given clear information and explanations about his/her birth family and their past and future role in his/her life and about the adopters. There is likely to be ongoing need for support in a variety of forms.
Departmental records must be securely stored so that they can be accessed to provide information to the adopted person in the future. The child's right to use the Department's complaints procedure must be fully explained and assistance provided as necessary.
The Department will work to the following timescales when considering the future needs of a child:
- the child's need for a permanent home will be addressed at the 4 month review and a plan for permanence made;
- this plan will be monitored and considered at every subsequent review;
- where adoption is the plan, the Child Permanence Report must be completed without undue delay and the child's case presented to Adoption and Permanence Panel within 8 weeks of the decision being made. The Adoption and Permanency Panel will make its recommendation as to whether the child should be placed for adoptio. A match with a suitable adoptive family will be identified without delay, and within 6 months of a Community Parenting Order being made. The proposed match will be considered by panel and a recommendation made.
- where the parent is requesting adoption for a child, the child's case will be presented to the Adoption & Permanence Panel without delay; a match will be identified without delay and approved by the Adoption and Permanence Panel, and the child will be placed with suitable prospective adopters within 6 months of being referred to the adoption agency.
- All children will have a named social worker responsible for them throughout the adoption process.
- Children will be matched with adopters who can best meet their needs, in particular those arising from the child's ethnicity, cultural background, religion and language.
- The needs of siblings to live together will be recognised and acted upon bearing in mind the particular circumstances of the individual child and children.
- The Department will have a recruitment and assessment plan which targets those adopters who can meet the needs of the children waiting for adoption locally.
- The Adoption Placement Plan will include arrangements for maintaining links with the birth family, in such a way as to promote the child's health, safety and welfare and identify any other supports, (financial, therapeutic etc) which will aid the success of the adoptive placement.
- The Department will have a procedure in place to support child and adopters through any disruption which may occur and to plan for the child's future thereafter.
- All children placed for adoption will have the Department's complaint procedures available to them on request
- The Department will maintain comprehensive and accurate case records for the child, that are kept in secure conditions, and accessible as required.
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