- / Procedures
- / Children living away from home
- / Adoption
- / Placing children with adopters
- / Contact in Adoption Placements
- / Letterbox Contact
The Fostering and Adoption Team maintains the letterbox exchange of information for all Guernsey children placed for adoption whether on, or off, island, until the child reaches the age of 18 years. The adoption letterbox is a way of maintaining indirect contact, via the adoption Department which placed a child for adoption, between adoptive families and birth families after an adoption order has been made. Once the child reaches the age of 18 years, the Fostering and Adoption Service will write to all parties who are named on contact agreements, to advise that the file will now be closed and archived with the child's adoption file.
Letterbox arrangements are set up for the benefit of all of those involved in adoption, but primarily to meet the needs of those who have been adopted to retain a safe, confidential and indirect link with their birth family or others of significance to them.
- Adoptive parents need to agree that they will contact the Fostering and Adoption Team that placed the child in the event of the child's death.
- All birth parents are offered the opportunity to provide updated information about any major changes in their lives; e.g. birth or death of a sibling, or other close relative, or the development of any medical condition which is genetically linked.
- The timing and level of frequency of exchanges needs to be discussed fully, and agreed and confirmed in writing, with all concerned when any placement for adoption is being considered. Any decision made will be based on the assessed needs of the child, and in arrangement with the adoptive family, using the Indirect Contact Arrangement Forms.
- The letterbox service can deal with letters, cards, and photos, depending what was agreed as part of the child's care plan.
Letterbox information form
This form is to be completed by the child's social worker and Fostering and Adoption social worker and remain on file.
When completing this form we would be grateful if you could bear in mind the following:
- Where possible include postcodes and e-mail addresses.
- Please make it clear if names could be either sex or if names are unusual, let us know the gender of each person.
- Please complete the entire form, anything not applicable or unknown please indicate, we need as much information as possible.
Letterbox arrangement form
Adopted children need to know about their origins and grow up with as many of their questions answered as possible. The Letterbox Service enables adoptive parents and birth family members to keep in touch so that information can be exchanged and regularly updated.
|Task||Responsible officer||Record required||Timescale|
|Consider contact arrangements once the plan for adoption has been made, after the fourth month LAC Review, and as part of the Initial Adoption Planning Meeting.||Fostering and adoption social worker/child's social worker||Case file||Before the matching panel|
|A&F to arrange and facilitate an Initial Adoption Planning Meeting to discuss and consider the proposed plan of adoption including future direct/indirect contact arrangements for a child. This will need to happen prior to the CPR report being presented on the Adoption and Permanency Panel.||Child's social worker||Case file. Minutes of Initial Adoption Planning Meeting||Before the matching panel and once adoption is considered at the fourth month LAC Review.|
|Complete indirect agreement pro form as with adopters and birth relatives, Letter box information form and planning for contact information. Direct contact arrangements will need to be arranged by the social worker only.||Child's social worker and adopters||Case file||At planning meeting|
|Set up a post adoption contact file as explained within the child's adoption file.||PA||N/A||Once the agreement has been received|
|Confirm the details of the arrangement in writing to all of those involved and send the letterbox information form||Fostering and adoption team||Contact file||Within 10 working days|
|Anything sent which is outside of the agreed written arrangement will be discussed with the recipient prior to forwarding. However if they do not agree to accept it, it will be returned to the sender and a case note will be retained on the contact file, detailing the receipt of the item, the discussion with the recipient and the date that the item was returned.)||Fostering and adoption team||Contact file||Immediately|
|Any request for a change in arrangements will be discussed (with the relevant parties and a record of this discussion will be retained on the contact file.)and any agreed amendments will again be recorded in writing and signed and confirmed as in the original arrangement.||Fostering and adoption team||Contact file||As appropriate|
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