Adopters attending panel

The Adoption and Permanency Panel feel it is important to give applicants the opportunity to be as fully involved as possible in the adoption process and welcomes applicants to attend. The decision making process with regards applications to adopt will not be affected whether applicants attend Adoption and Permanency Panel or not.

The attendance of applicants at Adoption and Permanency Panel is supported by Services for Children and Young People.The Department is committed to making the process of preparing, assessing and approving adopters inclusive, open and transparent.  No applicant will be disadvantaged where they wish to attend Adoption and Permanency Panel on grounds of disability, language or communication difficulty. Arrangements will be made to provide an accessible venue and appropriate support.Members of the Adoption and Permanency Panel welcome the opportunity to meet applicants as part of this commitment.Applicants should be encouraged from the outset to regard this as a positive experience. They will however be able to choose whether to attend or not and no judgement will be drawn from applicants not attending.  Attendance at Adoption and Permanency Panel is not part of the assessment process. It provides scope for the Adoption and Permanency Panel members and prospective adopters to discuss and clarify their reasons for wanting to adopt, and anything else that either party considers relevant to the application.Applicants are given a list of Adoption and Permanency Panel members before the meeting to ensure that there is no potential conflict of interest.


TaskResponsible officerRecord requiredTimescale
Inform applicants which panel members will be in attendance in case there is a conflict of interest.Assessing social workerCase fileWithin 5 working days
Check with applicants that there is no conflict. If there is ask the Panel chair to ask that Panel member to stand down for that agenda item.Team managerCase fileWithin 10 working days of Panel meeting
Encourage applicants to attend Adoption and Permanency Panel if they wish.Assessing social workerCase fileDuring assessment
Inform applicants of the Adoption and Permanency Panel date as soon as it has been decided if they want to be thereAssessing social workerCase fileAs appropriate
Send invitation letter giving clear information about the Panel's function, date, time, venue, estimated length and any other relevant information.Minute takerCopy of letter on fileAt least 1 week before Panel
Welcome applicants and explain that they will be invited to attend Adoption and Permanency panel for part of the discussion but will not be present as the recommendation is discussedPanel chairN/AAt meeting
Inform applicants orally of Panel's recommendationAssessing social worker or team managerMinutesAt meeting or immediately thereafter
Forward panel's recommendations and draft minutes to the agency decision maker to consider the recommendationsTeam managerDraft minutesWithin 5 working days of panel
Make a decisionAgency decision makerSign recommendationWithin 7 working days of panel
Pass decision to fostering and adoption team managerAgency decision makerN/AImmediately
Confirm decision to applicants in writingTeam manager Letter on case fileWithin 5 working days