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14.1.14 Inter-Agency Placements

SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER

This chapter details the process when prospective adopters are not approved by this agency. The agency will actively seek out prospective adopters from other agencies to ensure there is no delay for the child. It also covers the adoption panel process and educational and financial support available for the child.

It should be read in the context of the Placement for Adoption Procedure.

RELEVANT LEGISLATION AND GUIDANCE:

  • Adoption Agencies Regulations 2005 (Regulations 31);
  • Adoption and Children Act Guidance (2011) - Chapter 4;
  • Adoption National Minimum Standards (2011) - Standard 13.


Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Policy on Placing Children with Prospective Adopters Approved by other Agencies
  3. Deciding to Seek Adopters Outside Our Agency
  4. Featuring Children in the Media
  5. Responding to Enquiries
  6. Exploring a Potential Family
  7. Deciding to Present the Match to Adoption Panel
  8. Adoption Support
  9. Safeguarding
  10. Adoption Panel
  11. Interagency Meeting
  12. Planning Meeting
  13. Payments for Introductions
  14. Introductions
  15. Visits
  16. Reviews
  17. Later Life Letter
  18. Lodging the Application
  19. Lodging Fees
  20. The Court Hearing
  21. After the Adoption Order is Made  

    Appendix A: Matching Considerations and Risk Assessment

    Appendix B: Pre-Panel Matching and Risk Assessment

    Appendix C: Guidance on Costs Payable During Introductions

    Appendix D: East Midlands Adoption Consortium Working Agreement

    Appendix E: Covering Letter for Later Life Letter (To Follow)


1. Introduction

The majority of Nottinghamshire children who need adoptive families will be placed with prospective adopters approved by this agency. However, each year a number of children are placed with prospective adopters approved by other agencies.


2. Policy on Placing Children with Prospective Adopters Approved by other Agencies

2.1 Wherever possible Nottinghamshire will place children who need adoptive families with prospective adopters approved by this agency.
2.2 Where no appropriate family is approved or is soon to be presented to Adoption Panel for approval, Nottinghamshire will actively consider seeking a family approved by another agency to avoid delay for children.
2.3 The Home finding Meeting will normally be the forum in which recommendations to consider an interagency placement will be made.
2.4 The Adoption Service Manager will formally authorise the search for a family approved by another agency.
2.5 The attendees at Adoption Home finding Meeting, will be responsible for determining the actions to be taken to identify a suitable family.
2.6 Should the Adoption Panel subsequently approve prospective adopters who may have the potential to meet the child’s needs, priority must be given to considering these prospective adopters. However, if a family approved by another agency is being actively considered (i.e. there has been a visit to the prospective adopters and all parties consider they have the capacity to meet the child’s needs) this placement may continue to be pursued.


3. Deciding to Seek Adopters Outside Our Agency

3.1 Although some interagency placements may be made with local agencies, it is also likely that these will be placements made at a significant distance from Nottinghamshire. Experience has shown that there are additional risks associated with long-distance placements. This may be in relation to support, especially at times of crisis, and access to local resources, for example.
3.2 There are distinct advantages in placing children with prospective adopters who have been prepared and assessed and will be supported by this agency.
3.3 In recognition of the above it is essential that the risks associated with any proposed placement are clearly identified. Consideration can then be given to the suitability of the proposed placement and what can be done to minimise any identified risks.
3.4 Because of the additional risks which may arise from interagency placements, it is essential that they are only considered when it is absolutely clear that there are no suitable prospective adopters already or soon to be approved by Nottinghamshire.
3.5 All children with agreed adoption plans will be considered at monthly Home finding Meetings, chaired by the Service Manager Adoption. The membership of the meeting consists of the Team Managers Permanence, County Adoption Team Managers and Home finder(s) and RPO(s). Social workers may also be invited to attend to discuss specific children with adoption plans.
3.6

The Home finding Meeting will attempt to identify links which might lead to a suitable match. Where this is not possible for whatever reason, the meeting may recommend that an interagency placement should be considered as Nottinghamshire is currently unable to provide a suitable family from its own resources to meet the child’s needs.

The child’s worker will be advised to complete the form “Matching Considerations and Risk Assessment” (see Appendix A: Matching Considerations and Risk Assessment) which can be downloaded from Forms Online (Children > Adoption > CH/A/MRA/1).The form must be e-mailed as soon as possible after the agency decision is made to the Home finder who will rely on the information provided, for all future matching.

The following methods of family-finding may then be considered and pursued at the discretion of the Service Manager Adoption.

  • Referral to the Adoption Register;
  • Referral to the Consortium(1);
  • Referrals to specific local voluntary Adoption Agencies;
  • Featuring the child, and in which publication/s.
3.7 The Home finder will inform the child’s social worker of the decision and signpost the child’s social worker to this chapter of the manual for further detailed guidance.
3.8 Whatever course of action is decided upon, the child will continue to be routinely considered at the Home finding Meeting and Nottinghamshire adopters will still be actively considered in case a match can be found. However, pursuing alternative routes ensures that adopters can be sought from a number of different sources, with a view to reducing delay for the child.
3.9 The Team Manager will regularly review prospective adopters whose applications are soon to be presented to Adoption Panel and consider their potential suitability for children who are waiting. Where appropriate, details of such families will be sent to the child’s worker for consideration and the (Team Manager) Adoption and Permanence may decide to suspend interagency family-finding to allow further exploration of a potential match. This will be subject to the proviso outlined in 2.6 above.
3.10 The Home finders will receive copies of Tracking and Home Finding Meeting minutes and will regularly review the proposal for interagency placement. S/he will also be available for advice about the interagency home finding process at any stage.


4. Featuring Children in the Media

See Featuring Children in the Media Procedure for the key principles which must be adhered to when children are to be featured.


5. Responding to Enquiries

5.1 All enquiries will be received by the Home finder in the County Adoption Team and if appropriate forwarded to the child’s worker promptly.
5.2 The child’s worker must be proactive in responding promptly to all enquiries. Enquirers must be contacted within 5 working days preferably immediately, and either counselled out, or their enquiry pursued. If the enquirer is already approved by another agency the child’s social worker will contact the enquirer’s social worker for further discussions.
5.3 If the enquirer is not approved, a joint visit will be undertaken by the home finding social worker from the County Adoption Team and the child’s worker to establish whether the enquirers have the potential to become suitable adopters to the child in question. Any application would focus on the applicants’ suitability to adopt per se as Regulations do not permit child-specific applications. It is therefore essential that there is management agreement before a Registration of Interest is accepted, and that applicants are fully aware of the basis of any assessment.
5.4 The process of preparation and assessment may well be influenced by the fact that there is a particular child in mind. For example, the home study may begin before Preparation Groups have been completed, or home study visits may be more intensive and carried out in “blocks” rather than individual weekly or fortnightly sessions in order to “fast-track” the application, or because of the distance involved. It is crucial that in spite of external pressures to expedite the assessment, the process is thorough, comprehensive and builds in time for reflection. It should not be based on an assumption that applicants will be suitable to adopt and will be matched subsequently with the child in question.
5.5 The child’s worker and Home Finder must keep the Recruitment and Publicity Officer based at the County Adoption Team informed of the progress and outcome of enquiries. 


6. Exploring a Potential Family

Please note: before deciding to explore a family who live outside the County boundaries, the social worker and Team Manager must carefully consider the implications for supporting the child in placement, undertaking statutory visits and attending any other meetings which may become necessary. If a firm commitment cannot be given to meeting these requirements because of the distance and time involved the match must not be pursued.

6.1 The child’s social worker will only explore one family at a time.
6.2 If the family seems to be a potential match following the initial discussion with the family’s worker, the child’s social worker will request a copy of the BAAF Form PAR (Prospective Adopter’s Report) (including references and the medical adviser’s report to Panel) and the minutes of the prospective adopters’ approval Panel.
6.3 On receipt of this information the child’s social worker should check to ensure that DBS checks and medicals/update medicals will be no more than two years old by the time of the matching Panel. If either or both is obviously out-of-date or this is unclear, the child’s social worker must clarify this with the prospective adopters’ worker and any necessary updates must be completed before a matching Panel can consider the placement.
6.4 The child’s social worker will have outlined the child’s needs in the Child Permanence Report and Adoption Support Plan. The child’s social worker should send a copy of these reports to the family’s worker. The reports may be shared with the prospective adopters on the understanding that confidentiality will be respected and that the reports will be retrieved and returned if the match does not proceed.
6.5 The child’s social worker and their Team Manager will read the BAAF Form PAR and accompanying reports. Foster carers will not be shown the Form PAR, but the child’s worker will draw out the salient points and present an overview of the family to ascertain the foster carer’s opinion as to their suitability for the child in question. Whilst this opinion will always be taken into account and weighed carefully, the decision remains that of the professional staff responsible for the child
6.6  On the basis of such discussions the child’s worker will confirm whether the family appears to have the potential to meet the child’s needs. They may wish to have further discussions with the family’s social worker to clarify any issues before deciding to visit the family.
6.7 Once a decision to visit the family has been made, the child’s worker must inform the Home Finder as an early alert.
6.8 The child’s social worker will visit the family with a colleague, Team Manager or Home Finder, and the family’s social worker should also be present. The social workers may want to visit more than once to ensure they are clear about what the family is able to offer and feel confident that they will be able to meet the child’s needs.
6.9 The family’s social worker may be asked to provide an addendum if, for example, the Form PAR was written some time ago or if any areas relevant to the match are not covered. The Home Finder is available for consultation if the child’s social worker is unsure what extra information may need to be included in this addendum.
 6.10 Prior to Panel, the prospective adopters will meet the child’s current carers to enable them to find out more practical information about what it is like to live with and parent the child. If there are complex medical issues, the prospective adopters will be offered the opportunity to meet with the Medical Adviser.
6.11 If there are potentially complex issues (e.g. adoption support needs) that need clarification before presenting the match to Panel, the child’s worker and Team Manager may wish to consider the possibility of a formal meeting with the other agency. If so, the Home Finder should also be invited to attend.
6.12 A Life Appreciation Meeting will also be arranged before Panel wherever possible as part of the information-sharing with prospective adopters. Their social worker will be invited to attend so that s/he too can gain a more detailed understanding of the child’s past experiences etc.
6.13 The child’s social worker must confirm at an early stage what support will be available to the child and adoptive family if the match is approved. This includes the support the adopters’ worker is able to offer during the placement and before the adoption order is made, and the support available from the agency after the adoption order is made.
6.14 The child’s social worker must also find out what support services are available from the Local Authority where the adopters live (if this is different from the family’s approving agency), and other agencies (e.g. schools and CAMHS). The family’s Local Authority will be responsible for assessing any new requests for support from three years after the adoption order is made.
6.15 The child’s social worker is responsible for sending a copy of the Adoption Support Plan to the Adoption Support Services Adviser for the Local Authority in whose area the adopters live. That adviser should also be contacted by the child’s social worker so that local support services can be explored, such as CAMHS, leisure services etc.


7. Deciding to Present the Match to Adoption Panel

7.1 The child’s social worker must inform the Home Finder as soon as the decision to pursue the placement is made.
7.2

The child’s social worker should then complete form “Pre-Panel Matching and Risk Assessment” (see Appendix B: Pre-Panel Matching and Risk Assessment) which can be downloaded from Forms Online (Children Templates > Adoption > CH/A/MRA/2).

A Panel date will only be given once this form has been completed and has been agreed by the Adoption Manager.
7.3 The Panel Coordinator will then negotiate a Panel date with the child’s social worker. A provisional panel booking memo will be sent to the social worker, with a copy to the Home Finder, listing reports needed and deadline dates for them. A medical update report on the child is needed for panel if the most recent health assessment was completed more than 6 months previously (for children under 5 yrs) or more than 12 months previously (for children aged 5 yrs and over).
7.4

The Home Finder will contact the family’s agency and request the following:

  • Form PAR on the family;
  • Copy of approval panel minutes;
  • Copies of medical reports on the adopters (BAAF Form AH);
  • Confirmation of payment for the placement according to nationally agreed levels (interagency fee).
The letter will confirm whether the child to be placed is an “eligible child” under the terms of the Adoption Financial Support. It will also provide details of the initial placement grant (where appropriate) and introduction costs which will be payable. Copies of the Financial Support leaflet for adopters and a leaflet about Nottinghamshire’s Letterbox Scheme will be included.
7.5

A letter will also be sent direct to the prospective adopters with the above information and enclosures. A financial assessment form will be included to be completed and returned to the Payments Team.

7.6 On receiving the prospective adopters’ medicals the Home Finder will forward them to the Medical Adviser for comments.
7.7

If a welfare rights assessment and a financial assessment are required, the Home Finder will:

  • Initiate the Framework episode called “Welfare Rights Assessment”, complete this and send a task to the Welfare Rights Officer by name to request the assessment be completed. The results of the assessment will be added to the episode before the task is returned;
  • Initiate the Framework episode called “Request Financial Assessment Adoption Support)”, complete this and send a task to the Payments Team to notify them that the assessment form has been sent to the prospective adopters. The task should also request that the assessment be completed when the form is returned. The results of the assessment will be added to the episode before the task is returned.
7.8 The Home Finder will also ask the child’s worker to negotiate a date for the interagency meeting, which will usually immediately precede the planning meeting. This must be arranged to take place after the adoption panel has recommended the match and the agency decision has confirmed this.


8. Adoption Support

8.1 Services required for meeting the needs of children and their prospective adopters should be identified as part of the Adoption Support Plan, which is prepared prior to the child’s match being considered at adoption panel.
8.2 Adoption panel will expect that this Adoption Support Plan is robust, and anticipates, as far as can be reasonably expected, any support needs. Any identified services (such as educational provision, for meeting medical needs or CAMHS) should be negotiated, and in place before the proposed placement is considered by adoption panel.
8.3

Nottinghamshire has a responsibility to support the child for the first three years after the making of the adoption order. Some responsibilities (e.g. contact and on-going adoption financial support) remain the responsibility of Nottinghamshire beyond the three years.

Others will vary depending upon where the prospective adopters live and which agency approved them.

For full details of Adoption Support Services in respect of Nottinghamshire children placed in interagency placements in or outside Nottinghamshire, see Adoption Support Services Procedure.

8.4

Educational Provision

See also Meeting Educational Needs Moving into Adoptive Placements Procedure.

  8.4.1 If the child is of school or nursery school age, the child’s social worker must contact the Corporate Parenting Consultant (CPC). The CPC may liaise with the new education authority, which is helpful if the child has support needs.
  8.4.2 If the child is receiving support in mainstream or nursery school, the child’s worker must inform Nottinghamshire’s special needs caseworkers of the proposed placement. They will then contact the receiving Local Authority’s special needs adviser.
  8.4.3 If the child has special needs and requires a place in a special school, the process as in 8.4.2 applies.
  8.4.4 If the child has no special needs and is moving to a new Local Authority, the child’s worker must contact the admissions department of the education authority in that area to request a school place. In this case, adopters are sometimes able to arrange a place themselves by contacting the relevant head teacher.
  8.4.5 Ideally, a school place should be arranged before the child moves to the new family. However, many London Boroughs will only offer a place once a child has actually moved into their area. In this case it is essential that, prior to placement, the education authority in question confirms its commitment to offer a school place once the child has been placed with the adoptive parents.
  8.4.6 It is the responsibility of the child’s social worker to ensure that information has been passed to the new school by the school the child is leaving.

8.5

Financial Support

  8.5.1 Financial support is only available in respect of children who are considered eligible under the terms of the Adoption Financial Support Scheme, with the exception of lodging fees. (For full details see Adoption Financial Support Procedure).
  8.5.2 Additional financial support may be requested as a one-off payment; for example, a contribution towards a larger vehicle. Any one-off payments must be referred to the Service Manager (Adoption) for authorisation. The Welfare Rights adviser will negotiate all such payments with the family, and Service Manager Adoption.
  8.5.3 Regular financial support will have been assessed by the Finance Team, taking into account information from the Welfare Rights assessment.
  8.5.4 The initial placement grant may be requested at any stage following the agency decision to approve the placement, but it may be appropriate to use the interagency meeting as the trigger for this request.
  8.5.5 A Welfare Rights Officer is attached to the Adoption Service and always undertakes a comprehensive welfare rights check with all prospective adopters. This ensures prospective adopters are able to claim all benefits and tax credits to which they will be entitled. The Welfare Rights Officer will also review entitlement to statutory and contractual pay, and will advise re claiming Child benefit, Working Family Tax Credits, Child Tax credits and Child Trust Funds.
  8.5.6 Nottinghamshire will pay the lodging fees for all adoption applications in full, if the prospective adopters wish. However, applicants on a low income will be able to claim exemption from court fees. The prospective adopters’ worker will be asked to establish whether the prospective adopters will qualify for exemption. If so they must claim exemption by completing an application form supplied by the court. Further details can be found in the leaflet “Court Fees: Do you have to pay them?” which can be found on the Court Service website. If they choose not to claim exemption in spite of eligibility, the prospective adopters will be responsible for paying the lodging fee/s themselves.
  8.5.7 If they will not be eligible for exemption and wish to claim lodging fees from the Department, the child’s social worker will inform the Home Finder who will request the appropriate payment from the Finance Section using the “Adoption Services - One-Off Payments” episode. A cheque for the appropriate amount will be sent to the adopters made payable to them. The adopters will then need to write their own cheque when lodging the application at court, made payable to “Her Majesty’s Court Services”.

8.6

Contact

See also Adoption Plans and Contact Arrangements (Including The Letterbox Scheme) Procedure.
  8.6.1 The panel which considers the proposed match will expect that the contact proposals are clearly outlined in the Adoption Support Plan (including any services required to facilitate them) and that they are acceptable to the prospective adopters. If the proposed arrangements are complex or unusual it would be helpful to seek advice about these from the Support After Adoption Team.
  8.6.2 Arrangements and costs for all types of contact arrangements set up by Nottinghamshire remain our responsibility through to adulthood.

8.7

Access to Adoption Records

All adopted people over 18 are entitled to have a copy of their original birth certificate and information from birth records. Those young people who were placed for adoption by Nottinghamshire can contact the Support After Adoption Team for information from the records.

8.8

CAMHS

It is our general expectation that any CAMHS provision required will be negotiated with the CAMHS service in the local area in which the child lives. Additional financial support for CAMHS services would only be agreed where this is not able to be provided within a timely manner, or where the child’s needs are exceptional and cannot be met within mainstream CAMHS services.

8.9

Life Story Work

Before being moved to an adoptive placement, it is critical that children should have an understanding of their life history and the reasons they are not able to live with their family of birth. Please see Life Story Work and Preparation for Adoption Procedure.


9. Safeguarding

It is the responsibility of the child’s social worker to clarify the safeguarding procedures which apply ion the receiving authority.


10. Adoption Panel

Preparation

10.1 The child’s social worker is responsible for preparing the Adoption Placement Report for the Adoption Panel. The report must be sent to the prospective adopters in time for them to consider it and complete their section before it is sent to the Adoption Panel Co-ordinator. Prospective adopters should have a minimum of 10 working days to do this. Their social worker may also ask to receive a copy of the report and may make an additional contribution if s/he wishes to do so.
10.2 The child’s social worker ensures all the child’s reports are available to the Panel Coordinator for the date requested in the booking memo.
10.3 The child’s social worker ensures that her/his Team Manager can attend panel, and that the prospective adopters’ social worker and Team Manager are able to be there to answer questions about the match and the support needed.

Attending Panel

10.4 Nottinghamshire has three Adoption Panels which meet monthly, on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, of different weeks. All three Panels meet at Chadburn House in Mansfield. Wherever possible Panels are timetabled to take account of distance being travelled etc.
10.5 Prospective adopters are invited to attend Panel when the match is being considered. (See Prospective Adopters Attending Panel).
10.6

The Adoption Panels are very aware of the gravity of the recommendations they make and are stringent when considering interagency placements. Their expectations are:

  • That the family’s social worker and, wherever possible, Team Manager attends Panel;
  • That the staff attending will know the family well and be able to provide up-dated information to that contained in Form PAR where appropriate;
  • That all relevant issues have been addressed with the family;
  • That the family’s agency is in a position to provide the necessary support to the placement both before and after the Adoption Order and is aware of other adoption support services in the adopters’ area;
  • That a comprehensive Adoption Support Plan has been produced and any services necessary from the point of placement have been secured;
  • That a school place is available and that information has been shared between schools.
10.7 The prospective adopter’s worker should be asked to bring photos of the family, or better still a “family book” which many agencies use.
10.8  The child’s worker should also bring up-to-date photos of the child/ren.

Agency Decision

10.9 The agency decision will be made within 7 working days as set out in the Adoption Agencies Regulations 2005. The child’s worker must inform the prospective adopters’ worker as soon as the decision has been made and this will be followed by a formal letter to the prospective adopters, which is sent by the Adoption Panel Co-ordinator.
10.10 Two copies of the ‘Matching Certificate: Statutory Adoption Leave and Pay’ will be sent to the prospective adopters with the formal letter of notification


11. Interagency Meeting

11.1 The interagency meeting will take place after the agency decision has been made. The Home Finder will attend. The meeting is for the social work staff involved, and not for the prospective adopters, as it is a business meeting about payment and agency responsibilities.
11.2 BAAF Forms H1 and H2 will be completed at the interagency meeting, and will be circulated by the Home Finder to the parties to the agreement for signature with the request that the Form H should then be returned. The parties are Nottinghamshire social workers and the adoptive family’s agency staff. The prospective adoptive parent/s are also asked to sign H2.
11.3 Once all parties have signed H1 and/or H2 and the forms have been returned, the Home Finder will circulate a copy to all parties and also to the appropriate Independent Reviewing Officer.


12. Planning Meeting

The Planning Meeting is chaired by the child’s Team Manager once the agency decision has been made, and is often held immediately after the interagency meeting. The meeting will be based around the completion of the Adoption Placement Plan (see Forms Online > Children > Adoption > BAAF Form APR).

See Placement Planning Meetings and Introductions to Adoptive Families for further details.


13. Payments for Introductions

13.1

The Home Finder is responsible for authorising and requesting all payments in connection with the introductions. That is:

  • Traveling expenses;
  • Accommodation costs;
  • Meals and activities.

See Appendix C: Guidance on Costs Payable During Introductions for further details. The Framework episode “Adoption Services - One-Off Payments” should be used for this purpose.

13.2 Expenses for introductions will normally be paid at the end of the period. The child’s social worker must provide a copy of the mileage claim and receipts for meals and activities. Accommodation costs will normally be paid direct to the hotel, Bed and Breakfast etc by Members Services.


14. Introductions

See Placement Planning Meetings and Introductions to Adoptive Families for further details.

14.1

As noted previously, most interagency placements will be a significant distance from Nottinghamshire. The introductions will need to take account of this and may therefore differ in some respects from those that might be planned for a more local placement. Some of these differences might be:

  • Prospective adopters need to find suitable accommodation in the area;
  • Longer and more intensive periods of contact with the child when introductions based within Nottinghamshire;
  • In addition to contact with the child, meetings with birth parents or other relatives, school teacher, other siblings etc add to the intensity;
  • Potentially fewer opportunities for prospective adopters to have a breathing space to reflect, take stock - more difficult when not in their own home;
  • Pace of introductions may be forced by circumstances;
  • Foster carers may stay in the area when visits transfer to the prospective adopters’ home;
  • Overnight stays for child inevitable;
  • More difficult for prospective adopters to make last-minute preparations to receive the child into their home on the date of placement;
  • The way the child’s transition from foster carers to prospective adopters is handled at the point of placement may be different.
14.2 Planning introductions can often be challenging, and the additional complexities caused by distance may add to this. However, it is important to adhere to the key principles of all introductions and not be diverted away from these by force of circumstances.


15. Visits

Nottinghamshire remains responsible for undertaking statutory visits. This is irrespective of the distance involved and is a commitment that the child’s social worker and Team Manager must take into account when considering whether or not to pursue a specific match.

See Monitoring and Supervision of Adoptive Placements Procedure.


16. Reviews

For full details see Adoption Reviews Procedure.


17. Later Life Letter

17.1 As the placement progresses, the child’s social worker must start to prepare the Later Life Letter (see Later Life Letter Procedure). The Letter should be completed by the time of the adoption order.
17.2 The draft Letter must be quality controlled by the Team Manager and shared with the adopters’ social worker. It may also be given to the adopters themselves for their comments.
17.3 The child’s social worker must then produce the final version which should be printed on headed paper, signed by the worker and sent to the Home Finder. A copy of the Letter must be kept on the child’s file.
17.4 The Home Finder will forward the final version of the Letter to the adopters’ worker with a covering letter (see Appendix D: East Midlands Adoption Consortium Working Agreement), expressing the expectation that the Letter should be shared with the child no later than their 18th birthday. A reply slip is also attached, asking for the adopters’ confirmation that they have received the Letter and agree to make it available as outlined.
17.5 The reply slip will be returned to the Home Finder and must be scanned into the child’s file as a Document, using the “Adoption” category to maintain confidentiality


18. Lodging the Application

18.1 When the decision to lodge the adoption application is made at a review, the originating application forms should be completed and lodged within 4 weeks. If previously agreed at the Interagency Meeting, the prospective adopters’ worker will complete the application forms on their behalf and collate the necessary documents, in consultation with the child’s worker.
18.2 The application may be lodged in Nottingham County Court or in a court which is more local to the prospective adopters if preferred. This should be decided at the review which agrees that the application should be lodged.


19. Lodging Fees

See Paragraph 8.5.6 and Paragraph 8.5.7 above.


20. The Court Hearing

The child’s social worker must attend the final hearing for the making of the adoption order both as co-author of the Annex A report, and in their role as the child’s worker.


21. After the Adoption Order is Made

The child’s social worker must complete the “Post-Order Tasks” episode on Framework, ensuring that the form that details contact arrangements and the Adoption Support Plan are completed fully with up-to-date information. The social worker must choose both Outcomes to ensure that the necessary information is sent to the Support After Adoption Team and to the Letterbox team within SAA. Support After Adoption will then add the adopters to their mailing list for general information, and set up any arrangements for contact.


Appendix A: Matching Considerations and Risk Assessment

Click here to view Appendix A: Matching Considerations and Risk Assessment.


Appendix B: Pre-Panel Matching and Risk Assessment

Click here to view Appendix B: Pre-Panel Matching and Risk Assessment.


Appendix C: Guidance on Costs Payable During Introductions

Inter-Agency Placements

(Nottinghamshire children being placed with prospective adopters approved by another agency)

Guidance Costs Payable During Introductions

Nottinghamshire Adoption Service agrees to pay certain costs of prospective adopters to facilitate introductions where the child is an “eligible” child under the terms of our Adoption Financial Support scheme. Eligible children are defined as follows:

  • Children aged 4 years and over;
  • Sibling groups of three or more children; 
  • Children under 4 years who have an identified condition which will make significant extra demands on carers.

For full details see Adoption Financial Support Procedure.

Please note that the reimbursement of any costs incurred by foster carers (e.g. in providing hospitality or taking children to visit prospective adopters) is the responsibility of the supervising social worker.

Travel Expenses

If using the train, standard rail fares will be reimbursed. If the prospective adopters use their own car, a mileage rate at the equivalent of public transport rates will be paid.

If claiming for rail fares, receipts must be saved and provided to the Home Finder for authorisation and to arrange payment.

The Locality should provide the prospective adopters with a claim form to record mileage. This should be signed by the Team Manager concerned at the end of introductions and forwarded to the Home Finder for authorisation and to arrange payment.

Accommodation

If it is necessary for prospective adopters to stay in the area where the child currently lives during introductions, Nottinghamshire will pay for accommodation at the equivalent of Travel Lodge rates (currently around £50 per room per night).

The child’s social worker is responsible for booking the accommodation via Members Services at County Hall. This means that payment can be made directly by the County Council. The social worker should:

  • Provide Members Services with all necessary information;
  • Ask that the cost be coded against budget code 101330;
  • Request that notification of the cost should be sent to the Home Finder.

Costs for meals and activities 

Nottinghamshire will pay up to a maximum of £25 per adult per day for meals and activities during the period of introductions. Receipts must be provided for this expenditure and forwarded to the Home Finder for authorisation and to arrange payment.


Appendix D: East Midlands Adoption Consortium Working Agreement

Click here to view Appendix D: East Midlands Adoption Consortium Working Agreement.


Appendix E: Covering Letter for Later Life Letter

Click here to view Appendix E: Covering Letter for Later Life Letter (To Follow).

End