Placing children for adoption across Devon, Dorset, Somerset, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly

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The Adoption Process

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The assessment process is an exchange of information between you and Families for Children. This is to ensure that you are able to meet the needs of a child who has had a difficult start in life and to give you full preparation for what adoption entails and how your life will change.

Families for Children complete the assessment with sensitivity and give you personal support throughout the process, also during matching and placement with your child. We aim to assess you within a timescale of 6 months, in line with government guidance.

You can also download our information pack and make a request so we can contact you.

Key steps in the process of becoming an adopter are:

Exploration & Initial Enquiry

As you begin to decide if being an adoptive parent is right for you, you will want to find out as much information as possible about the nature of adoption and the adoption process. Download our information pack to learn more about the process and how we can support you. We also encourage you to contact other Agencies to ensure you choose the right one for you. You will also be able to attend an information session and speak to our experienced adoption workers and hear from those who have adopted. Alternatively you can call us and speak to one of our social workers.

Formal Process Stage 1

You play a central role in the training that you will take part in with FFC. Our formal process is designed to help understand as much as possible about what will be involved in adopting a child. Stage 1 takes about 2 months. During stage 1 we will undertake checks including police, health and local authority plus references from personal referees. During stage 1 you will undertake self-directed and agency training to help you gain a thorough understanding of the needs of adopted children and the skills and qualities required to parent them.

Assessment - Stage 2

This is a four-month stage, where your social worker will work with you and your family assessing your strengths before preparing your adoption report ready for the adoption panel. Stage 2 of the assessment includes a further training day, and visits with your social worker in order to complete the assessment report ready for adoption panel.

Adoption Panel

The adoption panel is made up of adoption experts, experienced adopters and adoptees and is independent of FFC. It is the panel’s job to consider your prospective adopters report (PAR) and make a recommendation to the agency with regards to your suitability to be an adoptive parent.

The adoption panel will discuss your PAR and raise any questions with your social worker before a recommendation is made, you will also be invited to attend panel. Once panel have made their recommendation, your case will be considered by the Agency Decision Maker (ADM), who is a social work professional with extensive experience and knowledge of adoption. The ADM will then make the decision as to whether you are approved as prospective adopters.

Finding your child

Once you have been approved you are now a prospective adopter and you, along with your social worker will begin the search for your child or children.

Towards the end of the assessment, the family finding process starts and we work with you to consider children who are waiting to be adopted and would fit well with your family. The children looking for adoptive families are already in foster care and we have links all over the UK with Local Authorities who have children waiting for adoptive families.

Right Support, Right Time

For it to be effective, support must be provided at the right time. Here at Families for Children aim to offer a proactive approach to supporting adoptive parents from the outset, when and where needed, helping them access a range of support services. Here at Families for Children we have team of skilled workers with many years’ of experience of working with adopted children, young people and families who able to offer a wide range of experience and knowledge on parenting.

We have created a programme of groups, training and social events to connect and support adoptive families from across the region.

Did you know? We host Information Sessions too!

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