SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER
This chapter applies to the reviews where the adoption agency has authority to place a child for adoption either through a Placement Order or Parental Consent to Adoptive Placement. It sets out the different timescales that apply depending on whether or not the child has been placed for adoption by the adoption agency.
For reviews in relation to children from overseas placed with Inter Country Adopters, see Inter Country Adoption Procedure.
For reviews of prospective adopters approval, see Assessment and Approvals of Prospective Adopters Procedure and Inter Country Adoption Procedure.
For Disruption Meetings, after a Placement Breakdown, see Disruption of Adoptive Placements Procedure.
In March 2019 section 5.1.(6)f was amended to reflect the status of adopted children as being ‘previously looked after’ when considering their educational needs. A link to DfE guidance on Promoting the Education of Looked After and Previously Looked After children was also added.
Once an adoption agency has Authority to Place for Adoption, there is a requirement to review the child's case under the Adoption Agencies Regulations 2005. Until the child is placed for adoption, this runs alongside the requirement to hold a Looked After Review in relation to the child - see Looked After Reviews Procedure.
The child's social worker should provide written information about the intended arrangements for Adoption Reviews, to the child (depending on age and understanding), to the prospective adopters (usually this will be part of the Adoption Placement Plan), and to any other person considered relevant, such as the child's parents.
So far as reasonably practicable, all Adoption Reviews will be chaired by the child's Independent Reviewing Officer.
The child's social worker, in conjunction with the Independent Reviewing Officer, will invite relevant persons to Adoption Reviews.
There is no requirement to invite birth parents to Adoption Reviews or to consult them prior to a Review, but the child's social worker, in conjunction with the Independent Reviewing Officer, may consider that their views should be ascertained and reported to an Adoption Review or that the parents should be invited in appropriate cases.
The timescales for holding Adoption Reviews will depend on whether the child has been placed for adoption.
Where the child has not been placed for adoption, arrangements must be made so that an Adoption Review is held:
Where the child has been placed for adoption, arrangements must be made so that an Adoption Review is held:
Where there are concerns that the placement is at risk of breaking down, an Adoption Review must be convened immediately. Where a placement breaks down, see Disruption of Adoptive Placements Procedure.
Where a placement has been made with parental consent and notice is received that such consent has been withdrawn, a Review must be convened immediately and urgent legal advice should be taken as to whether there are grounds for an application for an Emergency Protection Order/Interim Care Order (if no Care Order exists) and/or a Placement Order.
Unless there are exceptional circumstances, for example child protection concerns and/or significant risk, no decision to move a child from a placement shall take place without a formal review having taken place. In such circumstances, legal advice should be sought as soon as possible and prior to any action being taken.
The child's social worker must inform the Independent Reviewing Officer of any failure to make arrangements agreed at a review or any significant changes in the child's circumstances at a review, so that a decision can be made as to the need to convene a further Review - see Appointment and Role of Independent Reviewing Officers Procedure.
The child's social worker will prepare a report for the Adoption Review, incorporating the views of the child, the prospective adopters and the prospective adopters' link worker (where the child is placed), the birth parents or family members (in appropriate cases) and any other relevant person (for example health visitor or teacher), which should be circulated prior to the meeting.
Once an Adoption Order is made, the child's social worker should complete the Adoption Case Record and ensure that the necessary work has been undertaken to complete the adoption process. The Adoption Case Record should then be closed and sent to the adoption service for safe storage within 2 months of the Adoption Order being granted.
The computer recording system should also record the Adoption Order.