Adoption: What Happens Next?
AFTER THE ASSESSMENT
Following the assessment, the adoption social worker writes a comprehensive report which is shared with prospective adopters. The report is presented to an Adoption Panel. The Adoption Panel meets monthly and is made up of a range of people all of whom have some experience of adoption, including people who have adopted children. The Panel recommends whether the prospective adopters should be approved to adopt. Download a guide to Wirral Adoption Services for more information about the Panel.
Support for approved adopters
Approved adopters are supported by social workers from the time that they are approved, through the placement of a child and up until an Adoption Order is made.
Until adopters are matched with a child, their social worker will keep in contact with them on a monthly basis as a minimum, by either phone or a visit. These visits will increase once a child has been identified as a match to the adopters.
There are ongoing training opportunities for approved adopters. This covers subjects such as: child development and attachment, contact with birth families and behaviour management.
Approved adopters are invited to attend support groups to meet with other adopters to share experiences and the opportunity to build up informal support networks. There is also a quarterly newsletter, with information on all aspects of adoption which are drawn from professionals, adopters, birth parents and adopted children.
The Adoption Team have an extensive library of books related to adoption and child development, which can be used by adopters on a ‘try before you buy’ basis. The team also has other resources which adopters can use to help them support their children as they grow and develop.
Matching with a child
When a match is identified the prospective adopters are given full written information about the child including their emotional, development and health needs and any behavioural issues.
After a child is placed, weekly visits are made by social workers at the start and are then reduced to monthly depending on need.
When a child has been placed with you for longer than 10 weeks, and you and the social worker feel that the time is right, you can apply to the court to have an Adoption Order made.