Salford Children's Services Procedures Manual Salford City Council website
Greater Manchester SCB Procedures
Greater Manchester SCB Procedures Greater Manchester SCB Procedures

4.1.18 Visiting Children in Adoption Placement

SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER

For visits to all looked after children see: Social Worker Visits Procedure.


Contents

  1. On Placement
  2. First Review
  3. Second and Subsequent Reviews
  4. Foster Carers who Adopt
  5. Inter Agency Placements


1. On Placement

  • The Adoption Agencies Regulations specifies that the statutory visiting requirements for children placed for adoption are that the child and prospective adopter are visited within one week of the placement and weekly until the first review;
  • The first visit will usually be undertaken by the child’s social worker. If the adoption social worker or another worker is to undertake this visit agreement must be given from the manager of the child’s social worker and the adoption manager;
  • The weekly visits can be shared between the child’s social worker and the adoption social worker but there should be clarity from the outset about which worker will conduct each visit. It may not be appropriate for the adoption worker to undertake the visit as in the early stages of placement the child may not be familiar with the worker;
  • The statutory visits to the child should always be recorded on a statutory visit form and copied to the other worker;
  • As part of the visit, the visiting social worker should see the child without the prospective adopter being present. The child’s age and relationship with the visiting worker needs to be taken into consideration and a “common sense” approach taken to seeing a young child on their own so soon into a new placement. When a child has not be seen on their own this should be documented on the visiting report.


2. First Review

  • A Review must be held not more than 4 weeks after the date on which the child is placed for adoption;
  • There is no statutory frequency requirement for visiting following the first review. It is therefore crucial that the visiting schedule should be agreed and recorded at this review;
  • Good practice suggests that a similar frequency to those undertaken to a looked after child should be followed. For this reason it a minimum of monthly visits from the child’s social worker should continue up until the second review. The child’s social worker will be responsible for all visits to the child following the first review. If any other worker is to undertake these visits, this needs to be agreed with the line manager for the child’s social worker and the adoption team manager;
  • Adoption social workers should also undertake minimum of monthly support visits to the adoption placement;
  • Ideally the visits should be coordinated to follow a fortnightly visiting pattern; however, this may not be practical. More frequent visits may be required particularly when an older child has been placed and this should be discussed at the review;
  • Both social workers should write reports of their visits and share with the other worker.

Issues to be considered at Reviews are:

  • That the agency feels satisfied that the child should continue to be placed for adoption;
  • The child’s needs welfare and development, including education and health needs;
  • Existing arrangements for contact and if they should continue;
  • Arrangements in relation to Parental Responsibility and whether they should continue or be altered;
  • The completed PR form should be brought to the review. This will have been completed at the Adoption Placement Planning Meeting (introductions meeting) and signed by the prospective adopters;
  • Arrangements for the provision of adoption support services and whether there should be any reassessment of the need. The Adoption Support Plan should be brought to the review;
  • Existing arrangements for contact and if they should continue;
  • Dates for completion of life story work and later life letter.


3. Second and Subsequent Reviews

  • The second review should be held not more than 3 moths after the first review;
  • Discussion will take place about the frequency of visiting. Clarity about the frequency of visiting is crucial and should be documented. Sharing of visiting reports should continue;
  • Subsequent reviews should be held not more than 6 moths after the date of the previous review.


4. Foster Carers who Adopt

  • Although children may have been living with foster carers for some time, the review and visiting regulations remain as if it was a new adoption placement. There should be flexibility around the visiting schedule following the first review;
  • An Adoption Placement Plan must be completed with the foster carers following formal linking and the Agency Decision.


5. Inter Agency Placements

  • Where a child has been placed in an inter agency placement, the team manager responsible for the linking should be consulted about inviting a family placement social worker to the first review. Copies of the visit reports and reviews should be sent to the adoption team manager responsible for the placement. Any concerns or difficulties within the placement should be referred to the adoption manager at the earliest opportunity.

End