December 2019

Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Assessment and Approval of Prospective Adopters A link has been added to an information sheet published by HM Government on Attending an IRM Panel: information sheets. See Section 20, Representations / Independent Review Procedure.
Adoption Panel Minor revisions have been made to confirm that DBS checks will not be required for panel members, and to clarify that where legal advice is required, it will be sought prior to the panel meeting.
Access to Birth Records and Adoption Case Records A link has been added to a factsheet published by HM Government on Attending and IRM Panel. See Section 3.2, Adoption Orders made on or after 30 December 2005.

Next Update: June 2020

June 2019

Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Adoption Initial Visits Guidance This guidance has been reviewed and updated throughout to reflect current practice.
Adoption Health and Safety Guidance Section 3.12, Pets has been updated to note: Applicants with dogs will be asked to obtain a reference from the vet and/or rescue centre re the temperament of their dog(s). This will be required during stage one of the process.
Adoption Support

This chapter has been updated in line with the Children and Social Work Act 2017 and revised statutory guidance which require schools, through the Designated Teacher for Looked After Children, to offer support to Previously Looked After Children.

A Previously Looked After Child is one who is no longer looked after in England and Wales because subject of an Adoption, Special Guardianship or Child Arrangements Order which includes arrangements relating to with whom the child is to live, or when the child is to live with any person, or has been adopted from ‘state care’ outside England and Wales).

February 2019

Updated Chapters
Chapter Name Details
Early Permanence Placements Section 3, Key Messages and Legal Basis for EPP Placements has been updated to note that, where a child is placed in a fostering for adoption placement, the relationship which the child has with the person who is a prospective adopter must be considered by the Court or Adoption Agency alongside other relevant relationships the child has with their relatives or other persons (see s.9 Children and Social Work Act 2017 amending s.1 (f) Adoption and Children Act 2002).
Working with Birth Parent Relinquished Babies A new Section 3, Consent and Competency has been added to reflect recent High Court rulings.
The Child's Journey - Placement for Adoption

Section 1, Planning for Permanence has been revised to reflect the updated list of considerations (as amended by Section 9 Children and Social Work Act 2017) which must be referenced whenever a court or adoption agency is coming to a decision relating to the adoption of a child. Following the introduction of the Children and Social Work Act, this list now includes consideration of the relationship which the child has with relatives, with any person who is a prospective adopter with whom the child is placed and with any other person in relation to whom the court or agency considers the relationship to be relevant.

The procedure also been amended to emphasise 'procedural fairness' as a key aspect of the adoption planning process in respect of ensuring parents are provided with information throughout, including the dates of placement/proposed changes of a child's Status, etc. This follows the outcome of a judicial review ([2017] EWHC 1041 (Admin)).
Non Agency Adoption (Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield only) This procedure has been reviewed throughout and updated as required to reflect processed in OAWY.
New Chapters and Features
Chapter Name Details
Review of Prospective Adopters This new procedure sets out the process for the review of prospective adopters, including when a review should take place, the form the review will take and outcomes of reviews, including when a prospective adopter wishes to have the decision of the Adoption Panel referred to the Independent Review Mechanism.