The adoption process
The Next Step
If you are interested in finding out more about adoption with Walsall, please either click on the link above for the Adoption in the Black Country website, which has more information about the consortium and how to register your interest or call Adoption in the Black Country on 0800 073 0597 or Walsall Family Placement Service directly on 0300 555 2834 and we will be more than happy to provide you with more information and answer any questions you may have.
Once you have made contact you will be invited to attend one of our information events which are run regularly throughout the Midlands. During the information event, you will have the opportunity to hear more about adoption and you will also have the opportunity to talk to a social worker. We hope this will help you to decide whether or not adoption is right for you. If you do wish to proceed further and a recommendation is made from the information event that you are ready to move onto the next stage, then a referral will be made to one of the ABC partner organizations. If we are unable to process your interest in adoption, you will be advised as to the reasons why. We may signpost you to the National Gateway for adoption and other agencies that may be able to consider you.
- If you wish to proceed you will be asked to complete a ‘next steps’ form which will be forwarded to the agency who will contact you within 5 working days from receipt of the referral and they will arrange to visit your home to undertake an initial assessment in Stage One.
Stage One – Pre-Assessment
Stage One begins when we accept your registration of interest and should normally take no more than two months to complete. Stage One involves the following;
- Drawing up a Stage One plan that sets out the responsibilities and expectations of the applicants and Walsall Council.
- Personal and Employer references.
- Medical – undertaken by your own GP.
- Police check on all applicants and any other adult household members.
- Information, on-line training and preparation work.
Stage One ends with our decision about whether you might be suitable to adopt.
Stage Two – The Assessment
Stage Two begins when we receive notification from yourselves that you wish to proceed to a full assessment. This should take around four months to complete unless there are exceptional circumstances. Stage Two involves the following;
- Agreement of a Stage Two assessment plan.
- Intensive 3 day training course and assessment.
- A prospective adopters report.
There will be a series of meetings in your home with your allocated social worker. The social workers role is to get to know you and your family, to have further discussions with you about adoption and to help you to identify the kind of child / children that would be best placed with you. The outcomes of these discussions will be presented to the adoption panel in the form of a final report.
Stage Two ends after you have attended panel and the agency decision maker has made their decision about your suitability to adopt a looked after child.
The adoption panel consists of a minimum of five members that include;
- An independent chairperson.
- A vice chairperson.
- A social worker with at least three years post-qualifying experience.
- A medical advisor.
- An independent member with either personal or professional experience of adoption.
You will be invited to attend panel where your final report will be presented to the members by your social worker. The role of the panel is to recommend whether or not you are suitable to be approved to adopt. You will be informed verbally of the panel’s recommendation on the same day. This is then subject to approval by the agency decision maker. You will be informed in writing of this decision within 7 working days.
Once you are approved, you will be considered for any children for whom we are currently family finding for. Matching a child to a family needs careful consideration and extensive planning. If this part of the process is done well, it will support and promote on-going placement stability. While you are waiting to be linked with a child you will receive regular visits from your social worker. We will try and identify suitable children initially from Walsall and then also from the ABC consortium, other adoption agencies, agency consortia, Adoption Link and also the National Adoption Register. If it is clear from the outset that we may struggle to identify a suitable child from Walsall, with your consent, we will refer you immediately to the National Adoption Register.