Working together

At Parents for Children, we are convinced that our expertise can help local authorities with the permanent placement of hard-to-place children. We are aware, however, that when we place a child in long-term foster-care, they remain the responsibility of the local authority; and if we find an adoptive family for the child, the child is still the responsibility of the local authority until legal adoption takes place.

Experience has taught us that it is important for everyone concerned to clarify the division of responsibility before embarking on any inter-agency placement work. We aim to clarify all major areas of responsibility before we start working together.

The following list is by no means exhaustive, but forms a useful starting point for discussion.

Parents for Children will:

  • Work with the child's social worker and get to know the child sufficiently well to understand what sort of family is appropriate.
  • Explain to the child how Parents for Children works and how we find families.
  • Clarify the child's expectations of a family and assess how realistic these are.
  • Ensure the child understands why they need a new family.
  • Find a suitable family and prepare that family for meeting, and eventually living with, the child.
  • Provide post-placement support to the family, within the initial agreement period, and keep the local authority informed on progress.
  • Write the family section of the Schedule 2 report for the adoption hearing.
  • Provide post-adoption support, as agreed in advance.
The local authority will provide all necessary documentation and agreements. These include:
  • A statement that the local authority's adoption panel has decided that the child should be placed for adoption and that the legal department has plans in place to apply to the Court for a Placement Order.
  • Full and up-to-date information on the child and their background i.e. a completed Child Permanence Report, which has either been completed or updated within the past six months.
  • The child's full birth certificate, up-to-date medical records, school reports and psychological reports, if necessary.
  • A signature on our publicity form, confirming agreement for us to place advertisements in appropriate media.
  • Up-to-date photographs of the child.
  • A written Contact Agreement, including full details of current contact arrangements and future plans for contact.
  • A written Contact Agreement, including full details of current contact arrangements and future plans for contact.
Parents for Children and the local authority will together:
  • Share information about the extent of the local authority social worker's contact with the child prior to our involvement and any preparatory work already completed.
  • Share information about the extent of support to be provided for the child's current carers prior to and after the child has left to live with their new family, and agree upon responsibility for its provision.
  • Discuss any preparatory work already carried out or planned with other children who currently share a home with the child to be placed, prior to the child leaving to live with their new family.
  • Exchange contact details, including additional contacts at Parents for Children and the local authority to cover periods of absence by the main contacts.
  • Co-ordinate the introductions and placement.
  • Agree on a programme of post-placement work with the child to ensure the needs of the child and the local authority's statutory duties are met.

When introductions between a new family and a child are being arranged, it is particularly important that we work together closely as a team. This is often, in our experience, the most stressful stage of what has been, in many cases, a long process for the child and the family. Even something seemingly simple, such as arranging an introductory meeting, can cause problems: perhaps the prospective adopters can only travel to a meeting at the weekend when the local authority social worker may not be available. When planned for in advance, problems can be made much easier to overcome and less stressful for all concerned. We at Parents for Children believe in working with you to plan for these eventualities before they turn into problems.

 


If you would like to discuss any aspect of how your local authority could work with Parents for Children, please contact our adoption and permanency team on [email protected] or call 020 7520 2881.