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6.3.1 Adoption Policy (Social Workers)

Contents

  1. Social Workers
  2. The Restriction on Workers Permitted to Write Adoption Reports (The Restriction on the Preparation of Adoption Reports Regulations 2005)
  3. Statement of Confidentiality
  4. Code of Conduct
  5. Employees who Seek to Adopt


1. Social Workers

1.1 All members of staff working for this Adoption Agency will have access to and make themselves familiar with Portsmouth Adoption Agency's 'Statement of Purpose'.
1.2 Those responsible for appointing new workers to this agency will telephone each referee to verify the written references provided by the applicant.
1.3 Satisfactory enhanced DBS checks will be expected in respect of all social workers being considered for employment. In respect of employees, these checks will be renewed every three years.
1.4 Workers with case management responsibility for children being considered for adoption must be professionally qualified, and registered in the Register for Social Workers maintained in accordance with section 56 of the Care Standards Act 2000. Social workers must either have 3 years post-qualifying experience in child care work including direct experience of adoption work (e.g. placing children for adoption or assessing prospective adoptive families), or be managed by a registered social worker with the necessary experience.
1.5 Adoption workers assessing the suitability of prospective adopters must be professionally qualified and registered in the Register for Social Workers maintained in accordance with section 56 of the Care Standards Act 2000. It is an expectation that they will either be experienced in assessing the suitability of foster carers or prospective adopters, or the assessment must be carried out under the supervision of a social worker who has such experience.
1.6 All persons employed by this agency, including temporary or sessional workers, will be subject to an enhanced DBS check.
1.7 Any workers carrying out birth records counselling will be registered social workers and will receive appropriate training from and accreditation by the Adoption Manager.
1.8 Support workers involved with birth parents will be supervised by a qualified social worker.
1.9 Workers must declare any possible conflicts of interest to their manager. Any decision made in relation to a declaration of interest should be recorded in writing on the child/adult's case record.


2. The Restriction on Workers Permitted to Write Adoption Reports (The Restriction on the Preparation of Adoption Reports Regulations 2005)

2.1 These regulations limit those who are permitted to write certain adoption reports. As a result Portsmouth Adoption Agency will only permit qualified social workers who are registered with the Health and Care Professions Council to write the reports listed in paragraph 2.2. In addition the registered social workers must either have 3 years post-qualifying experience in child care work including direct experience of adoption work (e.g. placing children for adoption or assessing prospective adoptive families), or be managed by a registered social worker with the necessary experience.
2.2

The adoption reports referred to in 2.1 above are as follows:

  • The child's permanence report for the adoption panel (Adoption Agencies Regulations 2005, regulation 17(1));
  • Report about the suitability of a prospective adopter to adopt a child (regulation 25(5) of the Adoption Agencies Regulations 2005);
  • Whether a child should be placed for adoption with a particular prospective adopter (regulation 31(2)(d) of the Adoption Agencies Regulations 2005);
  • Report of a visit to a child placed for adoption (regulation 36(4)(b) of the Adoption Agencies Regulations 2005);
  • Reports of all visits and reviews on a child from overseas in respect of whom notification of intention to adopt has been received by the local authority (regulation 5(1)(h)(ii) of the Adoptions with a Foreign Element Regulations 2005);
  • Report of a review of a child's case where the prospective adopter fails to make application for an adoption order within two years of the notice of intention to adopt (regulation 5(3) of the Adoptions with a Foreign Element Regulations 2005);
  • Preparing a pre-adoption report;
  • Preparing a post-adoption report;
  • Preparing a report to the Court where the child has been placed for adoption by an adoption agency (section 43 of the Act) or report to the Court in non-agency cases (section 44(5) of the Act);
  • Report to the Court in respect of a Looked After Child where an application has been made by the prospective adopters under section 84(1) of the Act, to obtain Parental Responsibility prior to adoption abroad.


3. Statement of Confidentiality

3.1 It is an expectation that all persons working for the adoption agency and applicants will sign a statement of confidentiality.


4. Code of Conduct

4.1

It is expected that workers engaged in preparing applicants and children for adoption will abide by the following code of conduct:

All workers will:

  • Work with children, birth families, prospective and adoptive parents without discrimination;
  • Respond positively and sensitively to any enquiries in a courteous and efficient manner;
  • Preserve confidentiality and will not discuss information obtained during the assessment or preparation process except with managers, supervisors, or during the Court's or the department's formal processes, for example, the adoption panel process, the complaints procedures and supervision.


5. Employees who Seek to Adopt

5.1 Employees of Portsmouth City Council who may wish to adopt will be considered by Portsmouth Adoption Agency. There will need to be a full discussion at the initial visit stage of any possible conflicts of interest and also the need for confidentiality particularly where a member of staff may, through their employment, have access to written or electronic records. Applicants need to be reminded that unauthorised access to written or electronic records risks dismissal.

End