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Nottinghamshire County Council - Proud of our past, ambitious for our future
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Information for adoption professionals

Adoption support services

In Nottinghamshire we operate a support service called Support After Adoption (SAA).

The team includes experienced qualified social workers, offering support, advice, information and counselling to adopted people and birth relatives who have an adoption connection with Nottinghamshire as well as various support packages for adoptive families experiencing difficulties.

SAA offers groups for adoptive children together with the Youth Service, and helps with training, support groups and conferences for adoptive parents.

The service has a linking scheme called PALS which gives adopted children and young people the opportunity to make a relationship with an experienced worker.

Support After Adoption also runs a 'letterbox' scheme and offers consultations to children’s social workers and adopters in the early stages of setting these arrangements up to ensure they can run smoothly.

The service also helps adopted adults to access their adoption records or to search for birth relatives and helps birth relatives search for a member of their family who was adopted.

Contact us for more information.

Inter-agency placements

Most approved prospective adopters who have gone through the assessment and preparation process with Nottinghamshire County Council will have Nottinghamshire children placed with them, although families are sometimes referred to the Adoption Register and a regional consortium. Other families may choose to consider children they see featured in publications such as Adoption Today or Be My Parent.

This means that some of our approved families go on to have children placed with them by other agencies. These are called inter-agency placements.

We are committed to working positively with other adoption agencies to secure placements for children.

If you are trying to find a family for a child or children looked after by your agency, contact us.

Adoption panels

All adoption agencies must have adoption panels. Nottinghamshire Adoption Service has three panels, each of which meets about ten times a year.

What do panels do?

Adoption panels have three main functions:

  • they make adoption plans for children who are not subject to court proceedings

  • they consider the suitability of prospective adopters

  • they match children with prospective adopters.

Panels make recommendations and an agency decision maker makes the final decision based on the reports considered by panel, the recommendation of the panel, and the minutes from the adoption panel. Panels can also offer advice on various related issues, such as contact arrangements and support plans.

Who is on a panel?

There are up to 10 people on a panel. Someone independent of the agency must chair the adoption panel and there must be at least three other independent panel members. These will often be people with personal experience of adoption, eg adoptive parents, adopted people or birth family members.

Panels must also include a medical adviser, social worker representatives. Panels are not quorate (ie they cannot consider a case) unless there are five people present, one of whom must be the chair (or vice chair), one an independent member, and one a social worker representative.

Also, panels should include an agency adviser and a minute taker. Panels should have access to legal advice and in Nottinghamshire the legal adviser usually attends panel meetings. Panels should be representative of the community they serve, so they should ideally have a diverse membership with a range of skills and experience.

Nottinghamshire Adoption Service offers support to panel members and two training days a year.

Panel members must have an enhanced disclosure with the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and have an annual appraisal of their performance, which includes looking at their attendance record and contribution to panel meetings. Panel members can be appointed for up to three terms of three years each term.

Nottinghamshire Adoption Service welcomes enquiries from anyone who feels they have relevant experience and can make a contribution to the work of the adoption panel.

For more information, contact the panel co-ordinators on tel: 01623 437556 or 437557.

Working in adoption - getting started

Nottinghamshire County Council has a number of teams committed to developing high quality adoption-related services.

The adoption team is responsible for recruiting, training, assessing, matching and supporting prospective adopters.

The permanence team works with children to prepare and place them for adoption.

The Support After Adoption team delivers a range of activities and services to support adopters, adopted children and birth families.

There are also adoption managers who are responsible for developing adoption policies, adoption support advice and for managing adoption panels.

Any current vacancies in any of these teams are featured on the job vacancies page.

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