Step 1- Starting
After being approved as an adoptive parent by adoption panel, you will be transferred to the family finding team where you will have a new family finding social worker. The team will be with you through every step of the family finding process and will continue to offer support until an Adoption Order is granted.
Step 2 – Visited by family finders (more information)
Your allocated family finder will come to meet you along with your assessing social worker. This is a ‘handover visit’ to the family finding team and to explore matching criteria in more detail in order to assist the matching process.
Step 3 – Keep in touch while matching
Behind the scenes there will be a lot of matching/linking taking place. Family finders will keep you updated as much as possible.
Step 4 – Anonymous information
When a potential link is identified, a home visit will be arranged for the family finder to share information with you. This is to share anonymised information about the child/ren in order to help you consider if you want to know more about the child/ren. If you do not feel that this link is right for you, then family finding will continue to find you the ‘right’ child.
Step 5 – Social work visit
If you wish to pursue the identified link, the child/ren’s social worker will visit with the family finder to share more detailed and up to date information. If this match proceeds, you will go on to meet the child/children’s teachers, foster family, health professionals and education staff if appropriate. There may also be an opportunity to attend an ‘Understanding the Child Day’ where we look at the child’s early life experiences and think about how these have impacted on the child both now and in the future.
Step 6 – Matching Meeting
The purpose of the Matching Meeting is to pull together all relevant information about the child and you in the form of a report. You will read and add your comments to the report, which is then shared with Panel members in readiness for Matching Panel. This meeting also considers the Adoption Support Plan, which looks at ongoing support for the child and for you.
Step 7- All information goes to Matching Panel
All the information goes to Panel for a Matching recommendation.
Step 8 – ADM
The Panel recommendation has to be confirmed by the Agency decision maker in the child’s local authority.
Step 9 – Meeting child
After all of these steps are completed, your family finder will plan with you the introductions where you will be able to meet your child/ren.
When getting ready for a child to join your home and family you may have a few things to do to ensure an easier transition for your child. This will be decided by your family finder, but this could include:
- Meeting with adults in the child’s life (social workers, foster family, teachers, etc,)
- Videos/photo of yourself for the child
- Voice recording of book reading
- Small home changes to meet their needs i.e. safety gates
- Keeping your calendar clear
- ‘Smell’ swapping for children and animals
Every case is different so for more information please contact your family finder.
Support that is provided
When adopting with SEWAS we provided support for every step of the journey to adoption. We have four teams that will guide you through the process:
- Recruitment & Assessment: This team will support and assess you from your initial enquiry, throughout your assessment and until you become an ‘approved adopter’.
- Family finding: This team will match parents and children together to find the best fit for families. Also providing support and training for families when needed.
- Adoption Support: This team supports anyone touched by adoption, whether you are an adopted person, adoptive parents, birth family; the adoption support team are here for you. This team are at the heart of our SEWAS adoption community, running regular groups and providing advice and support.
- Business support team: This team ensures that SEWAS runs smoothly, meeting all the administrative needs of the service.
You will have an adoption social worker when working with each team. We are also available Mon-Fri 9am-5pm by phone and email for advice throughout the process.