Stage 2 - Assessment, adoption panel and approval
If you and ACE agree that it is appropriate for you to proceed to the next stage, you will be allocated an adoption social worker who will complete your home study assessment.
This stage takes about 4 months and is when your social worker will visit you in your home and on occasions may also complete some sessions online. Anywhere between 7-10 sessions are usually required. Your assessing social worker really gets to know you and your family during this stage and the way you will work together will be outlined in the Stage 2 Agreement.
This is the detailed phase of the assessment process providing the opportunity to discuss in more detail what is involved in adoption, information about your motivation to adopt, hopes and expectations and future plans as adoptive parents. To understand your life experiences will be important alongside your skills and experience of children. Your future help, support or additional training might also be identified as you continue your adoption journey. You will also start to think about the type and number of children who might best be suited to you.
When both stages are complete, your references have been checked and all the required checks received, you and your social worker will present your Adopter Assessment Report (AAR) to the Adoption Panel. The role of the Adoption Panel is to make a recommendation to the Adoption Agency Decision Maker as to your suitability to be an adoptive parent/s. They will review all the information that has been pulled together in the AAR – a report which you will have previously seen and signed.
You are invited to attend the Adoption Panel meeting which is held online. The Panel has an independent chair and is made up of a wide range of people with experience of adoption.
Following Adoption Panel, the Adoption Agency Decision Maker, who is a senior manager in ACE, will consider the AAR and the recommendation of the Adoption Panel in making their decision which is confirmed to you in writing.
‘My experience of being assessed for adoption was a positive experience, there was a lot of paperwork, and there was a lot of talking about myself – but ultimately I felt it was all done so that my social worker could get a real picture of who I was as a person. The process was well managed, communication was excellent, and I felt in safe hands throughout.’