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7.14 Adoption Case Records


Contents

  1. Opening an Adoption Case Record
  2. Contents
  3. Security and Retention of Records


1. Opening an Adoption Case Record

1.1 Children

An Adoption Case Record for a child should be opened as soon as there is an adoption plan for the child i.e once adoption has been identified as the permanence plan for the child at his or her Looked After Review or, where a child has been relinquished for adoption, as soon as the parent's request for adoption has been made. The Adoption Case Record is separate from the existing case file.

The child's Looked After case file should indicate on the front sheet that a separate Adoption Case Record exists. The case file must not include information in relation to the new identity or address of the child or any information whereby the child's pre and post-adoption identity could be linked. Such information should only be contained on the Adoption Case Record. This principle applies to information kept in whatever form - electronic, hard copy or microfilm

Where the plan relates to a group of siblings, there must be a separate Adoption Case Record for each child.

1.2 Applicants to Adopt

An Adoption Case Record should also be opened for every prospective adopter who pursues an application for approval. In the case of a couple, a single case record can be set up for them both. This also applies to foster carers wishing to be considered as adopters.


2. Contents

2.1 Children

The child's Adoption Case Record should contain the following information and documents:

  1. The child's original birth certificate and birth details (time, weight, type of delivery etc)
  2. Description and details (including family tree) of the birth family and household set out in a Single Integrated Assessment or other relevant document
  3. Photographs, certificates, other significant personal mementos and Life Story disc
  4. Completed BAAF Forms M and B (Neonatal and obstetric reports)
  5. BAAF PH (completed by birth parents)
  6. BAAF Development Assessment Forms or equivalent
  7. The Child’s Permanence Report
  8. Prospective Adopter's Report and Adoption Placement Report.
  9. Adoption Support Plan
  10. The child's profile, Matching Meeting minutes and any other documents prepared and presented for the matching decision.
  11. Record of social work with child about adoption, including recording of direct work. This should include the date of every contact, whether the child was seen, issued discussed, child's views, analysis and evaluation of the content of the report. This will provide a record to inform current actions and a record for the young person in later years.
  12. Details of siblings, together with any assessments and decisions to place brothers and sisters separately, including minutes of relevant meetings
  13. All relevant minutes and the Agency Decision Maker's decisions in relation to the child's adoption plan and placement, including records of discussions held by the Agency Decision Maker.
  14. Looked After Review minutes and the child’s Care Plan from the point when adoption was identified as the plan.
  15. Assessments, correspondence and signed agreements relating to post-adoption contact
  16. Any other key correspondence to and from members of the child's birth family
  17. Minutes from Placement Planning Meetings
  18. Itemised List and copies of information supplied to child
  19. Itemised List and copies of information supplied to adopters
  20. Information from the birth parents to the child
  21. Later Life letter from the social worker outlining the circumstances of the adoption plan
  22. The Adoption Placement Plan and any amendments
  23. Reports of visits to the child post-placement and records of any Adoption Review Meetings. As previously stated, this should provide sufficient detail to inform current actions but also enable the young person in future years to make sense of his/her history.
  24. Court reports and other documents prepared for Placement Order application and adoption application.
  25. Copies of Care Orders (including Interim Care Orders)
  26. Copy of Parental Consent to Adoptive Placement and Parental Consent to adoption and/or copy of the Placement Order
  27. Copy of Adoption Order
  28. Any recording relating to requests for access to birth records by the adopted person or the Adoption Case Record by any person.
  29. Any Veto - absolute or qualified - registered by the adopted person.
  30. Minutes of any Disruption Meetings.

It is essential that all case records reflect the supervisory process and comprehensive management overview.

2.2 Applicants to Adopt

  1. The prospective adopter's Adoption Case Record should contain all the information obtained about him or her in relation to their application for approval, including the BAAF Form F or Prospective Adopter's Report, photographs etc.
  2. All relevant checks.
  3. References
  4. All relevant Panel minutes and the Agency Decision-Maker's decisions in relation to the suitability of the adopters and the placement of the child with them
  5. Assessments, correspondence and signed agreements relating to post-adoption contact
  6. The Adoption Placement Plan
  7. Itemised List and copies of information supplied to adopters
  8. Any other key correspondence
  9. Reports of visits to the adopters

Note: Where the placement of a Medway child is with an adopter approved by another adoption agency, an Adoption Case record for the prospective adopters must still be set up and maintained in the Medway Adoption Service.

2.3 Adoption Support

Adoption Support files (red) will be set up when a Medway child is placed for adoption, whether within the authority or outside. This will contain

  1. Copy of the Adoption Support plan (signed)
  2. Copies of the relevant court orders (Placement Order, Care Order, Adoption Order)
  3. Copies of relevant documents (CPR, PAR, Annex A)
  4. Signed written agreements for contact
  5. Front sheet with child's name, date of birth, adopters' details, birth family details and contact arrangements
  6. Record of any ongoing financial support
  7. Record of any contact or work with the child/family
  8. Record of where siblings are placed (NB within the same adoptive family there will be a separate file for each child)

There will also be adoption support files for adoptive families living in Medway with children placed from other local authorities (POLAs) who are receiving an adoption support service. For children placed with Medway adopters a request will be made for the up to date adoption support plan prior to the three-year rule post Adoption Order.


3. Security and Retention of Records

Adoption Case Records must be stored in secure conditions. Paper records should be kept in locked cabinets. Electronic records should be password protected.

In cases where an Adoption Order is made, Adoption Case Records will be retained for a minimum of 100 years after the Adoption Order is made. The Adoption Team Manager will first ensure that the Adoption Case Record is complete, and especially contains the 'Later in Life' letters and Adoption Contact Agreements.

Where an Adoption Order is not made, children's Adoption Case Records should be transferred back to the child's Looked After file. Any duplicated information should be shredded.

Where an Adoption Order is not made, the prospective adopter's Adoption Case record should be retained for at least fifty years.

Whenever it is necessary to send any part of an Adoption Case Record by post, either within or outside Medway, the information should be placed in a sealed plain envelope and marked 'PERSONAL AND CONFIDENTIAL'. When the external post is necessary, then arrangements should be made for copies of relevant documents to be sent by recorded delivery.

End