Once you are approved as an adopter, your adoption social worker will work to find the right child(ren) for you. The needs of both you and the children waiting for adoption are very important, so it is difficult to predict how long it will take to match you with a child(ren) – sometimes, this can take longer than hoped.
As a local authority, we are responsible for finding adoptive parents for all the children in its care. Your social worker will prioritise looking for a match for you from this group of children. If a suitable match cannot be found, then, with your consent, your social worker will work with other local authorities and agencies to try and find the child(ren) that would be best cared for by you and your family.
Sometimes,your social worker might have a child in mind for you even from the early stages of the adoption process, and therefore this part of your journey could be quite short. If this is the case, they will let you know during the assessment process.
We have a dedicated family finding team of experienced social workers who work closely with the Children in Care team,in identifying and understanding the needs of the children waiting for adoptive placements. The team also works closely with the adoption recruitment and assessment social workers to ensure that the right matches are made between adopters and children with a plan for adoption.
We run a series of regular family finding dedicated events to help find the right match for both the children and the adopters waiting. Your social worker will keep you informed about upcoming events, where you will have the chance to meet with children's social workers, and occasionally, their foster carers, and discuss the children's profiles and DVDs. You will also have the opportunity to hear stories from adopters who have successfully been matched with children, as well as network with other approved and waiting adopters.
Some agencies, including Kent, will hold adoption activity days, where prospective adopters can meet the children waiting for a family in a relaxing and friendly environment. These events encourage matches in a fun way, with a range of activities in which both children and adopters can engage in together.
Your social worker will discuss possible matches with youand, if there are possibilities you would like to explore further, then your social worker and the child's social worker will exchange more detailed information. You will have the opportunity to discuss this information in detail with the two social workers before any decision is made. At this stage,you will be able to see photographs and videos of the children in their foster homes. If you wish to proceed, the match and any support plan are presented toKent's Adoption Panel for their recommendation. If the panel approves the match, you will have a gradual introduction to the child.
We will continue to offer support after placement, and will be responsible for visiting and supporting you until the adoption is finalised. If you require further support you will be able to access our Post Adoption Service.
After ten weeks, if your adoptive child has successfully settled with your family, you will be able to apply to the court for an Adoption Order to be made. Once the order is made, you will have full legal responsibility as the child's new parent(s).
Adoption activity days
We have run a second adoption activity day to find homes for vulnerable children who urgently need families.