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4.1.8 Disruption of Adoptive Placements

  1. Where an agency adoptive placement breaks down prior to the granting of an Adoption Order, a Disruption Meeting must be held to identify the reasons for the breakdown and to learn lessons from the events surrounding the breakdown.

    The Disruption Meeting will be held no sooner than 28 days after and no later than 42 days after the placement breaking down, and will follow a set agenda.

    The Adoption Service Manager will arrange for the meeting to be chaired by an experienced practitioner or manager from outside the Adoption Service and not involved in the line management of the case responsible social worker.

  2. The Disruption Meeting will be convened by the child’s social worker, who will invite the prospective adoptive parents, the Link Worker for the adopters, the current carers, the child’s Independent Reviewing Officer and any other relevant people. The line managers for both the child’s social worker and the adopters’ link worker must also attend. The child’s social worker will also ensure that the child’s views and feelings are given to the meeting in the most appropriate way.
  3. The meeting will consider:
    1. The child’s needs and whether the adoption plan for the child remains appropriate;
    2. The existing arrangements for contact and whether they require amendment;
    3. The arrangements for meeting the child’s health and educational needs and whether any changes are required to assist the child’s development;
    4. Where the child is subject to a Placement Order, the need to seek revocation of the Order.
  4. The child’s social worker and the prospective adopters’ link worker should attend the Adoption and Permanency Panel to present a report from the Disruption Meeting. The Adoption and Permanency Panel should also receive copies of the Panel minutes recommending the adoption plan for the child, the prospective adopters’ approval and the placement with the particular prospective adopters, to enable learning points to be shared;

    The child’s social worker should contact the Panel Administrator to book a date for the Adoption and Permanency Panel to consider the matter and copies of the relevant documents should be sent to the Panel Administrator 10 working days before the Panel meeting;
  5. Where an Adoption Placement Plan is terminated before the adoptive placement takes place, the adoption link worker for an in-house approved family, or the child’s social worker in the case of an inter agency placement, will prepare a report for the Adoption and Permanency Panel. The report must outline the reasons for the breakdown;
  6. In all such cases, the Adoption and Permanency Panel may consider whether the plan for the child should be reviewed and/or whether the prospective adopters’ approval should be reconsidered, and these issues may need to be further investigated and reports be presented to a subsequent meeting;
  7. The prospective adoptive parents should be offered the opportunity to speak to an independent person/counsellor about the disruption.

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