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What the assessment involves

  • You will be asked to complete an application form, giving detailed information about you and your family and your consent for the completion of necessary checks and enquiries to ascertain your suitability to adopt
  • A qualified social worker will visit you at home, generally on six-eight occasions to meet and collect information about all members of your household and your experiences and skills in relation to adoption
  • We will undertake the checks outlined in the criteria section
  • Six references are requested (two from family members and four from friends)
  • You will be asked to go to your doctor for a medical.  The agency medical adviser will see the completed health assessment report.  He/she will ascertain if you have a reasonable degree of physical fitness, emotional stability and resilience.  He/she may seek further information from your GP or consultant and you will be asked to complete a mandate to give your permission.  The most frequently occurring issues concern weight, smoking and use of anti-depressants.  Applicants who smoke will not be approved to adopt children under the age of 5 years or children with respiratory problems or disabilities.

During the assessment process you will be helped to compile a portfolio of written material giving examples of your relevant experience and skills.  Throughout the assessment you will receive regular feedback on the progress of your application on at least a monthly basis.  Any issues or concerns which emerge throughout the assessment will be shared with you.  At some point during the assessment the manager/team leader of Family Connections will visit you with your worker.  This is to allow someone else to meet you and answer any queries and explore any issues and concerns.

A report called a Form F will be written and will be shared with you (apart from third party information).  If you do not agree with the content of the report the social worker will record your views and areas of disagreement.  If you wish you can submit written information to the Adoption Panel.  You will receive an invitation to attend the Adoption Panel when your application is being considered.