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3.9.16 Direct Placement Scheme - Adoption Services


This chapter relates to the Direct Placement of a child, with adopters on the basis of parental consent, prior to any legal consent or order.

This is a new chapter for September 2011-08-24.


  1. Rationale for Direct Placement Scheme
  2. Risk Assessment
  3. Direct Placement Flowchart

1. Rationale for Direct Placement Scheme

1.1 Direct Placement would enable the service to reduce any moves/changes for a child and would lead to the enhancement of attachments in the early days of a child’s life.
1.2 There have been an increasing number of foster carers, who are not assessed as suitable to adopt, wishing to apply to adopt a baby placed in their care. These carers have not always been the most able to meet the child’s needs and it has led to costly viability studies, delay in progressing plans for children and inevitable rejection of some carers. Direct Placement would ensure that babies are placed with suitable carers, dual approved, who could follow on with adoption, thus avoiding these difficulties.
1.3 During the Inspection by Ofsted in 2009, a verbal recommendation was made to explore direct placement as a means of speeding plans for relinquished babies.
1.4 If the Scheme is successful there is potential for expansion to include ‘follow on’ babies, to be placed with siblings that have already been adopted and possible future development for dual carers for older more difficult to place children.

2. Risk Assessment

2.1 The main identifiable risk for this scheme is that the parents request the return of their child. The Local Authority will then need to consider this request which could result in the child being returned to their birth family. Below is a table detailing consequences with risk rating before action and risk following redress action.

Risk Score: 10 high, 0 low Action Score: 10 high, 0 low
Emotional Distress to Adopters if the child were baby to return home 7 (high consequences to adopters)

Risks identified for Adopters in preparation and Training.

Adoption support counselling to be put in place.

5 (whilst still a risk the effects can be mitigated)
Adopters refuse to return the child and seek action against the authority. 8 (high risk of adopters attempting to secure child in their care)

Legal Advice currently being sought (12/09)

Option disclaimer agreement prior to adopters entering scheme
Parents request return of their child and there are possible concerns regarding their care. 4 (risk is low based on families that we have had contact with who wish to relinquish babies)

Voluntary restoration assessment will be offered to look at any areas of support.

If concerns referral to CSC for CIN/CP referral
3 (any concerns can be addressed via the assessment and referral process established for all children.)

3. Direct Placement Flowchart


A flowchart outlining the process is detailed below. The flowchart outlines the process for both:

  • Where the Direct Placement is arranged ‘Pre Birth’;
  • And where the Direct Placement has been arranged ‘At Birth’.
Click here to view the Direct Placement Flowchart.