What to expect at panel

What to expect at panel

The role of Diagrama’s Adoption Panel is to make a judgement on your suitability to be an adoptive parent, based on information prepared by your social worker.

Prior to the meeting, Panel members will have had time to consider the reports relating to your case, and to prepare the areas they would like to discuss with you and your social worker.

You will be invited to attend the first part of the panel meeting - we believe it is important that you meet the people who will be making this important recommendation.

Your social worker has experience and understanding of the Panel process and they will talk with you in preparation for the meeting.

The Panel includes social workers, staff members, independent members, people with personal experience of fostering and adoption and a medical adviser. They all have different backgrounds, cultures, ethnicities and faiths.

Attending your adoption panel hearing

On the day of your panel hearing, you should aim to arrive early so you will have the opportunity to talk with your social worker before your case is heard. If you are a single applicant, a relative or friend can accompany you.

The adoption panel’s recommendation should be made within four months of the beginning of Stage 2 of the assessment.

At the meeting

You will be asked several questions to clarify matters raised in the reports. Panel members understand that you might be nervous and will make every effort to treat you as sensitively as possible.

You will then be asked to wait outside while Panel members consider their recommendation. The Chair will then come to tell you and your social worker in private what this is.

Once the Panel has made a recommendation, this goes to the Agency Decision Maker, who has seven days after receiving the minutes of the meeting, to make a formal decision about your application.

If your application is approved, you will then move onto the family finding stage.

When an adoption application is not approved

In the event that your application is not approved you will be notified in writing, with the reasons why. You will then have 40 working days in which to decide one of the following:

  • To accept the proposed decision
  • To make representations to the Decision-Maker
  • To apply to the Independent Review Mechanism – Adoption and Fostering (IRM).

Your Diagrama social worker will be on hand to help talk you through this stage.