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What to expect at panel

What to expect at panel

The role of Diagrama’s Adoption Panel is to make a recommendation on your suitability to be approved as adoptive parents, 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 meeting

Your panel meeting will take place virtually via Zoom. Your assessing social worker will come to your home to support you with the meeting. The link for the Zoom meeting will be sent to you in advance and when the time arrives you will be let into the meeting where you will be welcomed by the Panel Chair. 

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 in a breakout room while panel members consider their recommendations. The Panel Chair and Panel Advisor will then join you and your social worker to inform you of the recommendation. 

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.