Undertaking an adoption assessment cover

Undertaking an adoption assessment in England



The guide is primarily based on Part 1 of the PAR which pulls together information about the applicant – individual profile; family and environmental factors; present circumstances and becoming adopters. It now includes the additional experience, skills and understanding needed by prospective adopters in their role as foster carers when offering a Fostering for Adoption or concurrent planning placement, and ideas for evidencing the relevant skills and experience of foster carers wishing to adopt a child in their care. 

Each section of the guide presents a list of trigger questions that can facilitate further discussion and encourage exploration of different areas and suggestions as to how this can be analysed to assess an applicant’s suitability, or not, to adopt.

Who is this book for?

All those undertaking adoption assessments and of particular use to those who are new to the task, overwhelmed by it or concerned about covering all necessary aspects.

What you will find in this book

Logically structured and very accessibly presented, this guide will:

  • assist the assessing social worker in collecting some of the basic information necessary to complete a comprehensive Stage Two assessment
  • prompt the worker to analyse the information they have collected with regard to its effect on the application
  • alerts the assessing worker to relevant guidance and regulations.

The guide includes worksheets to help assessors to plan and keep track of ongoing assessments, worksheets for adopters, and useful checklists about safer caring, completing ecomaps and health and safety issues.

Appendix V - Worksheets for adopters       Download worksheets 

Read the contents page and introduction


Elaine Dibben has over 20 years’ experience of working in adoption and fostering in local authority and voluntary adoption agency settings. She was manager of the Independent Review Mechanism, which she set up, until taking on a role in BAAF as a trainer consultant. She is now CoramBAAF’s Adoption Development Consultant alongside acting as a panel chair for both adoption and fostering panels.

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This guide would be helpful not only to have as a reference guide in a supervising social worker’s team library, but also as a handy aide-memoire for all professionals who need to plan out a parenting assessment and make sure that all pertinent issues in a particular case are addressed.

Kirsteen Laidlaw, independent social worker