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St Francis’ Children’s Society is a specialist adoption agency registered with Ofsted providing a range of services to people for whom adoption is or might be a lifelong experience. We are a registered charity and have been trusted with supporting the most vulnerable children in society for over 150 years. Our approach is universal and we welcome all kinds of families for all kinds of children.

The role of the Society’s Adoption Panel is to make recommendations regarding the suitability of prospective adoptive families. The role of the Independent Adoption Panel Chair is to ensure that the adoption panel carries out its work effectively and in accordance with the requirements of the most recent legislation and associated regulations and standards, by chairing the Adoption Panel meetings in an efficient and sensitive manner and completing and conducting associated Panel business.

Full job description

1. To chair Panel meetings, ensuring that all items of business are covered and that the Panel operates in accordance with Regulations and Guidance and the policies and procedures of the agency. Both virtual and face to face.
2. To prepare for Panel meetings, reading Panel papers carefully, identifying key issues and alerting the Agency Advisor if necessary to ensure, as far as possible, that the case is adequate for submission to panel.
3. To facilitate the active participation of all Panel members in contributing to the Panel’s consideration of cases and to the making clear and well-evidenced recommendations with the reasons for these.
4. To ensure that all those attending are treated with respect and courtesy.
5. To address diversity issues and to promote anti-discriminatory practice at all times.
6. To ensure that clear and accurate minutes are written, which record any serious reservations that Panel members may have and to be involved in checking and agreeing minutes with other panel members before they are sent to the Decision Maker.
7. To liaise with the Decision Maker and with other senior managers as required.
8. To ensure, with the Agency Advisor, that senior managers are aware of issues of concern, in relation both to individual cases and more general matters.
9. To be involved as appropriate in the recruitment and appointment of central list and Panel members and in any consideration about terminating the appointment of a member.
10. To review, with the Agency Advisor, the performance of central list and Panel members as the need arises and at least annually.
11. To assist in the developing, promoting and monitoring policies and procedures and high standards of work in adoption and permanence services in the agency.
12. To assist in the planning training for members and to participate in this at least one day per year.
13. To safeguard the confidentiality of all Panel papers and Panel discussions.
14. To be involved in:
• Deciding whether a case is adequate for submission to Panel.
• Deciding on the attendance of observers at Panel.
• Deciding on the participation of Panel member who declares an interest in a case.
• Deciding when an extra Panel may be necessary.
• Preparing reports on the Panel’s work.

15. To participate in Ofsted Inspections.
16. To meet regularly with the Adoption Panel Adviser, Adoption Team Manager and ADM to plan the future work and development of the panel.

Safeguarding, Confidentiality and Equal Opportunities

Everyone employed by the Society is expected to be familiar with and comply with the Society’s safeguarding, confidentiality and equal opportunities policies.

Appointment to post will be subject to a satisfactory enhanced DBS check.

The Society is first and foremost committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expects all staff and volunteers working with children to share this commitment. We apply recruitment and selection procedures which seek to ensure that no employee or volunteer is appointed who may pose a risk to children or is otherwise unsuitable to work with them.

To apply...


Sarah McGrory