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2.9 Disruption of Adoptive Placements

SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER

This chapter applies to disruptions of adoptive placements, which occur prior to an Adoption Order having been made. Where a disruption takes place after an Adoption Order has been made, a Disruption Meeting may occasionally be held as part of the adoption support provided to the child and adoptive family in which case the same principles as set out in this chapter may be followed.


  1. Where an agency adoptive placement breaks down prior to the granting of an Adoption Order, a Disruption Meeting must be held to identify the reasons for the breakdown and to learn lessons from the events surrounding the breakdown;

    A Looked After Child’s LAC review must also be held no sooner than 28 days after and no later than 42 days after the placement breaking down;

    The Adoption Service will arrange for the Disruption meeting to be chaired independently by an experienced practitioner or manager from outside the adoption service not involved in the line management of the Child’s social worker or the Children’s Permanence Worker to take place no sooner than 6 weeks and no later than 3 months;
  2. The Disruption Meeting will be convened by the Permanence Team Manager who will meet with key people to plan the meeting. People who will be invited to the Disruption Meeting are the child's social worker, the prospective adoptive parents, their social worker, the current carers, the child’s Independent Reviewing Officer and any other relevant people. The child’s social worker will also ensure that the child’s views and feelings are given to the meeting in the most appropriate way. The meeting will follow a set agenda;
    • Child’s life prior to entering the care system;
    • Reason for care episode;
    • Selection process of the carers/placement;
    • Introduction process to the carers;
    • The recruitment, training and preparation of the carers;
    • The consideration of the carer(s) by the Adoption Panel;
    • Care planning process(including outcomes of Core and other assessments);
    • Chronology of the events leading to the disruption;
    • Why the placement does not meet the child/young persons needs;
    • What could have made the placement work?
    • Was the LA Reviewing process robust;
    • Identification of disruptive patterns;
    • Disruption and subsequent events;
    • Future Care Planning;
    • Learning Points;
    • Conclusion and Recommendations.
  3. The minutes of the Disruption meeting and agreed key reports will be presented to the Adoption Panel along with the Agency Decision Makers summary sheet for the approval of the child, Panel minutes of the Adopters Approval and the match. The Panel will identify key learning points;
  4. Where an Adoption Placement Plan is terminated before the adoptive placement takes place (i.e. during introductions), the agency will hold a meeting that follows the same format as a Disruption Meeting and the minutes of the meeting and key reports and relevant panel minutes will also be presented to Panel;
  5. In all such cases, the Adoption Panel may consider whether the plan for the child should be reviewed and/or whether the prospective adopters’ approval should be reconsidered, and these issues may need to be further investigated and reports be presented to a subsequent meeting.

End