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6.2.15 Court Reports in Adoption/Special Guardianship Guidance

RELATED GUIDANCE

Statutory guidance for local authorities on the Special Guardianship Regulations 2005 (as amended by the Special Guardianship (Amendment) Regulations 2016) (February 2016)

AMENDMENT

This chapter was updated throughout in March 2016 in line with local practice, and should be re-read. Also, Section 3, Special Guardianship - Matters to be Dealt with in Report for the Court, was revised and updated to reflect the enhanced assessment and reporting requirements (for all applications made from 29 February 2016) as set out in the Special Guardianship (Amendment) Regulations 2016.


Contents

  1. Adoption Applications - Annex A Report - Matters to be Dealt with in Reports for the Court
  2. Placement Order Applications 
  3. Special Guardianship - Matters to be Dealt with in Report for the Court


1. Adoption Applications - Annex A Report - Matters to be Dealt with in Reports for the Court

Section A: The Report and Matters for the Proceedings
Section B: The Child and the Birth Family
Section C: The Prospective Adopter of the Child
Section D: The Placement 
Section E: Recommendations 


Section A: The Report and Matters for the Proceedings

The Annex A report is used for both agency and non-agency adoption applications. The social worker preparing the report should meet the requirements of the Restriction on the Preparation of Adoption Reports Regulations 2005 or be supervised by a prescribed person under the Act.

Where a child has been placed by the adoption agency with approved prospective adopters the report should be completed jointly by the child’s social worker and the adopters social worker.

Part 1 - The Report

For each of the principal author/s of the report:

  1. Name;
  2. Role in relation to this case;
  3. Sections completed in this report;
  4. Qualifications and experience;
  5. Name and address of the adoption agency; and
  6. Adoption agency case reference number.

Part 2 - Matters for the Proceedings

  1. Whether the adoption agency considers that any other person should be made a respondent or a party to the proceedings, including the child;
  2. Whether any of the respondents is under the age of 18;
  3. Whether a respondent is a person who, by reason of mental disorder within the meaning of the Mental Health Act 1983, is incapable of managing and administering his or her property and affairs. If so, medical evidence should be provided with particular regard to the effect on that person's ability to make decisions in the proceedings.

Section B: The Child and the Birth Family

Where a child has been placed for adoption by the agency with approved prospective adopters this section should be completed by the child’s social worker.

Part 1

i. Information about the Child

a. Name, sex, date and place of birth and address including local authority area;
b. Photograph and physical description;
c. Nationality;
d. Racial origin and cultural and linguistic background;
e. Religious persuasion (including details of baptism, confirmation or equivalent ceremonies);
f. Details of any siblings, half-siblings and step-siblings, including dates of birth;
g. Whether the child is looked after by a local authority;
h. Whether the child has been placed for adoption with the prospective adopter by a UK adoption agency;
i. Whether the child was being fostered by the prospective adopter;
j. Whether the child was brought into the UK for adoption, including date of entry and whether an adoption order was made in the child's country of origin;
k. Personality and social development, including emotional and behavioural development and any related needs;
l. Details of interests, likes and dislikes;
m. A summary, written by the agency's medical adviser, of the child's health history, his current state of health and any need for health care which is anticipated, and date of the most recent medical examination;
n. Any known learning difficulties or known general medical or mental health factors which are likely to have, or may have, genetic implications.
o. Names, addresses and types of nurseries or schools attended, with dates;
p. Educational attainments;
q. Any special needs in relation to the child (whether physical, learning, behavioural or any other) and his emotional and behavioural development;
r. Whether the child is subject to a statement under the Education Act 1996;
s. Previous orders concerning the child:
  1. The name of the court;
  2. The order made; and
  3. The date of the order.
t. Inheritance rights and any claim to damages under the Fatal Accidents Act 1976 the child stands to retain or lose if adopted;
u. Any other relevant information which might assist the court.

ii. Information about each Parent of the Child

a. Name, date and place of birth and address (date on which last address was confirmed current) including local authority area;
b. Photograph, if available, and physical description;
c. Nationality;
d. Racial origin and cultural and linguistic background;
e. Whether the mother and father were married to each other at the time of the child's birth or have subsequently married;
f. Where the parent has been previously married or entered into a civil partnership, dates of those marriages or civil partnerships;
g. Where the mother and father are not married, whether the father has parental responsibility and, if so, how it was acquired;
h. If the identity or whereabouts of the father are not known, the information about him that has been ascertained and from whom, and the steps that have been taken to establish paternity;
i. Past and present relationship with the other parent;
j.
  1. Other information about the parent, where available:
  2. Health, including any known learning difficulties or known general medical or mental health factors which are likely to have, or may have, genetic implications;
  3. Religious persuasion;
  4. Educational history;
  5. Employment history; and
  6. Personality and interests.
k. Any other relevant information which might assist the court.

Part 2: Relationships, Contact Arrangements and Views

The Child

  1. If the child is in the care of a local authority or voluntary organisation, or has been, details (including dates) of any placements with foster parents, or other arrangements in respect of the care of the child, including particulars of the persons with whom the child has had his home and observations on the care provided;
  2. The child's wishes and feelings (if appropriate, having regard to the child's age and understanding) about adoption, the application and its consequences, including any wishes in respect of religious and cultural upbringing;
  3. The child's wishes and feelings in relation to contact (if appropriate, having regard to the child's age and understanding);
  4. The child's wishes and feelings recorded in any other proceedings;
  5. Date when the child's views were last ascertained.

The Child's Parents (or Guardian) and Relatives

a. The parents' wishes and feelings before the placement, about the placement and about adoption, the application and its consequences, including any wishes in respect of the child's religious and cultural upbringing;
b. Each parent's (or guardian's) wishes and feelings in relation to contact;
c. Date/s when the views of each parent or guardian were last ascertained;
d.

Arrangements concerning any siblings, including half-siblings and step-siblings, and whether any are the subject of a parallel application or have been the subject of any orders. If so, for each case give:

  1. The name of the court;
  2. The order made, or (if proceedings are pending) the order applied for; and
  3. The date of order, or date of next hearing if proceedings are pending.
e. Extent of contact with the child's mother and father and, in each case, the nature of the relationship enjoyed.
f.

The relationship which the child has with relatives, and with any other person considered relevant, including:

  1. The likelihood of any such relationship continuing and the value to the child of its doing so; and
  2. The ability and willingness of any of the child's relatives, or of any such person, to provide the child with a secure environment in which the child can develop, and otherwise to meet the child's needs.
g. The wishes and feelings of any of the child's relatives, or of any such person, regarding the child;
h. Whether the parents (or members of the child's family) have met or are likely to meet the prospective adopter and, if they have met, the effect on all involved of such meeting;
i. Dates when the views of members of the child's wider family and any other relevant person were last ascertained.

Part 3: A summary of the actions of the adoption agency

  1. Brief account of the agency's actions in the case, with particulars and dates of all written information and notices given to the child and his parents and any person with parental responsibility;
  2. If consent has been given for the child to be placed for adoption, and also consent for the child to be adopted, the names of those who gave consent and the date such consents were given. If such consents were subsequently withdrawn, the dates of these withdrawals;
  3. If any statement has been made under section 20(4)(a) of the Adoption and Children Act 2002 (the "2002 Act") that a parent or guardian does not wish to be informed of any application for an adoption order, the names of those who have made such statements and the dates the statements were made. If such statements were subsequently withdrawn, the dates of these withdrawals;
  4. Whether an order has been made under section 21 of the 2002 Act, section 18 of the Adoption (Scotland) Act 1978 or Article 17(1) or 18(1) of the Northern Ireland Order 1987;
  5. Details of the support and advice given to the parents and any services offered or taken up;
  6. If the father does not have parental responsibility, details of the steps taken to inform him of the application for an adoption order;
  7. Brief details and dates of assessments of the child's needs, including expert opinions;
  8. Reasons for considering that adoption would be in the child's best interests (with date of relevant decision and reasons for any delay in implementing the decision).

Section C: The Prospective Adopter of the Child

Where the child has been placed for adoption by the agency with approved prospective adopters this section should be completed by the adoption social worker.

Part 1: Information about the Prospective Adopter, including suitability to adopt

a. Name, date and place of birth and address (date on which last address was confirmed current) including local authority area;
b. Photograph and physical description;
c. Whether the prospective adopter is domiciled or habitually resident in a part of the British Islands and, if habitually resident, for how long they have been habitually resident;
d. Racial origin and cultural and linguistic background;
e. Marital status or civil partnership status, date and place of most recent marriage (if any) or civil partnership (if any);
f. Details of any previous marriage, civil partnership, or relationship where the prospective adopter lived with another person as a partner in an enduring family relationship;
g. Relationship (if any) to the child;
h. Where adopters wish to adopt as a couple, the status of the relationship and an assessment of the stability and permanence of their relationship;
i. If a married person or a civil partner is applying alone, the reasons for this;
j. Description of how the prospective adopter relates to adults and children;
k. Previous experience of caring for children (including as a step-parent, foster parent, child-minder or prospective adopter) and assessment of ability in this respect, together where appropriate with assessment of ability in bringing up the prospective adopter's own children;
l. A summary, written by the agency's medical adviser, of the prospective adopter's health history, current state of health and any need for health care which is anticipated, and date of most recent medical examination;
m. Assessment of ability and suitability to bring up the child throughout his childhood;
n. Details of income and comments on the living standards of the household with particulars of the home and living conditions (and particulars of any home where the prospective adopter proposes to live with the child, if different);
o. Details of other members of the household, including any children of the prospective adopter even if not resident in the household;
p. Details of the parents and any siblings of the prospective adopter, with their ages or ages at death;
q.

Other information about the prospective adopter:

  1. Religious persuasion;
  2. Educational history;
  3. Employment history; and
  4. Personality and interests.
r. Confirmation that the applicants have not been convicted of, or cautioned for, a specified offence within the meaning of regulation 23(3) of the Adoption Agencies Regulations 2005 (S.I. 2005/389);
s. Confirmation that the prospective adopter is still approved;
t. Confirmation that any referees have been interviewed, with a report of their views and opinion of the weight to be placed therein and whether they are still valid;
u. Details of any previous family court proceedings in which the prospective adopter has been involved (which have not been referred to elsewhere in this report.)

Part 2: Wishes, Views and Contact Arrangements

Prospective Adopter

  1. Whether the prospective adopter is willing to follow any wishes of the child or his parents or guardian in respect of the child's religious and cultural upbringing;
  2. The views of other members of the prospective adopter's household and wider family in relation to the proposed adoption;
  3. Reasons for the prospective adopter wishing to adopt the child and extent of understanding of the nature and effect of adoption. Whether the prospective adopter has discussed adoption with the child;
  4. Any hope and expectations the prospective adopter has for the child's future;
  5. The prospective adopter's wishes and feelings in relation to contact.

Part 3: Actions of the adoption agency

  1. Brief account of the Agency's actions in the case, with particulars and dates of all written information and notices given to the prospective adopter;
  2. The Agency's proposals for contact, including options for facilitating or achieving any indirect contact or direct contact;
  3. The Agency's opinion on the likely effect on the prospective adopter and on the security of the placement of any proposed contact;
  4. Where the prospective adopter has been approved by an agency as suitable to be an adoptive parent, the agency's reasons for considering that the prospective adopter is suitable to be an adoptive parent for this child (with dates of relevant decisions).

Section D: The Placement

  1. Where the child was placed for adoption by an adoption agency (section 18 of the 2002 Act), the date and circumstances of the child's placement with prospective adopter;
  2. Where the child is living with persons who have applied for the adoption order to be made (section 44 of the 2002 Act), the date when notice of intention to adopt was given;
  3. Where the placement is being provided with adoption support, this should be summarised and should include the plan and timescales for continuing the support beyond the making of the adoption order;
  4. Where the placement is not being provided with adoption support, the reasons why;
  5. A summary of the information obtained from the Agency's visits and reviews of the placement, including whether the child has been seen separately to the prospective adopter and whether there has been sufficient opportunity to see the family group and the child's interaction in the home environment;
  6. An assessment of the child's integration within the family of the prospective adopter and the likelihood of the child's full integration into the family and community;
  7. Any other relevant information that might assist the court.

Section E: Recommendations

  1. The relative merits of adoption and other orders with an assessment of whether the child's long term interests would be best met by an adoption order or by other orders (such as residence and special guardianship orders);
  2. Recommendations as to whether or not the order sought should be made (and, if not, alternative proposals);
  3. Recommendations as to whether there should be future contact arrangements (or not).


2. Placement Order Applications

In writing this report the social worker should be mindful of the multiple audiences it is intended for. Initially it will be read by the agency decision maker to facilitate the making of the Should Be Placed for Adoption Decision, followed by the Courts who will determine care and Placement Order applications; the Family Finding social worker who will be responsible for identifying a suitable adoptive family for the child; the prospective adopters considering the child for inclusion into their family and once adult, the child themselves who has a legal right to access records held by the adoption agency. Care should therefore be taken with third party information and advice should be sought from legal services if necessary. The author of the report should also access the guidance to the report. The relevant section of the guidance is indicated in brackets under the section headings. The CoramBAAF booklet Completing a Child’s Permanence Report will be a helpful aid.

The social worker who knows the child best should compile the CPR provided they meet the requirements of the Restriction on the Preparation of Adoption Reports Regulations 2005 or be supervised by a prescribed person under the Act.

The report has 3 sections:

Section A: The Report and Matters for the Proceedings
  This is a checklist sheet which is needed for the Annex B report (The placement Order Application)
Section B: The Child and the Birth Family
  This is the CPR and includes factual information on the child and birth family. Factual and key information on the significant people in the child’s life; a descriptive report on the child, details about current and proposed contact arrangements, views of all relevant parties about the plan for adoption and the actions of the adoption agency.
Section C: Recommendations


Section A: The Report and Matters for the Proceedings

Section A - The Report

  • Checklist for the CPR/Annex B report;
  • Name, DOB and photograph of child with date it was taken;
  • Genogram.

2. Adoption agency details

For each of the principal author/s of the report:

  • Name, address and telephone number of agency;
  • Adoption agency case reference number;
  • Name, address, telephone number and email address of social worker;
  • Social worker's signature;
  • Qualifications and experience;
  • Details of qualified person who supervised the report including, name, signature address, telephone number and email address, name, address, telephone number and email address of family finder;
  • Dates reports are completed and updated;
  • Date of agency decision that child should be placed for adoption;
  • Date of care order/placement order or any other orders made.

Section B: The Child and the Birth Family

3i. Essential Information about the Child

  • Name, date and place of birth and address including local authority area;
  • Nationality;
  • Sex;
  • Current address;
  • Local authority area of this address.

4. Details of current carer

  • Name of person at this address and who the main carer is;
  • Relationship/status of this person to the child;
  • Telephone number and email address.

5. Family Composition

This section should include birth parents, other family members, significant adults and other children and should specify the relationship to the child. It should include full names, dates of birth and current addresses. For siblings note whether they are full or half siblings, maternal or paternal and whether they live with the child.

6. Legal status of child

  • Details Type, date and court where any orders have been made;
  • Details of orders applied for but not yet granted including date of application;
  • Date of final hearing;
  • Details of parties to the proceedings;
  • Details as to whether the child is accommodated under S20 or 59(1) of the Children Act 1989;
  • Details of any formal advanced consent to the placement of the child for adoption and the making of the order. This should include whether the consent has been witnessed by a CAFCASS officer;
  • Date where a parent or guardian has indicated that they do not wish to be informed of an adoption order application, under section 20(4)(a) and the date if this was subsequently withdrawn;
  • Details of any rights or claims the child has under section 30 of the Fatal Accidents Acts 1976 or any other rights to or interest in property which they may lose or gain if an adoption order is made.

7. CAFCASS Guardian’s name, their provisional views on whether adoption would be an appropriate plan if a care order is made, and the date they were given

8. Chronology of child’s care since birth

This should detail all moves the child has experienced including hospital admissions and any periods of respite care. This should include the age of the child at each move, the dates of the move, and the reason for the move. The placement details must also be given and should include the name of the parent/carer and observations on the care provided.

9. Descriptive and evaluative report on the child

This section will be particularly important to prospective adopters who may be considering the child. This section should include:
  • Where evidence has been drawn from reports from other professionals the name of the report, the author of the report, their professional position and the date of the report must be listed. Where expert witness reports are to be filed with the court e.g. psychiatric or psychological assessments, the reports should be forwarded to Adoption Business Support as the Agency Decision Maker will need to view them when determining whether a Should Be Placed for Adoption decision should be made in respect of the child;
  • Physical Description of the child;
  • Description and evaluation of the Child’s personality;
  • Description and evaluation of the child’s interests and dislikes;
  • Description and evaluation of the child’s self-care skills;
  • Description and evaluation of the child’s emotional, behavioural and social development;
  • Description and evaluation regarding the child’s identity;
  • Description and evaluation regarding the child’s religion;
  • Information regarding the child’s first language and any other languages the child uses in daily living;
  • Description and evaluation of the child’s health.

10. Summary report form the agency medical adviser

This should be inserted or attached.

11. The child’s education

  • All school placements, including playgroup and nursery should be included. The dates attended, the provider and their address and the type of educational provision should be listed;
  • A summary and evaluation of the child’s educational progress and needs.

12. Summary of relevant family history and the child’s history

Care needs to be taken in this section to ensure only relevant information is provided, Copy and paste of visit records should not be used.

  • Summary account of relevant family history. i.e. That which is relevant to the SHOBPA and placement order application;
  • Summary account of the child’s history from their birth to present time (including prenatal experience) and how this led to them becoming looked after. Care should be taken that where dates are quoted they are consistent with any dates that appear in any other part of the report e.g. genogram’, chronologies of care, actions and decisions of the local authority, sibling and birth parent information sections.

13. Social worker’s analysis of the child’s needs and the implications for their future placement

This section will be particularly important for the family finding social worker and prospective adopters so should be comprehensively completed.

14. Child’s wishes and feelings about adoption

Social workers should be obtaining the wishes and feelings of all children aged 2.

  • Date when the child’s views were last ascertained;
  • Social worker’s analysis of the wishes and feelings of the child;
  • Any further relevant information.

15. The child’s birth mother. This should include details of:

  • Surname;
  • First names;
  • Confirmation as to whether these were the names used at the time of the child’s birth and if not details of the names used;
  • Details of other names used including familiar names;
  • Date and place of birth;
  • Nationality and immigration status;
  • Racial origin, cultural and linguistic background;
  • Current address and the date this was last confirmed;
  • Local authority area;
  • A recent good quality photograph should be inserted or attached and the date it was taken. Reasons should be provided where a photograph is not available;
  • Brief description of the birth mother;
  • Brief description of the birth mother’s personality and interests;
  • Brief details of the birth mother’s education history;
  • Details of the birth mother’s current occupation or profession;
  • Brief details of the birth mother’s employment history;
  • Brief description of the home and neighbourhood where the birth mother lives;
  • Brief summary of any relevant health factors.

16. Details of birth mother’s current partner if they are not the child’s birth father

This should include:

  • First names;
  • Surname;
  • Other names including familiar names;
  • Sex;
  • Occupation or profession;
  • Status and length of relationship with birth mother (married, civil partnership, cohabiting), including relevant dates.

17. Summary and brief social history of the birth mother

This should include the date where known (the year or age of birth mother at the time.). Details provided should be of significant events from birth. E.g. details of parents or carers, places of residence, education, bereavements or loss, major illness’ significant relationships including previous marriages or civil partnerships. Please be aware that this information will be shared with parties to the proceedings. Care should be taken with third party information and legal advice sought if necessary.

18. Birth father with parental responsibility (PR)

This should include details of:

  • How the birth father acquired PR;
  • Whether he knows of the plan to place the child for adoption;
  • Details of any advance consent to the placement of the child for adoption and the making of an adoption order and whether this has been witnessed by a CAFCASS officer;
  • Where advance consent has not been given details as to whether the agency has decided that it is appropriate to counsel and advise him and whether there is any ongoing contact with him directly or through another agency.

19. Birth Father without Parental Responsibility

This should include details of:

  • Whether the identity of the birth father without PR is known to the agency;
  • Whether paternity has been confirmed;
  • How paternity was confirmed;
  • Whether anyone else is claiming paternity of the child and their brief details;
  • Whether the birth father without PR knows of the child and the contact the agency has had with him.

Where the birth father without PR does know of the child details of steps taken by the agency to counsel and advise him should be included. Reasons where a decision has been made not to do this should be included. Details of whether there is ongoing contact with him directly or through another agency should be recorded here also.

  • Details as to whether he intends to apply for PR for the child or for a contact or child arrangements order. If yes the details should be recorded.

20. The child’s birth father

This should include details of:

  • Surname;
  • First names;
  • Confirmation as to whether these were the names used at the time of the child’s birth and if not details of the names used;
  • Details of other names used (including familiar names);
  • Date and place of birth;
  • Nationality and immigration status;
  • Racial origin, cultural and linguistic background;
  • Current address and the date this was last confirmed;
  • Local authority area;
  • A recent good quality photograph should be inserted or attached and the date it was taken.

Reasons should be provided where a photograph is not available.

  • Brief description of the birth father;
  • Brief description of the birth father’s personality and interests;
  • Brief details of the birth father’s education history;
  • Details of the birth father’s current occupation or profession;
  • Brief details of the birth father’s employment history;
  • Brief summary of any relevant health factors;
  • Brief description of the home and neighbourhood where the birth mother lives.

21. Relationship between the birth mother and birth father

This should include

  • Details of the status of the relationship at the time of the child’s birth e.g. married/cohabiting, the current status of the relationship e.g. separated, divorced, living apart. Dates should be included;
  • A brief description of the past and current relationship of the birth parents with each other and their views of this.

22. Details of the birth father’s current partner

This should include:

  • First names;
  • Surname;
  • Other names including familiar names;
  • Sex;
  • Occupation or profession;
  • Status and length of relationship with birth mother (married, civil partnership, cohabiting), including relevant dates.

23. Summary and brief social history of the birth father

This should include the date where known (the year or age of birth father at the time. Where exact dates are not known could be used). Details provided should be of significant events from birth. E.g. details of parents or carers, places of residence, education, bereavements or loss, major illness’ significant relationships including previous marriages or civil partnerships. Please be aware that this information will be shared with parties to the proceedings.

24. Child's, siblings

This should be completed separately for each sibling. Details of full and half siblings, maternal and paternal should be included. Information provided should include:

  • Surname;
  • First names;
  • Date of birth;
  • Place of birth;
  • Sex;
  • Ethnicity;
  • Nationality;
  • Birth Mother’s full name;
  • Birth father’s full name;
  • Current carer’s name if this appropriate;
  • Current carers address if this is appropriate. It is customary for foster carer’s addresses to be withheld;
  • Relationship/status of current carer to the child;
  • A recent good quality photograph should be inserted or attached. Reasons should be given if a photograph is not being provided;
  • Date the photograph was taken;
  • Brief descriptive report of the sibling and their personality;
  • The current circumstances and legal status of the sibling;
  • The plan for this sibling. This should include whether a sibling assessment has been completed and whether the sibling is to be placed with the child who is the subject of the CPR or any other sibling;
  • Sibling relationship. This should include information on the nature of the relationship, duration and whether they have live together. A summary of the findings and outcome of any sibling assessment, decisions made about placement and the importance of maintain the relationship should also be provided.

25. Other significant relatives or relevant people

This should include anyone with whom the child has a significant relationship. The information should include:

  • The person’s name;
  • Details of the relationship and significance to the child, including whether they hold PR;
  • Their views of the plan and the date this was obtained.

26. Current contact arrangements for the child

This should list all persons with whom the child has contact:

  • Detail what the current arrangements are;
  • Detail what the child’s experience of the contact is.

27. Proposed contact arrangements for the child

Provide details of what transitional arrangements are planned once the care order/placement order is made.

28. Planned contact arrangements and details after placement and after adoption

  • Detail the proposed arrangements as set out in the care plan setting out the reasons for the plan and how it is considered to meet the child’s needs;
  • Give details of the arrangements for all relevant people to include whether contact is by letterbox or if it is direct. Include frequency, duration, support or supervision requirements and any other relevant details as required.

29. Chronology of the key decisions and actions taken by the agency with respect to the child

This section needs to be specific to the child and may include details of the initial referral to the department, when decisions were made to hold a case conference, the date of the looked after child review where the plan to adopt was confirmed, the date of the agency decision that the child should be placed for adoption. If a placement order is granted this section should be update and may include brief information on family finding activity.

30. Support to the birth mother

This should include:

  • The support services the birth mother has been offered or taken up and details as to whether she has been referred for or received counselling from an independent person in relation to the plan for adoption including;
  • Whether the birth mother has been given opportunity to state her views on the adoption plan for the child, the date when these were last ascertained and a brief description of the outcome and her views. If her views have not been received attempts made to obtain them and reasons for non-completion should be given;
  • State whether the birth mother has been shown relevant sections of the CPR;
  • If yes state the outcome of this. If No reasons should be given;
  • Include any account written by the birth mother herself.
31. Support to Birth father

See above section on support to the birth mother.

32. Ability and Willingness of each parent and other family member or relevant persons to permanently care for the child

A separate summary of the assessment of each person, where this has taken place, should be provided. This should include the assessment findings and the social worker’s analysis of the ability and willingness to provide the child with a secure environment that encourages their full development and meets their needs. Details of the care and legal options that have been explored in relation to each person should be included along with reasons why they have been discounted. The information should include:

  • Name of the parent, other family member or relevant person;
  • Their relationship to the child;
  • A summary of the assessment and social worker’s analysis of their parenting capability, their willingness and ability to provide a secure environment in which the child can develop and how they can meet the child’s needs within the child’s timescale;
  • Assessment and analysis of whether an ongoing relationship with contact should be maintained and the value of this to the child;
  • If it has not been covered elsewhere the wishes and feelings of the parent, other relative or relevant person regarding the plan for the child and the date they were obtained should be provided.

33. Brief details of assessments of the child’s needs, the date this was undertaken and the experts opinion

34. Summary of the reasons for considering that adoption would be in the child’s best interests

This should address all the options that are realistically possible.

  • An analysis of the arguments for and against each option should be provided;
  • Dates of relevant decisions and reasons for any delay in implementing the decision should also be provided;
  • Reasons for why adoption is the preferred and proposed placement option should be provided.

Section C: Recommendations

  1. The relative merits of a placement order and other orders including an assessment of why the child’s long term interests are likely to be best met by adoption rather than any other order;
  2. Recommendations as to whether there should be future contact arrangements (or not). This should include details of whether a contact order under section 26 of the 2002Act should be made.


3. Special Guardianship - Matters to be Dealt with in Report for the Court

1. In respect of the child:

a. Name, sex, date and place of birth and address including local authority area;
b. A photograph and physical description;
c. Nationality (and immigration status where appropriate);
d. racial origin and cultural and linguistic background;
e. Religious persuasion (including details of baptism, confirmation or equivalent ceremonies);
f. Details of any siblings including their dates of birth;
g. The extent of the child's contact with his relatives and any other person the local authority consider relevant;
h. Any harm the child has suffered;
i. Any risk of future harm to the child posed by the child’s parents, relatives or any other person the local authority consider relevant;
j. Whether the child is or has been looked after or is or has been provided with accommodation by a voluntary organisation and details (including dates) of placements by the authority or organisation;
k. Whether the prospective Special Guardian is a local authority foster parent of the child; 
l. A description of the child's personality, his social development and his emotional and behavioural development and any related current or likely future needs;
m. Details of the child's interests, likes and dislikes;
n. A health history and a description of the state of the child's health which shall include any treatment the child is receiving;
o. Names, addresses and types of nurseries or schools attended with dates;
p. The child's educational attainments;
q. Whether the child is subject to a statement of special educational needs; and
r.

Details of any order made by a court with respect to the child under the Act including -

  1. The name of the court;
  2. The order made; and
  3. The date on which the order was made.

2. In respect of the child's family:

a. Name, date and place of birth and address (and the date on which their last address was confirmed) including local authority area of each parent of the child and his siblings under the age of 18;
b. A photograph, if available, and physical description of each parent;
c. Nationality (and immigration status where appropriate) of each parent;
d. Racial origin and cultural and linguistic background of each parent;
e. Whether the child's parents were married to each other at the time of the child's birth or have subsequently married and whether they are divorced or separated;
f. Where the child's parents have been previously married or formed a civil partnership, the date of the marriage or civil partnership;
g. Where the child's parents are not married, whether the father has Parental Responsibility and, if so, how it was acquired;
h. If the identity or whereabouts of the father are not known, the information about him that has been ascertained and from whom, and the steps that have been taken to establish paternity;
i. The past and present relationship of the child's parents;
j.

Where available, the following information in respect of each parent -

  1. Health history, including details of any serious physical or mental illness, any hereditary disease or disorder or disability;
  2. Religious persuasion;
  3. Educational history;
  4. Employment history;
  5. Personality and interests;
k. In respect of the child's siblings under the age of 18-(i) The person with whom the sibling is living;(ii) Whether the sibling is looked after by a local authority or provided with accommodation by a voluntary organisation; and(iii) Details of any court order made with respect to the sibling under the Act, including the name of the court, the order made and the date on which the order was made.

3. In respect of the wishes and feelings of the child and others:

a.

An assessment of the child's wishes and feelings (considered in light of his age and understanding) regarding-

  1. Special Guardianship;
  2. His religious and cultural upbringing; and
  3. Contact with his relatives and any other person the local authority consider relevant, and the date on which the child's wishes and feelings were last ascertained.
b.

The wishes and feelings of each parent regarding-

  1. Special Guardianship;
  2. The child's religious and cultural upbringing; and
  3. contact with the child, and the date on which the wishes and feelings of each parent were last ascertained; and
c. The wishes and feelings of any of the child's relatives, or any other person the local authority consider relevant regarding the child and the dates on which those wishes and feelings were last ascertained.

4. In respect of the prospective Special Guardian or, where two or more persons are jointly prospective Special Guardians, each of them:

a. Name, date and place of birth and address including local authority area;
b. A photograph and physical description;
c. Nationality (and immigration status where appropriate);
d. Racial origin and cultural and linguistic background;
e. If the prospective Special Guardian is-(i) Married, the date and place of marriage;(ii) Has formed a civil partnership, the date and place of registration of the civil partnership; or(iii) Has a partner, details of that relationship;
f. Details of any previous marriage, civil partnership, or relationship,
g. Where the prospective Special Guardians wish to apply jointly, the nature of their relationship and an assessment of the stability of that relationship;
h. If the prospective Special Guardian is a member of a couple and is applying alone for a Special Guardianship Order, the reasons for this;
i. Whether the prospective Special Guardian is a relative of the child;
j. An assessment of the prospective Special Guardian's current and past relationship with the child;
k. A health history of the prospective Special Guardian including details of any serious physical or mental illness, any hereditary disease or disorder or disability;
l. A description of how the prospective Special Guardian relates to adults and children;
m. Previous experience of caring for children;
n.

An assessment of the prospective Special Guardian's parenting capacity including:

  1. Their understanding of, and ability to meet, the child’s current and likely future needs, particularly any needs the child may have arising from harm that the child has suffered;
  2. Their understanding of, and ability to protect the child from, any current or future risk of harm posed by the child’s parents, relatives or any other person the local authority consider relevant, particularly in relation to contact between any such person and the child;
  3. Their ability and suitability to bring up the child until the child reaches the age of eighteen;
o. Where there have been any past assessments as a prospective adopter, foster carer or Special Guardian, relevant details as appropriate;
p. Details of income and expenditure;
q. Information about the prospective Special Guardian's home and the neighbourhood in which he lives;
r. Details of other members of the household and details of any children of the prospective Special Guardian even if not resident in the household;
s. Details of the parents and any siblings of the prospective Special Guardian, with their ages or ages at death;
t. The following information -
  1. Religious persuasion;
  2. Educational history;
  3. Employment history; and
  4. Personality and interests;
u. Details of any previous family court proceedings in which the prospective special guardian has been involved (which have not been referred to elsewhere in the report);
v. A report of each of the interviews with the three persons nominated by the prospective Special Guardian to provide personal references for him;
w. Whether the prospective Special Guardian is willing to follow any wishes of the child or his parents in respect of the child's religious and cultural upbringing;
x. The views of other members of the prospective Special Guardian's household and wider family in relation to the proposed Special Guardianship Order;
y. An assessment of the child's current and future relationship with the family of the prospective Special Guardian;
z. Reasons for applying for a Special Guardianship Order and extent of understanding of the nature and effect of Special Guardianship and whether the prospective Special Guardian has discussed Special Guardianship with the child;
aa. any hopes and expectations the prospective Special Guardian has for the child's future; and
bb. the prospective Special Guardian's wishes and feelings in relation to contact between the child and his relatives or any other person the local authority considers relevant.

5. In respect of the local authority completing the report:

  1. Name and address;
  2. Details of any past involvement of the local authority with the prospective special guardian, including any past preparation for that person to be a local authority foster carer or adoptive parent or Special Guardian;
  3. Where the prospective Special Guardian lives in the area of another local authority, details of the local authority's enquiries of that other local authority about the prospective Special Guardian;
  4. A summary of any Special Guardianship support services provided by the authority for the prospective Special Guardian, the child or the child's parent and the period for which those services are to be provided; and
  5. Where the local authority has decided not to provide Special Guardianship support services, the reasons why.

6. A summary prepared by the medical professional who provided the information referred to in paragraphs 1(l) and 4(k).

7. The implications of the making of a Special Guardianship Order for -

  1. The child;
  2. The child's parent;
  3. The prospective Special Guardian and his family; and
  4. Any other person the local authority considers relevant.

8. The relative merits of Special Guardianship and other orders which may be made under the Act or the Adoption and Children Act 2002 with an assessment of whether the child's long term interests would be best met by a Special Guardianship Order.

9. A recommendation as to whether or not the Special Guardianship Order sought should be made in respect of the child and, if not, any alternative proposal in respect of the child.

10. A recommendation as to what arrangements there should be for contact between the child and his relatives or any person the local authority consider relevant.

End