Timescales in Fostering to Adopt

(13 Posts)
Choccyjules Wed 19-Mar-14 13:44:14

Have been trying to find out about timing between each of the legal stages in FTA, due in no small part to Adoption Leave not kicking in until the Placement Order is granted (until 2015...)

Does anyone (adopter or SW) know how long an LA will take to look at birth parent/ birth family options between a baby being placed on a FTA basis and the placement order coming through?

I know baby has to be 6 weeks old before legally considered to be for adoption. I also know baby has to be 19 weeks old and have lived with the intended adoptive parents for 13 weeks before a final Adoption Order can be granted (and assume this rarely happens so early).

It's the bit inbetween which is hazy. We need to know how long my employers would need to agree to special unpaid leave before Adoption Leave starts.

Thanks for any clarification! I know this is new for agencies. The Coram/BAAF guidance doesn't mention the timing.

Middlesexmummy Wed 19-Mar-14 15:04:40

Hi Choccy
How long is a piece of string .... I'm afraid that although there is something about the length of a care order not going past a set time our lo was technically in care 10 months before the po came through . I'm going to try and break it down so that you have an idea of our time scales although this may not be typical and others may have a different tale
April 12: lo born and taken into FC
July ; court decides upon an assessment of bm
August : we complete panel and are approached about Sept assessment breakdown and that afternoon lo placed
Sw s expect that a po order will be granted at the next hearing set a few weeks later but sadly not , further assessment s granted
Feb13 : placement order granted and adoption leave kicked in
August 13 : adoption order granted
Hope that helps .....

Choccyjules Wed 19-Mar-14 18:56:59

Eek, that was a long piece of string wink

Thanks for sharing yr timeline, very helpful!

OurMiracle1106 Wed 19-Mar-14 19:03:57

My ds was 11 months from being fostered to placement but each case is different

Middlesexmummy Wed 19-Mar-14 19:28:29

Just to say that between the time when dd was places with us to po took 4 months . I wasn't entitled to any adoption leave at that point but my work were v flexible and when dd went to contact for example I d make sure that I was at home. Once the po came through then adoption leave kicks in but I didn't take any as my work only offered statutory adoption leave but that's a whole other thread ... Choccy , the rewards are huge , I don't regret it for one minute and I really believe that any ss worth it's salt will not place a child with u unless they truly believe that the po is on the horizon.

Middlesexmummy Wed 19-Mar-14 19:29:54

Just to say that between the time when dd was places with us to po took 4 months . I wasn't entitled to any adoption leave at that point but my work were v flexible and when dd went to contact for example I d make sure that I was at home. Once the po came through then adoption leave kicks in but I didn't take any as my work only offered statutory adoption leave but that's a whole other thread ... Choccy , the rewards are huge , I don't regret it for one minute and I really believe that any ss worth it's salt will not place a child with u unless they truly believe that the po is on the horizon.

tea4two4three Wed 19-Mar-14 20:17:41

There is new legislaition coming in/newly in place(?) which says PO has to be completed within 26 weeks, so 6.5 months. However we've been warned it doesn't always work like that when unknown birth relatives pop up and things have to be put on hold. However legislation is legislation so I'm not sure how they are going to play that one.

Choccyjules Wed 19-Mar-14 22:30:23

Thanks all smile

floatyjosmum Thu 20-Mar-14 21:58:59

Legislation is already in place to day care proceedings should be concluded in 26 weeks.
Remember through if birth parents agree for the baby to be accommodated initially prior to goin court that may add a couple of weeks on

Courts should only allow it to over 26 weeks in special circumstances however some judges don't want it to go to appeal etc.

JustSumBloke Thu 20-Mar-14 22:34:29

We're in the middle of FTA. Your employers will need to be generous as the timescales can be quite long. During this period your not entitled to statutory payments (as a foster carer), so in my case I am working and when the adoption order is granted i'll be taking time off on adoption leave. You'll get paid the lowest rate for fostering during this period from your LA, so that may be enough to get you by.

Ultimately the length of time will be dependent upon if BP contests proceedings. If the baby is relinquished it should be quicker.

Choccyjules Fri 21-Mar-14 18:55:50

floatyjosmum which stage are you saying needs to be completed in 26 weeks, please?

justsumbloke have no idea what fostering rates are as it seems a bit rude to ask, however I suppose we need to know to be able to make a decision if asked to do FTA. Did the child come to you at a very young age, can I ask?

floatyjosmum Sat 22-Mar-14 22:11:42

the care proceedings - from first hearing to the final hearing should be no more than 26 weeks. they do sometimes go over but arent meant to.

Relinquished babies cant be placed with adopters until 6 weeks as this is the earliest that birth parents can sign the paperwork however the cafcass side can delay this considerably.

a child has to be in an adoptive 10 weeks before the adoption order can be applied for - for foster to adopt this is from the date that is agreed once they have gained a placement order.

fostering allowances to range between local authorities however bear in mind that you may not be entitled to adoption leave and pay form your employer as they wont have employed you for however long you are fostering. they are looking at changing employment law to fit with it

Super6 Fri 25-Apr-14 17:47:57

We're fostering to adopt and have contacted BAAF for advice. They said that
" the relevant section of the Adoption and Children Act is 42(2). The only requirement is the child has to have lived with you for 10 continuous weeks, there is nothing in the act that states that the 10 weeks starts from the formal Adoption Placement although many LAs have interpreted this in this way. Many local authorities request applicants to follow their own policy and procedure which may have further stipulations but this is not a legal stance, often they will apply this to ensure that adoption support etc has been formally agreed before any application is made. The application is yours to make and in actual fact you can make it without their agreement although this does not show good partnership approach. You may want to check with the local family law courts as it would be them who would accept your application.
www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2002/38/section/42"

So a child has to be with you for 10 weeks before you can apply for the adoption Order but this can include the period of fostering. For us this meant that the application for AO could be submitted as soon as we'd been to panel and officially matched as he'd been with us for 5 months by then. It also meant my leave could change from unpaid to adoption. It might help to know that our fostering allowance was £130/week.

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