Did You Know??

Adoption Leave
14 March 2014
The new Children and Families Act – given royal assent yesterday – will ensure vital changes to the adoption system can be put into practice, meaning more children who need loving homes are placed with adopters faster.

New legal provisions include allowing approved adopters to search the Adoption Register of children waiting to be adopted.

The Act will also help adopters to better balance their work and home life with the following measures:
  • from April 2015, adopters can opt to share parental leave around their child’s placement.
  • adoption leave and pay will reflect entitlements available to birth parents from April 2015 – no qualifying period for leave; enhanced pay to 90% of salary for the first 6 weeks; and time off to attend introductory appointments. Intended parents in surrogacy and ‘foster to adopt’ arrangements will also qualify for adoption leave and pay.
  • extending the right to request flexible working to all employees from 30 June 2014.
  • replacing the current statutory procedure, through which employers consider flexible working requests, with a duty on employers to consider with requests in a ‘reasonable’ manner.

Adoption Passport
From May 2013, adopters will be able to see exactly what support is available for them and their child with the new ‘Adoption passport: a support guide for adopters’

The passport sets out the support services adopters can expect from local authorities. It coincides with research published today, which shows access to adoption support varies across local authorities.

This is from the First 4 Adoption website:

Children adopted from care can have ongoing needs and you and your child may benefit from post-adoption support. Our adoption passport guides you through the services available to you.

You are entitled to an assessment of your needs at any time and all adopters are also entitled to:
  • priority access to schools
  • Pupil Premium – an additional £1900 for state-funded schools to help meet each adopted child’s needs.
  • a summary of your child’s health from your Local Authority’s medical adviser
  • a ‘life-story’ book to help your child understand their early life
  • request an assessment of your child’s special educational needs
If you have adopted a child in England you may also be entitled to:
DBS Checks
In the UK - You can track the progress of your Enhanced DBS application here https://secure.crbonline.gov.uk/enquiry/enquirySearch.do

It goes through 4 stages, the last being local police checks. If you have a panel date, you can ask for the DBS agency to send a reminder through after it's been with the police for 28 days, otherwise it's 60.

If you have lived outside of the UK at any point since birth, you may be required to complete a DBS equivalent for that country. You should start this as soon as possible because some countries can take a while to get through the process. Incidentally, the Criminal Records Bureau are of NO help whatsover in trying to find out what each country may need. This website is a good starting point.
For anyone needing to know what you need to do for Ireland - see this post.

Plan for Tackling Delay
The Government have set out plans to speed up the adoption system in England. An Action Plan for Adoption: Tackling Delay explains the proposed changes.

Adoption is one of the Government’s top priorities. Ministers want to create a more effective and user-friendly adoption system - a system which is truly fit for purpose. They are determined to ensure that adoption is available for children where this is in their best interests, and they want it to happen without undue delay. The action plan sets out a range of proposals to speed up the process for children; to overhaul the service for prospective adopters; and to strengthen local accountability for the timeliness of adoption services. More details available here.----------------------------------------------------------------------
Adoption Equalisation Bill
On 29 June 2011, a bill was introduced to make provision to equalise leave, pay and allowance arrangements for adoptive parents with those of parents whose children are born to them; to equalise eligibility for adoption leave and pay with that of maternity leave and pay; to equalise the rates of pay for the first six weeks of maternity leave and adoption leave; to equalise the entitlement to allowances for self-employed adopters and self-employed mothers; and for connected purposes. Follow the progress here..
Private Nursery Costs
Nurseries attached to Private Schools can cost no more than LA nurseries and can give your adoptive child that bit of extra support and attention they need when starting out.

I calculated the costs for attending the independent nursery near me, would equate to approx £650 a term full time with the 15hr a week allowance taken into consideration, which for the area is no more than a state run nursery - yet the child would benefit from smaller classes and they have special needs support. Why wouldn't you!?

1 comment:

  1. Hey, hope you're ok. Sorry to have read about the lack of cooperation from your agency. As you say, they roughly knew your circumstances, when deciding to assess you. Hope you're journey will continue in a more positive vein. x

    Anyhow, re. CRB - not all LAs insist on a CRB check from countries you lived in when you were under 18/21. I don't know about VAs.

    Nikki x