Panel Papers


This chapter was reviewed in September 2022 and should be re-read in full.

1. Prospective Adopters Report

  1. Need photograph and physical description;
  2. Specifically need to address issues about achieving a balance between employment and child care;
  3. Need to address:
    • How the applicant will meet the child's emotional and behavioural needs;
    • How the applicant will share a child's history and associated emotional issues;
    • How the applicant will help a child manage loss and trauma.
  4. Need to check the Par has answered the following:
    • Reasons for adopting;
    • Views and feelings about adoption;
    • Parenting capacity;
    • Their understanding of Parental responsibility and what it means;
    • Adopters view on a suitable home environment;
    • Views about education;
    • Views about identity, religion and cultural upbringing;
    • Views and feelings about contact;
    • Views of other members of household and wider family in relation to adoption;
    • Views of preparation course.

(Responsibility - Assessing Social Worker)

N.B. Copies ONLY - original documents MUST remain with the Family Placement Team

1 set of papers altogether is sent to panel office electronically - as listed below:

1 sets of papers, each containing:

  • Front sheet containing all identifying information about the applicant(s);
  • CoramBAAF Adopters Assessment Report F Part I and Part II, signed by the social worker, their manager and the applicants. The assessing social worker should ensure that the information contained within the body of the Adopters Assessment Report is current and up-to-date. Any changes should be noted in an addendum which is signed and dated;
  • Copies of applicant's life chronology;
  • Copies of applicant's financial statements;
  • Copies if assessment and prospective adopter's needs for adoption support services to include assessment of financial needs from CSF finance department;
  • References:
    • Written references from couple's employers;
    • Written reports on three personal referees, not more than one can be a family member (free flowing narrative);
    • Local authority check for first and second approval applications;
    • Copies of the Personal Reference Interview form completed by the social worker with at least 2 referees;
    • Relative reference completed by social worker using Personal Reference Interview Form;
    • Ex-partner's reference and any other adult children;
    • Child's Permanence Report completed.
  • DBS checks;
  • Personal Profiles - individual or family, compiled by the applicants and must be non-identifying;
  • School reports on any child(ren) aged 4+ in the family, completed within the last 4 months;
  • Health Visitor's report on any child(ren) aged 0-4, already in the family and completed within the last 4 months;
  • Medical Adviser's written summary on each applicant;
  • Dog ownership questionnaire - if appropriate;
  • Health and Safety checklist (Form A7 from The Fostering Network);
  • Details of second opinion visits if required;
  • Photographs - signed and dated on the back.

For the medical adviser, 1 set of papers with all the above information plus the full medical reports. This to be clearly marked medical adviser.

For Chair's papers only:

  • Copies of any adverse reports from DBS, etc. or local authority checks. Clear references are noted on the Child's Permanence Report F.


These papers should be with the Adoption Panel Administrator at least 10 working days before panel is due to meet. They are then distributed electronically to Panel Members allowing them time to read the papers.

2. Panel Papers Required by Adoption Panels Considering Matching

The following papers need to be with the Adoption Agency Administrator at least 10 working days before the Panel is due to meet.

1 set of children's permanence reports;

Matches - CSW


Children’s ADM Decision Sheet (supplied by panel team)

Updated Child’s Permanence Report

Foster Carer’s report

Health Visitor’s Report

Mother and Baby Forms (MB)

Parental Health forms (PH)

Full IHA for child

RHAs: 6 monthly for a child under 5 years/ 12 monthly for a child over 5 years.

Consent forms

1 set of adopter's assessment reports; including Approval Profile Form;

Matches – Adoption Teams


Minutes from Approval Panel (to be supplied by Panel team)


Family Finding Linking/Selection/APR Form/PR Checklist

Proposed Adoption Support Plan

Matching Agreement

Letter that the Medical Adviser for the child provides to the prospective Adopters

One copy of the information set out below needs to be submitted to panel electronically in the order outlined above for uploading onto Modern.Gov for distribution to panel members:

  • Children's permanence reports;
  • Adopter's assessment reports; including Approval Profile Form;
  • PLUS, recent photo of the child and the adopters;
  • Adoption Placement Report;
  • Child's nursery or school report, completed or updated within the last 6 months;
  • Written comments from the adopters regarding the proposed match (to be written either by the adopters or their social workers) including comments about child care arrangements;
  • Proposed Adoption Support Plan - (Responsibility - Adopter's Social Worker);
  • Child/ children Adoption Panel minutes - usually held by Panel Administration (Responsibility - Adopter's Social Worker);
  • Summary of family finding endeavours (if appropriate);
  • Summary of medicals (completed and updated within the last six months - child under 5 or within 12 months for a child over 5) (Responsibility - child's Social Worker);
  • Summary medicals for the child (completed or updated within the last 12 months. for a child up to the age of 5 or within the last 12 months or a child over the age of 5 (Responsibility - Child's Social Worker);
  • Placement order or consent witnessed by CAFCASS, if available, the adopter's book for the child and relevant life story book for the children, plus any children participation material. This is as relevant for a relinquished baby;
  • CSF3975 The Matching Agreement;
  • CSF4218 Sibling Relationship Checklist, if relevant;
  • CSF4161 Assessment of Child's Need for Adoption Support.

Please Note

  • DBS checks must be completed within the last 2 years;
  • Copies only - original documents must remain with the Operational/ Adoption Teams;
  • The body of the Permanence and Adopters Assessment Report need to be checked to see that it is current and up-to-date. Any changes should be noted in an addendum which is dated, signed and needs to be with the panel administrator 10 working days before the Panel date. If there are significant amendments these must be added to the body of the report;
  • Child's social worker, the manager of the child's social worker, the adopter's social worker and the family finder social worker the adopter's book about themselves, to be used to prepare the child for their new family.

3. Panel Papers Required by Adoption Panels/Agency Decision Maker Considering the Adoption of a Child

1. Papers Required by Adoption Panels/Agency Decision Maker Considering the Adoption of a Child

See Guidelines for Papers and Reports for ADM Decision.

CS0272 Papers and Reports Required for ADM Decision are available on the Intranet.

2. Adoption Panel for the Relinquished Child

(Responsibility - Social Worker for the child)

The author of the Child's Permanence Report should attend Panel (where applicable) along with his/her Team Manager.

Based on a full consideration of the papers and discussion the Adoption Panel will recommend:

  • Whether or not adoption is the appropriate plan;
  • Issues of adoption support services;
  • On occasion, the Panel may defer making a decision until more information about the child or birth family is obtained;
  • Should amendments be required on child's report, they must be completed before a child can be considered for matching. The fact that there is an update of addendum (dated) must be clearly noted on the front of the Child's Permanence Report and the original CPR amended within the body of the Report;
  • Recent case law must be taken into consideration when a child is presented to adoption panel; P (A child) (2008) EWCA Civ 535 and Re B (2008) EWCA Civ 835. The pertinent points raised by these judgments are summarised below.

3. Information for Agency Decision Maker

Where there are ongoing care proceedings, the Agency Decision Maker cannot make his or her decision as to whether a child should be placed for adoption, until the expert reports and local authority assessments (or accurate summaries) in the care proceedings are available. (Re B).

A local authority adoption agency cannot apply for a placement order until the Agency Decision Maker has made a decision that the child should be placed for adoption. (Re p - B).

The local authority adoption agency is required to apply for a placement order within care proceedings if the permanence plan for a child includes adoption (ACA section 22). However, the agency decision is not limited to adoption. It can be for dual planning i.e. adoption or fostering. (Re P).