Berkshire Safeguarding Children Board Procedures
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1.3.6 Protocols and Guidance for Relinquished Baby Cases

SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER

This chapter covers referrals for request to relinquish a baby both pre and post birth.

RELEVANT CHAPTERS LEGISLATION / GUIDANCE

Children Act 1989

The BAAF

Berkshire LSCB Child Protection Procedures

AMENDMENT

In January 2017 this protocol was revised to set out that “referrals for request to relinquish a baby will be accepted at 16 -18 weeks”.


Contents

  1. Cases Referred at a Pre Birth Stage
  2. Cases Referred at Post Birth Stage


1. Cases Referred at a Pre Birth Stage

Referrals for request to relinquish a baby will be accepted at 16-18 weeks. Once a referral is received from either the Hospital Midwifery Service or the birth mother directly the case will be allocated to a social worker at the Hospital Team Ward 24, Wexham Park Hospital, Slough.

The hospital social worker will conduct a visit for the completion of the Child and Family Assessment, under s17 of Children Act 1989, to gather information of parent's wish to relinquish the baby and family circumstances.

The social worker will explore the following issues:

  • Reasons for relinquishing;
  • Circumstances of conception;
  • Information about the birth father;
  • Details of any extended family support and networks;
  • Genogram/ information on maternal and paternal extended family- as far as possible;
  • Evidence of discussion around services that could be offered to prevent separation;
  • Clarity around parents status in Britain, immigration issues and ability to claim benefits;
  • Clarity around any mental health or mental capacity issues which could impact on the ability to make informed plans and give consent.

Also, during this first meeting it is important for the social worker to obtain copies of the parents identification e.g. passports, driving license or birth certificate.

The BAAF leaflet "Pregnant and thinking about adoption" should be provided at this first meeting with birth parent(s). Other leaflets are available for use later in the process "Information for parents about Adoption and the certificate of receipt".

Adoption and Legal Permanence Team Managers/ workers are available for consultation and advice. They will also offer parents a one off meeting to discuss the adoption process.

Following the completion of the Child and Family Assessment and if it is clear that the mother still wishes to relinquish her baby the case will be considered for transfer to the CPLAC Team in the usual way.


2. Cases Referred at Post Birth Stage

Once a referral is received from the hospital ward 22 or labour ward at Wexham Park Hospital the manager of the hospital team will inform the CPLAC duty manager in order to arrange for a joint visit between a hospital social worker and CPLAC duty worker.

The purpose of this visit is to establish parent/'s wish to relinquish and current circumstances as noted in the Pre Birth Protocol, Berkshire LSCB Child Protection Procedures. Once it has been established that parent/s clearly wish to relinquish the baby for adoption the case should then be allocated from the point of referral to the CPLAC identified social worker.

If after the initial joint visit it is not clear that parent/s wish to relinquish the baby the case should remain open to the hospital team and be allocated to a hospital social worker until plans are clear.

It is important that relevant LAC & BAAF documentation is taken to the first meeting with parent/s to sign regarding the medical consent and placement paperwork.

Adoption and Legal Permanence Team Managers/ workers are available for consultation and advice. They will also offer a one off meeting with parents to discuss the adoption process.

End