‘Fast Track’ Assessment

Second time adopters and approved foster carers who have had children placed with them will have gained considerable experience and have already been through a thorough preparation and assessment process. Therefore if they wish to make a further application to be assessed to adopt, there is a fast track assessment process which should take no longer than 4 months.

Who is eligible?

The fast track assessment is available to the following people:

  • Adopters approved in England and Wales since 30th December 2005, including those who adopted children from overseas
  • Foster carers who are currently approved and were assessed under the Fostering Services (England) Regulations 2011

The fast track assessment means that you enter the adoption assessment process at Stage 2 rather than Stage 1, and adoption agencies are not legally required to obtain DBS checks, medical reports or references, if they are satisfied with the information already held by them, or provided to them (with the applicant’s consent) by the previous agency. Adoption agencies will decide whether to repeat statutory checks based on the length of time since approval and, for  foster carers, since a child was placed with them. The assessment should nevertheless be completed and a decision on approval made within 4 months.

The fast track assessment should be a tailored one and take into account previous experience and the agency should offer any additional relevant training (e.g. if the needs of a child the adopter/foster carer is hoping to adopt are different to those already fostered/adopted).

Which Agency?

If you are thinking of adopting for a second time, you may want to contact the agency that assessed you and supported you with your previous adoption. They will already hold information about you in their records and their staff and location may be familiar to you. Alternatively, you may wish to apply to a different adoption agency. You should be offered the fast track assessment whichever agency you apply to, as information may be shared between the agencies with your consent.

Foster carers may wish to apply to their own local authority, or the local authority responsible for the child that they are fostering, but are free to choose a local authority or voluntary adoption agency.