Statement of Purpose

The purpose of West Dunbartonshire Council Adoption Service is to ensure the recruitment, preparation, matching and support of adoptive families for children requiring a permanent alternative family by this route.

West Dunbartonshire Adoption Service will work to ensure that every child requiring an adoptive family in West Dunbartonshire will be valued and helped to realise their potential.


To provide secure and stable adoptive families that provide the opportunity for children to grow, develop and realise their potential.


  • Take forwards the development of an effective and integrated adoption service within West Dunbartonshire’s Child Care Service through improved planning based on identified assessment of need.
  • Provide for every child in West Dunbartonshire, for whom it is required, a permanent family by adoption, which will meet their particular needs.  
  • Ensure the provision of child centred best practice.
  • Ensure the provision and development of equitable and accessible services.
  • Ensure effective outcomes for children and young people requiring adoptive families.
  • Ensure people interested in becoming adoptive parents (including those wishing to adopt a child from overseas) will be welcomed without prejudice, responded to promptly, given clear information about training, assessment, approval and support.
  • Prepare and support adoptive families prior to and following a child’s placement.
  • Ensure that birth families will be treated fairly, openly and with respect throughout the adoption process, and that they have access to adoption support services.

To achieve this West Dunbartonshire will:

  • Ensure that the service provided to children, adoptive families, birth parents and families meets the legislative requirements and the National Care Standards for adoption agencies.
  • Recruit a wide range of prospective adoptive parents to meet the placement needs of the children in West Dunbartonshire needing adoptive families.
  • Prepare, train and assess prospective adoptive parents, to develop their abilities leading to the best possible outcomes for children throughout their lifetimes;
  • Ensure all children, requiring adoption, are place on Scotland's Adoption Register within the timescale.
  • Provide a service to children who are being adopted, fully assessing their needs and taking account of their views;
  • Provide a service to birth parents and birth families both before and after the adoption;
  • Select a family which matches the child’s ethnic and cultural background and religion, using West Dunbartonshire’s matching criteria;
  • Provide full information on a child’s background and needs to prospective adoptive parents, and a Life Story Book and Later Life Letter to the child;
  • Support and advise in completing reports for West Dunbartonshire’s Permanence Panel and any other Agency’s Permanence Panel and the court on all aspects of adoption work;
  • Support arrangements for contact both before and after adoption, both direct and indirect, through West Dunbartonshire’s Letterbox Scheme;
  • Provide post adoption support to adoptive parents to children who have been adoption;
  • Provide access to counselling service for adopted adults;
  • Ensure that the workforce is appropriately skilled trained and managed.
  • Operate the service within West Dunbartonshire’s Equality policies.
  • Consult on the quality of the service and use feedback to inform development.


  • Hold the child at the centre

Value and respect individuality and diversity;

  • Have clear and transparent decision making procedures;
  • Consider and take account of the needs and wishes of the child;
  • Consider and take account of the needs and wishes of the birth family; Consider and take account of the needs and wishes of adoptive parents.

What do we do?

We aim to provide a service to all parties affected by adoption which meets their individual needs.


When children are looked after and accommodated by the local authority and cannot return to their family, all their needs, including health, education and development are assessed. Where an adoption is the appropriate plan, the service will support their preparation to joining an adoptive family, which where possible, reflects their cultural, religious and linguistic background. We aim to have the plan agreed within the prescribed timescales. We seek to involve the child in the preparation of this plan and introductions to a new family, in a manner which is responsive to their age and stage of development. Their ongoing needs will be identified and individualised adoption support plans completed.

We promote ongoing contact, either direct, information exchange or by other means, between the child and significant other from their past, where this is in the child’s best interest. We provide support to enable the children to be provided with memory boxes, including their life story and later in life letters.

Birth Parents

We seek to involve parents and ascertain their views when adoption is the recommend plan for their child.  This will be achieved through their attendance and contribution to looked after and accommodated child reviews and meeting with an independent Adoption Social Worker prior to the Fostering and Adoption Panel.

Birth parents views will be sought on their cultural, religious and linguistic preferences for the child’s upbringing. We aim to offer advice and counselling to parents whose children will be placed with adoptive parents.

Prospective Adopters

We provide information on the needs of children, the range of adoption service, the criteria of eligibility and the assessment and approval process for domestic and inter-country adoption.

We aim to provide preparation groups, including the opportunity to learn from adoptive parents.

We fully engage prospective adopters in the assessment process and will ensure that they are advised of any concerns as they arise.

Post Adoption Services

We aim to provide post adoption services to adopted children and adults, birth families and adoptive families. This service is provided by West Dunbartonshire Health and Social Care Partnership and can be delivered by social work staff.

Post adoption services include counselling, assistance to adoptees to trace the origin, adoptive family and support and management of post adoption letterbox and other contact arrangements.