Outbound Permanence Service


As a specialist intercountry adoption agency IAC has advised many Local Authorities who are seeking to place Looked After children with family members or “connected people” in countries overseas permanently through Special Guardianship, Convention Adoption, Non Convention Adoption and other permanent orders.

As the number of these enquiries increased, and supported by funding from the Department for Education, in 2017 IAC piloted a project to offer Advice and Information to Local Authorities who are considering placing children overseas. Since then the service has grown and developed and is now available to assist social workers, managers or legal advisors/solicitors within Local Authorities who may be:

  • Planning a placement overseas either through Special Guardianship, Convention adoption or other permanent routes;
  • Developing a permanence care plan for a child who may be placed overseas;

The Service aims to:

  • Improve practice and permanence planning for Looked After Children, resulting in a permanent, loving and stable home;
  • Develop specialist advice for local authority social workers and legal departments to assist their care planning for children when considering placement overseas;
  • Improve practice by offering a range of resources to assist social workers and lawyers undertaking this work;
  • Offer advice in advance of LA’s contacting the Adoption Central Authority (the DfE in Darlington);
  • Raise awareness and influence policy and practice in this complex and specialist area.

The elements of the service:

  • Specialist Advice Line, open to professionals 3 mornings a week, staffed by two experienced social workers and a legal researcher. Contact can be through telephone or email and offers information to social workers/ managers assisting them to ‘think through’ a developing permanence plan where one option may be to place a child overseas. This covers essential elements such as: planning for the best permanence option, negotiating the legal process, avoiding unnecessary delay, preparing for a successful transition, and planning ahead for post-placement support.
  • General Factsheets on Convention and Non-Convention Adoption, Special Guardianship, Features of Orders Comparison Chart, Undertaking an Overseas Viability;
  • Country Factsheets: include general information, legal processes, immigration, health, education, adoption support. Ad hoc research on other countries;
  • Factsheets for carers overseas for use in assessments e.g. talking to a child about their story, moving to a new country, attachment and managing challenging behaviour;
  • Children’s story booklets to assist with direct work with children, and to help with transitions;
  • Sharing knowledge across LA’s and from IAC’s library of resources for use by our subscribers, learning from case feedback and harnessing knowledge for future advice;
  • Offering ‘Network Days’ to LA social workers and solicitors – these are workshops on Special Guardianship or Convention Adoption, with presentation and discussion on related topics.

The Service can be accessed either through:

  • An annual subscription which allows for unlimited use.
    - £1500 if your local authority already has an existing service level/subscription agreement for inbound services.
    - £2000 for all other Local Authorities

  • £480 Spot purchase for unlimited advice per case

If you are interested in this service, please contact: outbound@icacentre.org.uk