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.

The service launched in 2017 and since then it has grown and developed and is available to assist Social Workers and Legal Advisors / Solicitors within Local Authorities who may be:

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

What We Offer

The service is designed to offer expert consultancy and advice to Local Authority teams in the specialism of permanence planning in the international context.  Our experience has shown that a lot of time and money can be spent on developing plans for children that are then rejected by the receiving country.  Also children and prospective carers are often not prepared in a way that ensures a move can happen smoothly and then be sustained. Our expert team with therefore help you to:

  •  Ensure that any care plans being developed are compliant with the receiving countries own legislation
  •  Improve practice and permanence planning for Looked After children whilst minimising delay
  •  Develop specialist advice for Social Workers / legal departments to assist their care planning 
  •  Improve practice by offering a range of resources to assist Social Workers and others in this work
  •  Offer advice in advance of you contacting the Adoption Central Authority (the DfE in Darlington)
  •  Raise awareness and influence policy and practice in this complex and specialist area.

The key elements of the service have been designed to ensure that we enhance the service offer in Local Authorities and not replicate what already exists.   Currently we offer:

  • A specialist Advice Service, open to professionals 3 mornings a week, staffed by an expert Social Workers and a Legal Researcher. Contact is initially via email and offers information to Social Workers, and others assisting them, to ‘think through’ a permanence plan where one option may be to place a child abroad. This covers essential elements such as: eligibility, who can assess, 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. We will do live tailored research on your behalf and can offer you an online consultation to walk you through the written advice given.
  • General Factsheets on Convention and Non Convention Adoption, Special Guardianship, Features of Orders Comparison Chart, Undertaking an Overseas Viability
  • Country Factsheets which include general information, legal processes, immigration, health, education, adoption support. Ad hoc research on other countries
  • Factsheets for Carers abroad 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 (Joe and Mia) booklets to assist with direct work with children, and to help with transitions
  • Prospective Carer booklet to assist with preparation and thinking about planning for children and their support needs
  • Pooling of expert 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 Practice Forums to LA colleagues – these are workshops on Special Guardianship or Convention Adoption, with presentation and discussion on related topics plus bespoke training on specific issues, such as viability in an overseas context.

The service can be accessed through a subscription which allows unlimited use of the service on an annual basis.  Contracts can begin at any time of the year and run from the 1st of the month.  Current rates are:

  • £899 + VAT for new subscribers
  • £1199 for a Local Authority that is an IAC service subscriber already
  • £480 spot purchase for unlimited advice per case

If you are interested in this service, please email outbound@icacentre.org.uk and we will be happy to talk through options and the benefits of the service.