Multidisciplinary Team (MDT)
Adoption Authority social workers, administration staff and the Adoption Authority Medical Advisor work together to review and monitor each application for adoption. Reviews cover all aspects of adoption practice including:
- counselling and consultation with birth parents;
- consent to adoption;
- assessment for a Declaration of Eligibility and Suitability to adopt;
- selection and matching process leading to the placement of a child with a specific family for adoption;
- post placement reports;
- applications for adoption orders;
- requests for the release of an original birth certificate;
- requests for the release of identifying information.
In some intercountry adoption situations where no mediation agency operates on behalf of Irish families, such as the case in Thailand and the Philippines, the Adoption Authority social workers liaise directly with the prospective adoptive family to discuss the specifics of a child referred for them by the country's Central Authority.
The ongoing reviews highlight trends in adoption practice locally and abroad and allow us to generate statistics. The statistics and trends inform Adoption Authority seminars and training for professionals in adoption services and inspections of services.
The Board of the Adoption Authority of Ireland run three seminars annually in the areas of Information & Tracing, Intercountry Adoption and legislative changes.
The Social Work Team organises four forums annually for both medical and social work practitioners in national adoption services. The forums inform professionals about recent developments in adoption work in practice. Topics for the forums also include forthcoming legislation, theory and counselling skills, matching prospective adoptive parents capacities to the needs of children and country-specific information for intercountry adoption.
The team also provides additional information and training sessions to support the development of guidelines for best practice in adoption services.
All seminars and forums afford CPD points to participant professionals.
Accreditation and Inspection
Most national adoption services are delivered through local Tusla - Child and Family Agency offices and bodies accredited by the Adoption Authority. The Social Work team is involved in reviewing applications for accreditation of adoption agencies.
The services of Tusla - Child and Family Agency are reviewed and monitored by the multi-disciplinary team on an on-going basis through desk top reviews of all documents requiring Adoption Authority authorisation.
Services provided by accredited bodies are reviewed at six month intervals by self-reporting. On-site inspections of the accredited bodies also take place on line compliance with the Adoption Act 2010 and other relevant legislation.