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Agency Decision Maker

The Agency Decision Maker is the person within a fostering service and an adoption agency who makes decisions on the basis of recommendations made by the Fostering Panel (in relation to a fostering service) and the Adoption Panel (in relation to an adoption agency). The Agency Decision Maker will take account of the Panel's recommendation before proceeding to make a decision. The Agency Decision Maker can choose to make a different decision.

The National Minimum Standards for Fostering 2011 provide that the Agency Decision Maker for a fostering service should be a senior person within the fostering service, who is a social worker with at least 3 years post-qualifying experience in childcare social work and has knowledge of childcare law and practice (Standard 23).

The National Minimum Standards for Adoption 2011 provide that the Agency Decision Maker for an adoption agency should be a senior person within the adoption agency, who is a social worker with at least 3 years post-qualifying experience in childcare social work and has knowledge of permanency planning for children, adoption and childcare law and practice. Where the adoption agency provides an inter country adoption service, the Agency Decision Maker should also have specialist knowledge of this area of law and practice. When determining the disclosure of Protected Information about adults, the Agency Decision Maker should also understand the legislation surrounding access to and disclosure of information and the impact of reunion on all parties (Standard 23).