Adoption Agencies (Scotland) Regulations 1996

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
CitationSI 1996/3266

1996 No. 3266 (S.254)

CHILDREN AND YOUNG PERSONS

The Adoption Agencies (Scotland) Regulations 1996

Made 24th December 1996

Laid before Parliament 31th December 1996

Coming into force 1st April 1997

The Secretary of State, in exercise of the powers conferred on him by sections 3(1A), 9 and 27(2) of the Adoption (Scotland) Act 19781and of all other powers enabling him in that behalf, hereby makes the following Regulations:

S-1 Citation, commencement and extent

Citation, commencement and extent

1.—(1) These Regulations may be cited as the Adoption Agencies (Scotland) Regulations 1996 and shall come into force on 1st April 1997.

(2) These Regulations shall apply to Scotland only.

S-2 Interpretation

Interpretation

2.—(1) In these Regulations, unless the context otherwise requires–

“the Act” means the Adoption (Scotland) Act 1978;

“the 1995 Act” means the Children (Scotland) Act 19952;

“adoption agency” means a local authority or an approved adoption society within the meaning of the Act;

“adoption panel” means a panel appointed in accordance with regulation 7;

“court” means an authorised court as defined by section 56 of the Act;

“health board” means a health board constituted under section 2 of the National Health Service (Scotland) Act 19783;

“parent” has the meaning given to that term in section 65 of the Act4.

(2) In these Regulations any reference to an adoption order shall include reference to an order under section 49 of the Act and any reference to a person proposing to adopt a child shall include reference to a person proposing to apply for such an order.

(3) In these Regulations any reference to a numbered regulation or schedule shall be construed as a reference to the regulation or schedule bearing that number in these Regulations, and any reference to a numbered paragraph shall be a reference to the paragraph bearing that number in the regulation in which the reference to the numbered paragraph is made.

S-3 Approved adoption societies

Approved adoption societies

3.—(1) An application to the Secretary of State under section 3 of the Act for approval as an adoption society shall–

(a)

(a) be made in writing;

(b)

(b) provide information about the applicant as to the matters specified in sub-sections (3) to (5) of that section; and

(c)

(c) where the application is for approval to act or continue to act as an adoption society functioning in relation to some service maintained, or to be maintained, as part of the Scottish Adoption Service, specify that service and provide further information about the applicant as to the matters specified in Schedule 1.

(2) An unincorporated body is prohibited from applying to the Secretary of State for his approval under section 3 of the Act to its acting as an adoption society.

(3) An approved adoption society shall notify the Secretary of State in writing of any change in its name or in the address of its registered or head office within one month after such change.

(4) An approved adoption society shall prepare an annual report on the exercise of its functions in relation to adoption and shall provide the Secretary of State with a copy of such a report as soon as possible after the expiry of the year to which the report relates.

(5) As soon as possible after the end of each financial year of an approved adoption society, the society shall provide the Secretary of State with an abstract of the society’s accounts for that year, signed on behalf of the society and certified by its auditors.

S-4 Complaints procedure of approved adoption societies

Complaints procedure of approved adoption societies

4.—(1) The procedures established by an approved adoption society for the purpose of dealing with complaints arising in relation to the exercise of its functions shall comply with paragraphs (2) to (8) hereinafter known as the “complaints procedure”.

(2) The complaints procedure shall apply to any representations (including complaints) received by the approved adoption society in writing from–

(a)

(a) any person, or anyone acting on behalf of a person;

(b)

(b) a child or, on behalf of a child, any person with parental responsibilities or parental rights in respect of the child; or

(c)

(c) any person with an interest in the child and in the functions of the society in relation to the child,

where the representations relate to the society’s exercise, or failure or refusal to exercise, in respect of that person or child any of the functions for which the society is approved under section 3 of the Act.

(3) The complaints procedure shall provide for the appointment of–

(a)

(a) one of the employees of the approved adoption society for the purpose of receiving, and acknowledging as soon as reasonably practicable, any representations under the procedure, arranging for the consideration of them and for the giving of a response to them on behalf of the society; and

(b)

(b) one or more persons for the purpose of investigating the representations, each being a person who is not a member or employee of the society, or related or married to, or living with such a member or employee.

(4) The complaints procedure shall provide for–

(a)

(a) a response in writing by the adoption society to the substance of the representations to be given to the person who made them, as soon as reasonably practicable following receipt of the representations by the society;

(b)

(b) arrangements to be made by the society to appoint a complaints review committee for the purpose of considering further representations, where within 28 days from giving a response under sub-paragraph (a), the society receives notice in writing from the person who made the representations that he is not satisfied with the response;

(c)

(c) any complaints review committee appointed by the society to be composed of 3 persons, at least one of whom shall be a person who is not a member or employee of the society and is not related or married to, or living with such a member or employee, and none of whom shall be a person appointed by the society for the purpose mentioned in sub-paragraph (3)(b);

(d)

(d) the complaints review committee to consider the representations as soon as reasonably practicable, and to report to the society in writing with a recommendation on the disposal of the matter along with reasons for that recommendation; and

(e)

(e) the society, as soon as reasonably practicable, to take a decision on the matter after it has received the report from the complaints review committee, taking account of the recommendation of that committee, and to give notice in writing of that decision, with the reasons for it, to the person who made the representations.

(5) An approved adoption society shall keep a record of–

(a)

(a) any representations received under the complaints procedure;

(b)

(b) the investigation into any such representations, including the report of any complaints review committee appointed under sub-paragraph (4)(b); and

(c)

(c) the disposal of the representations.

(6) An approved adoption society shall make available information about its complaints procedure to–

(a)

(a) any person having an interest and who requests it; and

(b)

(b) every person in respect of whom the society exercises, or decides not to exercise, any of the functions for which it is approved under section 3 of the Act.

(7) An approved adoption society may make arrangements to deal with any informal representations received by it from any person in relation to the exercise, or failure or refusal to exercise, any of the functions for which it is approved under section 3 of the Act, provided that–

(a)

(a) when replying to any informal representations the society advises the person who made them of the entitlement to make representations under the complaints procedure; and

(b)

(b) the society provides that person with such assistance as is appropriate and as he may require in making representations under the complaints procedure should he wish to do so.

(8) An approved adoption society shall take such steps as are appropriate to ensure that the employees of the society are aware of its complaints procedure.

S-5 Cessation as approved adoption society

Cessation as approved adoption society

5.—(1) An approved adoption society which intends to cease to act as an adoption society shall notify the Secretary of State in writing of such intention at least 3 months before the intended date of such cessation.

(2) An approved adoption society which has ceased to act as an adoption society shall notify the Secretary of State in writing that it has ceased so to act, as soon thereafter as is reasonably practicable.

S-6 Appointment of medical and legal advisers

Appointment of medical and legal advisers

6.—(1) An adoption agency shall appoint such number of registered medical practitioners as it considers necessary for the purpose of providing it with medical advice in connection with the exercise of its functions.

(2) An adoption agency shall appoint such number of solicitors or advocates as it considers necessary for the purpose of providing it with legal advice in connection with the exercise of its functions and for the purpose of this paragraph “solicitor” means a person qualified to practise as a solicitor further to the provisions of section 4 of the Solicitors (Scotland) Act 19805; and “advocate” means a practising member of the Faculty of Advocates.

S-7 Appointment, composition, qualifications etc. of adoption panels

Appointment, composition, qualifications etc. of adoption panels

7.—(1) A local authority shall appoint an adoption panel for the purpose of considering and advising on the matters specified in regulation 11 and may appoint such additional adoption panels as it considers necessary.

(2) An approved adoption society which is carrying out or proposing to carry out functions described in regulation 11 shall appoint an adoption panel for the purpose of considering and advising on the matters specified in that...

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