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Pointers for Practice

Go directly to Pointers for Practice in the members' area of the CoramBAAF website or read on to find out more about this resource.

What is the purpose/aim of Pointers for Practice?

The main aim of Pointers for Practice is to provide adoption advisors/practitioners with easy access to some of the key things they will need to think about when providing intermediary services for adopted people and birth relatives under Section 98 Adoption and Children Act 2002.

Who are they for?

Pointers for Practice are for all those involved in providing intermediary services adoption managers, adoption practitioners or for those in a support capacity and administrators who provide intermediary services.

How can Pointers for Practice help?

Pointers for Practice highlight some essential elements that need to be in place to help agencies that provide intermediary services. It provides an easy accessible reference framework for people involved in this area of work. It offers a prompt for workers so that they can check that they are providing a service that will meet the needs of adopted people and birth relatives compliant with Section 98 of Adoption and Children Act 2002.

It follows through the main processes from the first referral/contact with the agency, through to the interview and contact with the birth relative being sought. It includes links to other resources and information and give examples of practice issues of case examples and some of the complexities.

What are the limitations of Pointers for Practice?

Pointers for Practice do not provide an explicit step by step guide to providing intermediary services. It cannot address every situation and the different types of counselling/consultation interview you may need to have with an adopted person or birth relative. Inevitably there will be variations depending on how much information the adopted adult or birth relative already has in their possession, whether you are the appropriate adoption agency that holds the adoption records, or an adoption support agency or the intermediary agency. Pointers for Practice can be adapted to suit the different permutations and the range of services that adopted adults and birth relatives may need.

Pointers for Practice do not replace the information you should already know about the legislation and intermediary services or the support and supervision you receive to do the work. You should make sure that you have read and understand the legislation, regulations and statutory guidance.

What if I want to make some other suggestion or share a piece of work our agency has done that highlights and promotes good practice?

One of the aims of the website is to provide resources for adoption advisors/practitioners to help them in their work with adopted people and their birth and adoptive relatives. Pointers for Practice can provide the framework for people to share their knowledge and skills and good practice in this area of work. We therefore welcome contributions and any comments and suggestions that can improve this resource for adoption workers/advisors/practitioners. You can email contributions and comments to Julia Feast at BAAF at

Who developed Pointers for Practice?

Pointers for Practice have been developed by Julia Feast (BAAF), Marion Hundleby (Independent Consultant), Chris Christophides (BAAF) and Pam Hodgkins (Adults Affected by Adoption - NORCAP). Contributions and comments were also received from Teresa Downy (Catholic Children's Society Southwark), Jenny Setterington (The Children's Society), Alison Vincent (Berkshire Advisory Service), Irena Lyczkowska (London Borough of Croydon) and Siobhan Clemons (Father Hudson’s Society).

How can I access Pointers for Practice?

Pointers for Practice are available in the members' area of the CoramBAAF website and are thus easily available to all CoramBAAF members.

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