Ugandans Adopt

adoption The Adoption Panel


We talked to Maureen Orogot, a senior Adoption Practitioner, about adoption assessments. Maureen, who has worked in adoption for over three years, explains why thorough assessments represent a critical part of the adoption process.

What is a pre-adoption assessment?

Every prospective adoptive parent has to go through a formal assessment process. It is a crucial step in the ten steps of adoption. The Social Worker assigned to a prospective adoptive parent is responsible for the assessment, including a home study. They visit the parent at home to discuss and explore why they want to adopt, the kind of child you would best be able to care for, and your overall suitability. References are followed up and checks are made as part of the assessment process.

What does the assessment process involve?

A Social Worker and a Prospective Adoptive Parent having a discussion during an assessment

The process involves the assigned Social Worker meeting with and   interviewing the prospective adoptive parent. It also involves observation, monitoring and evaluation on the Social Worker’s part.   This is the perfect chance for the two parties to get to know and understand each other. It is a great opportunity to build rapport and trust.

Are other parties /friends/family members consulted during the assessment?

All parties ‘who will be directly involved in the upbringing of the child are consulted and interviewed at this point. This may include immediate and distant family, family or personal friends, neighbors, local council leaders, chairpersons, children in the home. Anyone else who will have contact with the child is also interviewed during the assessment.

Why is it important to thoroughly assess prospective adoptive parents?

We carry out thorough assessments to mitigate any child protection risks. They are also important for getting to know the family the child is going into. A strong support network is vital and crucial in the child’s life given that most of these children have suffered loss and rejection. As a result, experiencing rejection or abandonment again could prove traumatic and harmful to the child.

How do you ensure that an assessment is not biased or incorrect?

During the assessments, confidentiality is very important – not just for the parents, but also for the children’s safety. We also carry out second-opinion assessments to avoid any bias or incorrect information. These second opinions, which include follow-up interviews, are done by an independent social worker. This Social Worker evaluates the actions of the assigned social worker and writes a report. During the second-opinion evaluation, the emphasis is on honesty and truth. This stage usually represents the first time that the parent meets the independent social worker. These reports are presented before the Adoption Panel.

What is the role of the probation Officer in the assessment process? Are there costs incurred in relation to the Probation Officer’s involvement in the assessment process. 

The Adoption Panel reading through the assesment reports
The Adoption Panel reading through the assessment reports

We work together with the Probation Officers who also carry out independent family assessments. The involvement of the area Probation Office is vital in the assessment process. To assess the family’s ability to adopt a child, the area Probation Officer carries out an independent assessment of the family, including their history, home structure and support system.

The Probation Officer then generates an independent report on the capability of the family to adopt a child. Depending on the Probation Officer, there may also be some costs involved in carrying this assessment. In some cases, the family has to facilitate the probation officer to carry out the assessment. The facilitation will go towards covering transport and /or other costs incurred during the assessment process.

 An as Adoption Practitioner, why do you emphasize thorough assessments?

Everything we do is in the best interest of the child.
Everything we do is in the best interest of the child.

Assessments prepare the prospective parent(s) for the adoption process – both psychologically and physically. Together with their social workers, parents work through any issues that may be standing in the way of their adoption process. In most cases, it is the perfect opportunity for us to counsel and encourage parents who might want to adopt, but are either still grieving or going through a hard time. It helps them to support the child when the placement eventually happens.

We are also responsible for ensuring the child is being placed in a safe place by identifying and limiting any child protection risks, establishing how we can best support the child during and after the placement and getting to know the family. At the end of the day, the child is our number one priority and everything we do is in the best interest of the child.


For more information on adoption, please call us on 0776110304 or send an email to [email protected]


adoption Uncategorized

Part two of Interview with a Social Worker: Emmanuel Shanyolah

Good social work is core to a smooth  adoption or fostering  process. Below we bring you the second excerpt of Social Worker Emmanuel’s interview. Emmanuel works with children and has been in  the adoption and fostering field for years now. We hope you will enjoy the interview like we did:
In Social work, the child’s interests are   paramount. What does that mean to you ? How do you apply it in your daily work?

We do everything possible to promote the welfare and well-being of our children. We’ve put structures in place that ensure each child is able to realise their full potential – now and as they grow up. My job means making decisions every day that will affect a child’s life. The question I always ask myself is: in whose interest is my decision? My answer should always be the child’s. For example, we had to make a very difficult decision to separate one our children from his foster mother’s care after discovering the dangers he was exposed to.

 How do you work with families in these situations? Do you encounter any difficulties? 

It’s very important that we try and help them understand the reasons why we are separating them. We meet with the child’s family to discuss the importance of child safety. We emphasise the needs of their child and the dangers they will be exposed to if something is not done immediately. Sometimes it might only be temporary as there are often opportunities to work with the family and improve their living conditions or otherwise. So there can be hope, too.

Emma at work
Emma with new arrival Ivan at a hospital where he was abandoned

At Ugandan’s Adopt we advocate for children being in families through  domestic adoption and fostering: what do you think about this?

I think it’s a great thing that Ugandan children are being taken on and adopted by fellow Ugandans. Uganda doesn’t lose on her children as a future human resource and our children will be able to remain in their native country. It’s also very important to monitor the progress of adopted families and ensure the children are happy, healthy and continuing to thrive in their care. This is made much harder if they’re adopted internationally. I am happy that Ugandans are coming up to this cause

     If you were speaking to someone who is considering adoption what would you say to them?

I would tell them they are doing a very noble thing by expending love and care to a child who needs them. The process can sometimes take longer than people expect but it is a very worthwhile and rewarding experience. Of course, adoption has its challenges but this is often no different from parenting your birth children.

Tell us about the most rewarding experience in your career so far?

It would have to be Andrew’s journey with us. He was admitted to Malaika Babies’ Home following a referral from a local police station. Andrew had been abandoned on a veranda outside someone’s home, who was known to his father. They kept him for a night with the hope that whoever left Andrew behind would come and pick him up but in the morning they reported the case to police.

As we tried to trace his family, I went back to the house where he was abandoned and discovered Andrew’s father had been in touch only two weeks before. We investigated the call logs which lead us to Andrew’s grandfather. We and told them about their grandchild which they didn’t know existed.  They were so happy! After spending time together, we successfully resettled Andrew with his extended family. We’re very pleased with progress Andrew has made and we’ve continued to support the family, helping the grandfather to expand his piggery project and increase their household income. Andrew is happy, healthy and has formed strong bonds with his family.