Making a referral with Be My Parent's online referral system

How to refer a child to Be My Parent by logging in our website

Agencies must register with our web service if they want to refer children through the online referral system. Contact us to get your agency set up. If your agency already has a superuser, contact them if you have forgotten your password or are unsure whether you have been given a login.

There are four main stages to referring a child using the online system:

1) Create the record
2) Edit the record
3) Submit the record
4) Make a referral (i.e. select type of profile, service, etc, and link this with the record)

You will need to complete all four stages to guarantee a child being featured in Be My Parent.

A slightly different procedure applies if you are repeating a feature. Please note that we will review a profile every four months.

Security notice: The Be My Parent system logs users out if they have been inactive for 20 minutes or more. The system does not regard continuously typing content into a field as being 'active'. Save details entered into web pages at regular intervals to ensure that the data is not lost.

1) Create the record

For a child
For a sibling group

For a child

Log in to the Be My Parent system using your email address and password. Click on the ‘Create a child profile’ link in the left-hand menu. Complete the form fully, ensuring all mandatory fields (marked *) are filled in. Please use the ‘Save and continue’ (orange) buttons at each stage of the process so the information is not lost. If you are going to be away from your computer for some time, you can click ‘Submit child profile’ at the bottom of the page and log out of your account. To resume the process, follow the procedure for editing a child profile.

If referring the child to our newspaper, please insert profile into 'Profile for newspaper' section.

If referring the child to our website, please insert profile into 'Profile for website' section.

If referring to both services, please insert profiles into both sections. Remember that you can have longer profiles on the web. Please refer to our word counts and guide to writing an adoption or fostering profile.

If referring to the website, also remember to indicate which area you would like the profile to appear in:

  • open area
  • subscribers' area
  • or DBS/Disclosure-checked subscribers area (previously known as CRB-checked area).

Find out more about these areas of our website.

Please complete the 'Short' profile section if the child's profile is going into the open area of the website. If you do not complete this section, and if it is applicable, our Editorial team will compose a short web description for you.

Since the system logs out after 20 minutes if you have been 'inactive', it is advised that you have saved the written profile elsewhere, e.g. in a Microsoft Word Document, which you can then copy and paste into the online form (using keyboard shortcuts, CTRL+C to copy and then CTRL+V to paste it in). The system does not regard continuously typing content into a field as being active.

For a sibling group

Log in to the Be My Parent system using your email address and password.

If the primary plan is for the children to be placed separately: You should refer the children separately. Follow the instructions above to create individual records for the children. Insert a profile into the record of each individual child. Please indicate the names of any other siblings also being featured (in the additional information box). If your agency would also consider enquiries from families who would consider caring for the children together, we can include this information in the profile. Please make this information clear in the child’s profile. Follow the instructions in the sections below to submit each child's records. If the children are siblings and to be featured separately, you will need to make separate referrals - one for each child's record.

If the primary plan is for the children to be placed together: You will need to create a sibling group profile.

If your agency would also consider separate families for specific children within the sibling group, then we can include this information in the sibling group's profile. In your profile, please provide details of the proposed split of the sibling group, if available, to assist enquirers. For example, that an adoptive family would also be considered for Jessica and Elijah together and a separate family for Zac.

To create a sibling group profile, you will first need to create individual child profiles for each child in the group. Please read all the information above on creating a record for each individual child. If the siblings are being placed together, you do not need to fill in the profile text section, as this should be entered into the sibling group record.

Once there is a record for each child, click ‘Create a sibling group’ in the left-hand menu. Select the siblings from the list of children by checking the relevant boxes.

Complete the remaining fields in the form, including the profile text for all the children if being placed together, and click ‘Submit sibling group’.

Please add a joint sibling profile in the sibling group record, rather than in each child's individual record.

If the children are siblings and to be featured together, you will need to make a referral from the sibling group profile.

2) Edit the record

Until you make a referral, you can still edit or amend your child or sibling group's record by clicking on ‘Child profiles’ or 'Sibling groups'. These pages list all the children you have entered into the system. They also indicate the referral status of each child or sibling group.

Click ‘Edit profile’ in the child or sibling group’s summary box to update any details.

You can log out of the system and log back in again (remembering to save the information before you do so), editing the record and profile as many times as you like. At this point, Be My Parent will not have received confirmation of your referral, so it has not been booked in.

Once you are happy with the profile, go on to submit the record.

3) Submit the record

When you have completed all the fields, click ‘Submit child profile’ or 'Submit sibling group', as appropriate. Please take extra care to check that you have filled in all the relevant sections before submitting so that the referral isn't delayed while we chase up this information with you.

Once the record is submitted, you have created a profile!

You will now be prompted to:

'Add a photo for this child' or 'sibling group'
'Add a video or audio file for this child' or 'sibling group'
'Complete the referral process for this child' or 'sibling group'

If preferred, you can go back to these steps at a later date via the link in the left-hand menu for 'Child profiles' or 'Sibling groups', and then from that child or sibling group's pink summary box.

If you decide to 'Add a photo', the system will ask you to browse your computer to find the appropriate image. Once found, simply click 'Save'. If referring to the website, decide whether you wish this image to be the profile's 'Main photograph' or an 'Additional photograph'. Note: the system only accepts JPEG images and a maximum of six images can be uploaded per profile. For details on this, and other restrictions/recommendations, please see our guide to using photographs.

Although you can also 'Add a video or audio file', doing this through the online system might compress the file and affect its quality. It is therefore recommended that you post files to us on a DVD/CD. Please see our guides to using video and audio clips in web profiles.

4) Make a referral

Note: Until you have made a referral, the children in the system will not be featured in the Be My Parent newspaper or website.

If you have submitted a child or sibling group's record, and you are ready to make a referral, simply choose 'Complete the referral process for this child' or 'sibling group'.

Alternatively, go to the 'Child profiles' or 'Sibling groups' page and scroll to the child or sibling group you want to refer. Click the ‘Make referral’ link for the child or sibling group from there. Complete the form and click 'Make a referral' (orange button) when you are done. Your child or sibling group referral has now been sent to the Be My Parent team for processing.

From this point, you will be unable to edit the child or sibling group's profile, photograph or record. You will need to liaise with Be My Parent staff to make any further changes.

If the referral is not complete, we will contact you to ask for the missing item.

Please note that if you are referring children to the newspaper, we will need to receive your referral by the appropriate deadline. Late referrals may be considered at the discretion of Be My Parent. Please contact us for discussion.

Repeating a feature

Once you have featured a child, their details will remain in the system, so all you need to do to re-feature a child is log in, go into that child’s profile and click 'Make referral'. Please do not create a new record for the child or sibling group, as this duplication may result in error. If you would like to make changes to the text of the profile, or perhaps change a photograph, you will need to contact us.

Four-month review

As part of Be My Parent’s service to our users and to promote good social work practice, we review the child’s profile and photograph at least every four months, and will discuss with you any suggestions.

This means looking at the number of enquiries the child has received and thinking about changes to the profile that might either increase this number, or draw in more suitable prospective families.

Although we will also consider the quality of the photograph, we do not necessarily ask for updates unless the photo was taken more than six months previously for a child under five, or more than a year previously for a child aged over five, as children change so quickly. New photos can also catch the eye of regular readers.

Last updated: 25 April 14

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