Service level agreement

Information for agencies referring children to Be My Parent

Our Service Level Agreement formally defines the level of service we expect from agencies when they use Be My Parent to find adoptive or permanent foster families for children.

Consents and permissions

When completing a child referral, you will be asked if your agency has the proper consents to feature a child on the website and Be My Parent newspaper. If you answer 'yes' by ticking the box provided then we take this to mean that you have either a placement order; freeing order; Section 19 parental agreement; and /or court permission to feature a child. The responsibility to ensure that these consents are in place remains with your agency and any breach will need to be addressed by you.

Because some of the profiles (in the 'open area') are accessible to all those visiting the website, it is highly recommended that birth parents and significant members of the birth family know about children being featured on the website, as there is a greater likelihood of family members discovering information about 'their' child on the web.

Make sure you are familiar with our guidance on consents and agreement to publicity.

When you submit your referral, make sure you have had this authorised by your line manager; team manager; or budget holder. This is your responsibility and, once we receive your referral, we will assume it has been cleared in your agency for publication.

Responding to enquiries

Please respond to enquirers within seven working days - even if it is with a short standard email acknowledging receipt of their enquiry.

We frequently receive feedback or complaints from families who have made an enquiry about a child and are upset because they have not heard anything back from the agency, even after a significant amount of time. For such cases, we may contact you to chase this up, so we can let the family know what is happening.

If you are planning to be away for a period of time while a child is being referred, please provide details of an alternative contact who can receive and respond to enquiries while you are away.

We can help you manage enquiries received.

Read our guidance on managing enquiries.

Finance issues

When you submit a referral, please do not send any money or a purchase order. We will invoice you promptly.

Please remember that there are significant discounts for multiple referrals, and if you place a referral in both the newspaper and website. Cancellation fees apply if you wish to withdraw the profile.

Referral information

Please ensure that the information you send is up to date. Any repeat profiles should ideally be re-written just before being featured. The Be My Parent referral form remains valid for a year, but certain sections will still need to be completed to submit a repeat referral.

It is very important that your contact details are correct and regularly updated.

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.

View a sample profile.


Please do not use emails to send confidential information, as it is not secure. Making referrals through Be My Parent's online referral system, however, is secure.

There is an area of the website where child profiles can only be viewed by enquirers who have been police checked by their adoption or fostering agency. Although this level of screening will mean that these child profiles attract less interest, there are numerous reasons why this area might be the most appropriate for the child you are referring. We will contact approving agencies to confirm the enquirers’ police check status.

For more information, see our privacy policy and also our privacy and security statement.

Last updated: 05 March 13

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