Normal graphics

How to make an enquiry about a child

Your guide to enquiring about children in Be My Parent who need adopting or permanently fostering

On the computer

At what stage can I enquire?

a) If you have not yet approached an adoption or fostering agency to assess you, you can still enquire about children featured in Be My Parent. The child’s agency may be willing to assess you, or could consider arranging for another agency close to you to assess you on their behalf. But they could be concerned about delays for the child.

To apply to be assessed, you can contact the local authority agency in your area or in a neighbouring area, or a voluntary agency or Independent Fostering Agency. More information about finding an agency and a list of agencies in your area.

b) If you are still being assessed, you can enquire about a child in Be My Parent, with your agency’s agreement. However, some agencies may favour approved families to minimise delays.

c) If you are approved or about to go to panel, you can enquire about any children featured.

Some local authorities’ agencies may ask their approved adopters to wait for three months after approval before making enquiries to Be My Parent so that they can consider them for their local children.

Local authority foster carers should speak with their assessing social worker about whether they have local children in mind for them.

How do I make an enquiry?

If you subscribe to our online service, you can enquire directly from there: just click on the ‘enquire about this child’ button at the bottom of each child’s profile. Your details will be sent securely and directly to the child’s social worker, and you receive a confirmation of your enquiry via email, together with the social worker’s contact details. If you do not receive this email, please check if it has gone into your inbox 'spam' or 'trash' folder. If not, do contact us.

If you only subscribe to the newspaper, you can email or call Be My Parent ( or 020 7421 2666) with the names and reference numbers of the child or children you are interested in. We take brief details about you for general monitoring and statistical purposes, and give you the child’s social worker’s details. You then make contact with them directly by email or phone, or ask your social worker to do this, depending on what you have agreed with your agency.

* Do remember that other families will also be enquiring*, and your enquiry may lead to a link, or it may not.

Can I enquire if I'm not subscribed to Be My Parent?

If your agency gives you their copy of the newspaper, you can enquire directly to Be My Parent via phone or email, or you can ask your social worker to contact us on your behalf.

If you wish to make an enquiry about a child you have seen in the open area of the website, but are not subscribed to the online service, you will need to subscribe to make an enquiry. Alternatively, you can ask your social worker to do this on your behalf.

What if social workers don’t get back to me following my online enquiry?

We ask social workers referring children to our website to respond to enquiries within seven working days, even if just with a short standard email acknowledging receipt.

Unfortunately, we know that this does not always happen. This can be for a number of reasons: the social worker could be on leave, or may have received a large number of enquiries that they are going through. Sometimes the children are being linked but we have not yet been made aware of this and so continue featuring the children on the website.

If you have not heard back after the seven working days, we recommend that:

  • you follow up your initial enquiry by contacting the social worker yourself by email and/or phone;
  • if you still haven’t heard back, contact the agency again and ask to speak to the team manager;
  • if after the steps above you are still waiting to hear, contact us so we can follow up with the child's social worker. We will find out what has happened to your enquiry and ask them to contact you.

Next steps

Go to next section: FAQs for families about using Be My Parent

Last updated: 30 May 14

Back to previous

Text size: