Not all of these questions are relevant for each age group or situation. However, they are a good starting point.
- What do they like?
- What are they like?
- What is their understanding of adoption?
- What work has been done to prepare them for adoption?
- How do they feel about it?
- What are their thoughts and feelings on birth family?
- How are they progressing in FC? How do they feel about animals? How are they at school?
- What are they like with other children?
- how do they get on together?
- sibling rivalry?attention seeking behaviours?
- one child parenting the other?
- have they been assessed for a trauma bond?
- Can they dress / undress themselves?
- What boundaries have been set – reward systems / time in / thinking step?
- What is their daily routine?
- Are they good or fussy eaters? Overeating?
- Does it take a long time for them to eat a meal?
- What are their favourite foods?
- Is there anything they don’t like?
- Do they have any allergies - food?
- How often do they eat and how much?
- What do they usually drink?
- What food do they usually eat?
- Do they like being in the bath or is it a stressful time for them?
- Do they like brushing their teeth?
- Do they need help with this?
- Do they like having their hair brushed, washed, dried?
- Hairbrush or comb?
- How do you wash their hair and what with?
- What shampoo and bubble bath do they have?
- When and how often do they have a bath, morning or evening?
- Do you use body lotion on them?
- Do they have problems sleeping if something new has happened?
- Do they have any other comforters either just at night or during the day too?
- Do they need a nightlight on?
- Do they sleep soundly or does the slightest thing wake them?
- How are they sleeping?
- How do you soothe them back to sleep during the night if they wake up?
- How do you deal with nightmares / monsters under the bed?
- s there any music used to help them sleep?
- What is their sleep routine (time, stories, bath etc?)
Do they have any (rational or irrational) fears, e.g. flies, spiders, loud noises, water, smells, places, activities, beards, people with glasses, anything unusual?
Do they have any tantrums and what triggers them?
How long to they last? Do they react to pain / distress of others / you when they are with you?
How can you tell when they are angry or scared?
How can you tell when they are hungry or tired?
How do they cope with pain, do they have an overly high or low pain threshold?
How do they show affection?
Are they cuddly or do they push you away?
How easily are they calmed?
How would you describe their behaviour and personality? (Calm, placid, fussy etc)
If they have any contact with the birth family, how does it affect them? siblings
Is there any thing that triggers a particular feeling, e.g. anger, happiness, fright, distress?
Is there anything that especially delights them, gets them excited?
What do they use to comfort themselves, e.g. blanket / dummy / rag / toy?
What do you do to comfort them, e.g. cuddle / stroke / hold them in a particular way?
What is their general outlook on life?
What is their 'quiet space' / sanctuary?
What do they understand about their safety, e.g. not playing with matches, knowing how to dial 999
What perfumes / after shave etc do the FC wear?
What soap powder / conditioner / tumble dryer additives do you use?
Which baby products / toiletries do you use?
- Are there any upcoming appointments?
- Do they go to the dentist regularly and do they like this?
- Do they have any allergies to products, e.g. washing powder, plasters, etc.?
- Do they have any special needs?
- Do they have dry skin / eczema?
- What products do you use?
- Are these over-the-counter or prescription?
- Has there been any grief work done with them?
- Have they had any childhood illnesses, e.g chicken pox, glue ear, stick eyes, etc?
- How much do they weigh?
- What are their heights now?
- What do you do when they are feeling unwell?
- What is planned over the continued review of any medical conditions?
- What was their head circumference at birth and now? These give a good indication of likely future growth.
- When are their next medical / dental / opticians appointments?
- Are they up to date?
- When was their last dental appointment?
- Do they have any particular talents and attributes?
- How do they compare in development milestones to a typical child of their age?
- How mobile are they?
- What has their physical development been like, e.g. centile charts (WHO)?
- Can they speak / read / write / draw?
- Can we see any of the things they bring home from school?
- Do they have a best friend at school / nursery?
- Do they have any friends away from nursery/school that they may miss?
- Do they have any specific skills or attributes, e.g. fantastic dancer?
- What was their last report like?
- Are they used to playing with / having other children around?
- Do they enjoy the company of adults or children more?
- Do they get upset or anxious by strangers?
- Do they have stranger fear?
- Do they lack stranger awareness?
- Do they have difficulty with hugs, eye contact, close proximity?
- Do they like their / others birthday and Christmas and parties?
- Do they play well with friends – are they leaders or followers?
- How are they with new people?
- Which adults are they closest to?
- Are there any animals they are frightened of?
- Are they used to any pets or animals?
- Did the birth family have pets?
- Do they like cats / dogs / birds / farm animals?
- Do you have pets?
- How do they behave around pets or other people's animals?
- Can and do they swim?
- Do they like dancing and singing?
- Do they like playing in the garden, even on dull days?
- Do they like sports and outdoor activities?
- Do they like travelling in the car – are they good passengers?
- Do they like walking?
- Do they suffer from travel sickness?
- Have they been long distances in a car?
- Have you taken them abroad on holiday? If so, where? (Passport?)
- Have you taken them on holiday in this country? If so, where?
- Is there any particular equipment you take with you when going out with them? Seating arrangements, e.g. at table, in cars, at restaurants What are their favourite indoor / outdoor games?
- What are their favourite places to go?
- What are their favourite smells, e.g. seaside or flowers
- What are their favourite songs?
- What are their hobbies and interests?
- What child seats are in the car?
- What sounds / noises do they like to hear?
- Where do they most like to go? (farm, park, swimming etc)?
- Are there any clothes that they dislike wearing?
- Are there any clothes they particularly like / favourites?
- Do they have a good range of seasonal clothing to bring with them?
- What are their clothing sizes?
- What clothing do they have?
- What is their shoe size?
TOYS / BOOKS, ETC
- Do they have any favourite toys / books?
- Do they have any music / TV / film favourites?
- Is there a particular theme to the toys / books / TV they like the most?
- Is there anything that they really like that they wont be bringing with them?
- What clothing / toys / bedding / books / CDs / DVDs / photos / documents / other possessions will they be bringing with them?
- Who gave them which possessions, e.g. birth family, other FC, etc?
- Which are significant or most precious and why?
- Are there any photos we could take with us?
- Where are all their legal papers / health records / personal papers / school or nursery reports / old birthday cards / old photos etc?
- Will you be able to provide us with photos during their stay at the FC placement?
- Do they think that there will be a lot of problems when they move on?
- Do they understand about adoption?
- Do they understand about their past and future? If so, how much have they been told?
- Do they understand what has happened to birth mother and father?
- Is there anything that you would like to know about us / need from us?
- What and who do you think they will miss when they move on?
- When can we give them something of ours, item of clothing or a toy for them to get used to?