ISLE OF WIGHT ADOPTION SERVICE STATEMENT OF PURPOSE ISLE OF WIGHT COUNCIL

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1 ISLE OF WIGHT ADOPTION SERVICE STATEMENT OF PURPOSE 2011 ISLE OF WIGHT COUNCIL Author: Title: Karen Cheeseman Group manager Fostering and Adoption Date: April 2011 Review: April 2012 Version: 1.7 ISLE OF WIGHT ADOPTION SERVICE: STATEMENT OF PURPOSE 2011 Directorate of Community and Wellbeing Isle of Wight Council E - 30

2 INTRODUCTION This statement of purpose has been written in accordance with the following legislation and guidance. Care Standards Act 2000 Adoption and Children Act 2022 and Regulations 2005 The Voluntary Adoption Agencies and the Adoption Agencies (miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2003 Adoption Support Services (Local Authorities)(England) Regulations 2003 National Minimum Standards 2011 Voluntary Adoption Agencies England and Wales and Local Authority Adoption Services in England. STATEMENT OF PURPOSE Aims and Objectives of the Adoption Agency The Adoption Service on the Isle of Wight aims to: Achieve and improve on the national minimum standards for Adoption Services Provide adoption placements for children within the South Coast Adoption Consortium area whose needs have been accessed and found to be best met by adoption Ensure children are well prepared both practically and emotionally for a move to a new permanent family Link children for whom adoption is the plan with families who can meet their ethnic, cultural, religious and linguistic needs Recruit, assess and support adopters to provide homes for children where they and their history will be valued and respected Provide independent advice and support to birth parents at the point that adoption becomes the plan for their child, or thereafter Wherever possible, siblings will be placed together and issues of contact with the birth family will be thoughtfully considered Promote and support the early plans for long term permanence for all Looked After Children to ensure minimum delay in the planning process, where adoption is the recommended plan Ensure that practice is founded on the most up-to-date research and evidence E - 31

3 Services and facilities to be provided by the Adoption Service The Service recognises that adopted children may have specific educational and health needs. The Isle of Wight Youth Trust is available to provide an immediate time-limited counselling service to adopted children and their families. A therapeutic adoption worker is available within the service and works to prepare children for adoption and with issues raised after placement. The Adoption Service Management Structure The Deputy Director for Safeguarding holds responsibility for the Adoption Service at second tier level. The Commissioner for Long Term Interventions supervises the work of the Adoption Group Manager. The Group Manager supervises the work of the Adoption units. All staff have an annual Development Review undertaken in consultation with their Supervisor. The name and address of the manager The Manager of the Adoption Service is Karen Cheeseman. She is based at: Oak House Halberry Lane Newport Isle of Wight Tel: The numbers, qualifications and experience of staff: Group Manager Karen Cheeseman (qualified) 1994 Diploma in Social Worker 2003 Bournemouth University PQ Practice Teachers Award 2005 BA Practice Learning and Assessment 2007 PQ Award Consultant Social Workers Launa Brinton (qualified) 1994 Diploma in Social Work 2003 Practice Teachers Award 2008 BA (Hons) Safeguarding and Caring for Young People Valerie Taylor (qualified) 2003 Diploma in Social Work 2007 PQ1 Child Care 2008 BA (Hons) Safeguarding and Caring for Young People E - 32

4 Social Workers Treacy McGuinness (qualified) 2002 Diploma in Social Work 2007 PDQ Practice Teaching (Beg Sept 2010) Sarah Matthews (qualified) 1997 Diploma in Social Work 2004 Foundation training course in family therapy and systemic practice 2007 PQ1 Child Care 2009 MA Family Therapy Therapeutic Worker Lucie Matthews (qualified) 2003 BSc (Hons) Psychology 2010 MSc Social Work 2010 Solution Oriented Brief Therapy 2011 Court Skills Training Adoption Practitioner Kerry Gibson 2005 Effective practice to highlight that birth to three matters, Attachment theory and intervention 2006 Identifying early patterns of play with children under three, advanced child protection, domestic violence and neglect 2007 SEN needs and the disability discrimination act, solution orientated training, equal opportunities 2008 Parental alienation syndrome, principles and skills in recording, information sharing, safeguarding children 1 unit Level 3 City and Guilds work with parents 2009 SEN code of practice, child protection 2010 Solution orientated services and brief therapy. Karen Beuker 1993 Diploma of higher education (Applied Social studies) 1995 BA (Hons) Applied Social Studies 2002 Diploma in Counselling (Level 3) PersonCentred Approach Special Guardianship Worker Iris Amir (qualified) 2010 BA (Hons) Social Work Unit Coordinators Alyson Bloodworth Adoption Unit 1 Linda Anderson Adoption Unit 2 E - 33

5 Role of Members Members are aware of and have a commitment to discharge their responsibilities as corporate parents. They will receive regular information on the management and outcomes of the comprehensive adoption service they are responsible for providing. Monitoring and Evaluating the Adoption Service We believe it is helpful to us and service users for them to have the opportunity to feedback regularly how effective they have found our services. As a result we send out evaluation forms after the initial visit and following attendance at the adoption panel. We are keen to implement recommended changes to service delivery and consider our practise in light of users views. We work in partnership with the South Coast Adoption Consortium and with those members we consider practise issues, meeting on a two monthly basis. The Service Provided The Adoption service responds within stated timeframes to initial enquiries and assessments. It recruits, prepares, assesses, trains, supports and matches adoptive families with children for whom adoption is the plan. The Adoption Service work to the policy and procedures set out for the Adoption Service. Adopters are provided with a range of information following approval to support them in the adoption task. A children s guide is available to children for whom adoption is the plan and we have independent counselling services available for birth families. The Adoption Service prepares reports for Court for step-parents wishing to adopt and assists those requesting access to information and birth records. The Adoption Service will prepare Special Guardianship Order reports for Court within the designated timeframe. Adoption Panel The Adoption Panel meets on the first Monday of the month at Enterprise House in Newport. This venue provides suitable accommodation, with a meeting room available for visitors attending panel. The agenda is not limited by time and Panel will sit until all agenda matters have been considered. Panel business and composition are dictated by regulation, details of which are in the Adoption Service Policy and Procedures. Each member of the adoption panel has detailed panel guidance and has signed a protocol clarifying their responsibilities with regard to attendance, training, confidentiality, anti-discriminatory practised and contribution. A minimum of two workshops a year are offered to train members on relevant issues. Since 1994 it has been the practice to invite applicants, and birth parents and young people (over the age of 8) to Panel when issues pertaining to them are being considered. The agency is often E - 34

6 approached by other local authorities seeking advice regarding this practise and on occasion, visitors have been invited to observe. Panel Members Independent Chair - Mary Doyle (retired head teacher, adoptive parent, foster carer) Quorum Member Independent Vice Chair - Adrian Bradshaw (adoptive parent) Quorum Member Social Worker Representatives Alison Wilson Consultant Social Worker (Looked After Children Unit 4) Quorum Member Matt Penney Consultant Social Worker (Child Protection Unit 1) Quorum Member Independent Members - Doreen Armstrong Quorum Member Vicki Ford Adoptive Parent Quorum Member Julie Wright Adoptee and Adoptive Parent Quorum Member Medical Advisor - Dr Arun Gulati Quorum Member Elected Member - Cllr Dawn Cousins Quorum Member Non-voting members - Legal Advisor Mat Drake / Laura Collins Adoption Advisor Dave Crewe Group Manager LAC Panel Administrator - Alyson Bloodworth Panel s recommendations and minutes of the discussions are presented to the Agency Decision Maker within 5 working days. Adoption Agency business between May 2010 and June 2011 Initial enquiries relating to adoption applicants Initial visits 7 (adoption), 17 (Special Guardianships), 5 (Step Parent Adoptions) Families attending preparation groups 9 couples Assessments completed 4 Placement disruption prior to the adoption order nil Placement disruption after adoption order one E - 35

7 Panel Business Children for whom adoption is the plan 8 Number of children placed for adoption 15 Adoption orders made 4 Adopters approved 4 Average time taken between best interest decision and placement Approx 8 months In relation to the plans for adoption and the approval of prospective adopters all the cases presented to the Panel were recommended. Adoption Support Services The Agency recognises the duty put upon it by the Adoption and Children Act 2002 to establish and maintain a service designed to meet the needs, in relation to adoption, of children who have been or may be adopted, parents and guardians of such children and persons who have adopted or may adopt a child. Additionally it recognises the new duties placed upon it by the Adoption Support Services (Local Authorities)(England) Regulations 2003 to carry out assessments of needs for adoption support services and having carried out an assessment the requirement to decide whether to provide any services. Children s Views Work is being undertaken with the Children s Rights and Participation officer to facilitate the representation of the views of children adopted and placed for adoption. These views will help to shape and inform service delivery. This will begin within the next three months. The Agency maintains an Adoption Information Exchange to facilitate indirect contact between adopted children and their birth families. The Agency facilitates on average 40 of these arrangements per year. This Statement of Purpose has been considered and approved by the Elected Members of the Isle of Wight Council. Members will review, update and modify the Statement, where necessary, at least annually. Complaints and Allegations There is a complaints procedure in place which addresses practice issues. The local 4 LCSB Safeguarding policy and practice guidelines have omitted to include children who have been adopted as a specific group, however this is being addressed by the local LCSB manager. E - 36

8 Adoption Services are inspected by Ofsted The address for the national office is Ofsted, NBU, 3rd Floor, Royal Exchange Buildings, St Ann s Square, Manchester, M2 7LA. Telephone no: NYAS (National Youth Advocate Service) - Linda Cappello, Advocate - Isle of Wight, Suite 7 St.Thomas House, St.Thomas Square, Newport, IOW, PO30 1SL Maggie Atkinson, The Office of the Children's Commissioner 33 Greycoat Street London SW1P 2QF Tel: Fax: Signed: Date: Agency Decision Maker: Signed: Date: Lead Member for Children s Services and Education E - 37

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