Adoption and Permanence Statement of purpose 2018-2019

Adoption and Permanence Statement of purpose 2018-2019
Adoption and
Statement of
Adoption and Permanence Statement of purpose 2018-2019
1. Introduction......................................................................................4

2. Role of the Adoption and Permanence Service...............................5

3. Principles and core values...............................................................6

4. Aims and objectives of the service...................................................7

5. Service users....................................................................................8

6. Multi-agency and joint working........................................................9

7. Services for prospective adopters.................................................11

8. The Adoption, Fostering and Permanence Panel...........................16

9. Services for Prospective Special Guardians..................................18

10. S
     ervices for children, adoptive parents,
    birth families and permanent carers...............................................20

11. Long Term Fostering ......................................................................22

12.	Organisational structure and management of the
    Adoption and Permanence Service ...............................................23

13. Quality Assurance..........................................................................25

14. Complaints.....................................................................................26

15.	The Registration Authority..............................................................27

16.	Other organisations and useful links..............................................27
Adoption and Permanence Statement of purpose 2018-2019
Adoption and
    Statement of Purpose

    1. Introduction
    This statement of purpose has been             This is a key document against which
    produced by Camden’s Adoption and              the Adoption and Permanence Service is           2. Role of the Adoption and Permanence Service
    Permanence Service under the Local             inspected by Ofsted. It has been endorsed
    Authority Adoption Services (England)          by the senior management group for children
    Regulations 2013 (amendments Adoption          services and is reviewed and updated on at       The main role of the Adoption and                    with disabilities and young children with
    Support 2014), the Special Guardianship        least an annual basis to reflect local targets   Permanence Service is to provide high                complex background factors such as
    (Amendments) Regulations 2016 and the          as well as national priorities for adoption as   quality adoptive placements, a wide range            drug misuse, mental health, etc.
    National Adoption Standards.                   set by the government.                           of adoption and special guardianship               ƒƒAssess, prepare and support family and
                                                                                                    support, and other permanency options,               friend carers to ensure that placements of
    The statement aims to give all stakeholders                                                     including long term placements with family           children within their families are enduring.
    and service users a clear understanding of                                                      and friends carers, for children who are           ƒƒTo provide a high quality adoption support
    the aims and objectives of the Adoption and                                                     looked after by the London Borough of                service to those affected by adoption and
    Permanence Service in Camden, as well as                                                        Camden and are unable to live with their             special guardianship.
    to detail the services that the Adoption and                                                    birth families. Children will be placed with
                                                                                                                                                       ƒƒEnsure continuity and stability for each
    Permanence Team provides.                                                                       families and carers who can offer them safe,
                                                                                                                                                         looked after child by planning for their
                                                                                                    stable care and promote their individual
                                                                                                                                                         future needs in a timely manner, exploring
                                                                                                    needs, consistent with statutory obligations
                                                                                                                                                         all permanence options available and
                                                                                                    and regulations regarding adoption and
                                                                                                                                                         planning effectively for these.
                                                                                                    placement of children.
                                                                                                                                                       ƒƒDemonstrate a high commitment to the
                                                                                                    The Adoption and Permanence Service has              Regionalisation of Adoption Agenda by
                                                                                                    identified the following strategic goals for the     working alongside the London Adoption
                                                                                                    forthcoming year which are aligned to the            Board and the North London Adoption
                                                                                                    Camden Plan 2018-2025.                               Consortium to share resources, focus on
                                                                                                                                                         innovative practice and develop wider
                                                                                                                                                         adoption strategies.
                                                                                                    ƒƒRecruit, assess, prepare and support a
                                                                                                      range of adopters to ensure a diverse            ƒƒMeet the requirements of adoption
                                                                                                      and confident mix of adoptive families             and special guardianship legislation,
                                                                                                      is available to meet the needs of those            government regulations and standards,
                                                                                                      children who are waiting for permanent             and corporate policy through continuous
                                                                                                      homes. The London Borough of Camden                monitoring of service standards
                                                                                                      is particularly looking for prospective            and practice.
                                                                                                      adopters who are able to take on a level
                                                                                                      of uncertainty and complexity such
                                                                                                      as sibling groups, black and minority
                                                                                                      ethnic children, older children, children

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Adoption and Permanence Statement of purpose 2018-2019
Adoption and
    Statement of Purpose

    3. Principles and core values

    Camden believes that all children and young           ƒƒAll decisions should be taken in a manner
    people who need permanent substitute                    that is fair and transparent, and individuals
    care should have an opportunity to grow                 should be given an opportunity to challenge
    up as part of a loving family who can meet              decisions. Services should be administered      4. Aims and objectives of the service
    their individual needs during childhood and             in a fair manner and in keeping with the
    beyond. The Adoption and Permanence                     Council’s equality and valuing diversity
    Service is therefore based on the following             policies.                                       Camden’s Adoption and Permanence service           Regular Permanency Planning Clinics are held
    principles:                                                                                             aims to provide an efficient service that meets    fortnightly to provide consultation to children’s
                                                          ƒƒDecisions about the child’s future should
                                                                                                            the needs of those children in the borough who     social workers to enable them to discuss
                                                            be taken in a timely manner that minimises
                                                                                                            require permanent substitute care by identifying   individual cases, explore permanence options
    ƒƒThe child’s welfare and safety should be the          delay. Camden fully embraces Foster for
                                                                                                            their individual needs and finding families to     and plan effectively to achieve these. This
      main focus throughout the adoption and                Adoption, so that for children who require
                                                                                                            match their needs within agreed timescales as      process ensures that all permanency options
      permanence planning process. Children’s               adoption, they can be placed with their
                                                                                                            set by the government or family courts.            are considered for every looked after child as
      rights should be respected at all times.              permanent family as early as possible.
                                                                                                                                                               well as that parallel planning is taking place.
    ƒƒChildren have the right to family life, stability   ƒƒAdoption is a life-long commitment that         The service aims to continue to improve and
      and continuity throughout their lives so that         has far-reaching consequences for those         increase timely adoption, make appropriate         The Adoption and Permanence Team also
      they are able to maintain their identity and          who are affected; this is recognised by staff   use of Special Guardianship Orders and,            ensures that a child’s friends and family
      develop their potential fully.                        involved in delivering adoption services, and   where appropriate, Family and Friends care.        network is fully explored and/or assessed
    ƒƒDecisions taken about placing children                services are delivered in a sensitive way.      The service will comply with the following         in relation to capacity to provide a stable,
      should consider all aspects of the child’s          ƒƒThe confidentiality of all those involved in    legislation and government regulations and         loving and permanent home to a Camden
      needs.                                                the adoption and permanence process is          standards:                                         looked after child. These assessments will be
                                                            respected at all times.                         ƒƒChildren Act 1989                                completed before planning for adoption.
    ƒƒRelationships that are important to the child
      should be sustained and developed where                                                               ƒƒCare Standards Act 2000                          Providing support services to children,
      possible and where this is assessed as                                                                ƒƒAdoption and Children Act 2002                   adopters and permanent carers as well as
      appropriate.                                                                                          ƒƒAdoption Agencies Regulations 2005               birth families is another key aim of the service.
    ƒƒChildren, birth parents, adoptive parents                                                                and 2014                                        These include social work support, training,
      and long term carers should have access to                                                            ƒƒThe Care Planning, Placement and                 support groups, special events, counselling
      all relevant information and be encouraged                                                               Case Review Regulations 2010 and                and/or signposting to independent advice.
      to participate in any discussions and                                                                    accompanying statutory guidance                 The service also aims to provide a culturally
      decision-making processes.
                                                                                                            ƒƒFriends and Family Care statutory guidance       sensitive service for adoptive parents, birth
                                                                                                               for Local Authorities 2011                      parents and adopted adults who wish to
                                                                                                            ƒƒThe National Minimum Standards for               contact family members from whom they were
                                                                                                               Adoption and Fostering Services 2011            separated following adoption. Support will be
                                                                                                               (updated 2014) and related statutory            offered via access to adoption files, provision
                                                                                                               guidance.                                       of advice, counselling and information on how
                                                                                                                                                               to access birth and adoption records, or by
                                                                                                            Early involvement of the Adoption and              acting as an intermediary agency for adopted
                                                                                                            Permanence Team in child care planning is          adults and birth relatives of the adopted adults.
                                                                                                            crucial to minimise disruption and avoid delay.

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Adoption and Permanence Statement of purpose 2018-2019
Adoption and
    Statement of Purpose

    5. Service users

    Adoption and Permanence Services are         ƒƒChildren and adoptive parents who require
    provided to:                                   adoption support services
                                                 ƒƒChildren and Special Guardians who require
    ƒƒChildren who are to be adopted or need
                                                   support, where the child was a looked after
      substitute permanent care
                                                   child in Camden immediately prior to the
    ƒƒBirth parents                                Order                                         6. Multi-agency and joint working
    ƒƒProspective and approved adopters          ƒƒAdopted adults and members of their birth
      including those who are seeking to adopt     families.
      from overseas                                                                              The London Borough of Camden aims to work           Specific to adoption, in 2013, NLAC
                                                                                                 with our partner agencies and organisations to      introduced a new and innovative way of
    ƒƒProspective Special Guardians
                                                                                                 improve the range and quality of adoption and       delivering adoption services to applicants,
                                                                                                 permanence services. Camden is part of the          responding to the newly introduced two-stage
                                                                                                 North London Adoption Consortium (NLAC)             adoption process. In November 2014, the
                                                                                                 whose aim is to develop joint initiatives and       consortium divided into North (Enfield, Barnet,
                                                                                                 improve practice to speed up the process of         Haringey) and South (Camden, Islington,
                                                                                                 adoption for children in member boroughs.           Hackney) to more effectively respond to the
                                                                                                 NLAC also aims to provide support to Special        recruitment and assessment of prospective
                                                                                                 Guardians.                                          adopters. The consortium members work
                                                                                                                                                     closely to deliver a programme of adoption,
                                                                                                 Member boroughs are:                                recruitment, training, preparation, assessment
                                                                                                 ƒƒLondon Borough of Camden                          and support.
                                                                                                 ƒƒLondon Borough of Islington
                                                                                                 ƒƒLondon Borough of Haringey                        The consortium also has its own website
                                                                                                 ƒƒLondon Borough of Barnet                          and social media accounts through which
                                                                                                 ƒƒLondon Borough of Enfield                         prospective adopters can make enquiries
                                                                                                 ƒƒLondon Borough of Hackney                         about adoption which are then passed on
                                                                                                                                                     to the relevant local authority for further
                                                                                                 Camden’s Adoption and Permanence Service            assessment. The Adoption and Permanence
                                                                                                 benefits from partnership arrangements              team manager acts as Camden’s link with
                                                                                                 with the NLAC. These arrangements include           the consortium. Other groups, such as family
                                                                                                 sharing information about children and              finding, preparation group coordinators,
                                                                                                 families waiting for placements, participation      recruitment officers and adoption and special
                                                                                                 in joint advertising and recruitment initiatives,   guardianship support, meet regularly to
                                                                                                 training and support as well as developing          exchange and enhance practice development
                                                                                                 and sharing good practice in relation               and ways of working together to deliver a
                                                                                                 to initiatives in adoption and achieving            robust and ground-breaking practice.
                                                                                                 permanence for children.

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Adoption and Permanence Statement of purpose 2018-2019
Adoption and
      Statement of Purpose

     Through the consortium, Camden has a service      7. Services for prospective adopters
     level agreement with Intercountry Adoption
     Centre, who provide the training, counselling
     and assessment of inter-country adopters.
                                                      7.1   Recruitment                                  respond to enquiries and are committed to
     In providing services, the Adoption and                                                             responding positively to anyone who has an
     Permanence Team will work closely with all       Camden has developed a comprehensive               interest in adoption. The teams provide clear,
     staff involved in the process across different   recruitment strategy, jointly with NLAC, based     written information for prospective adopters
     service areas within Children’s Safeguarding     on the changing needs of children requiring        about the assessment and approval process.
     and Social Work as well as outside partners      adoptive placements. Recruitment campaigns         A full information pack is sent out electronically
     such as health and education partners or         are carefully targeted to achieve the provision    within one working day of an initial enquiry.
     national organisations. Details concerning       of adoptive placements that match the needs
     service and agency partners can be found         of the children waiting for adoption.              Enquiries and applications are welcomed from
     at the end of this document under Useful                                                            all sections of society, including single people,
     Addresses and Contacts.                          The benefit of having a joint recruitment          same sex couples and unmarried couples and
                                                      strategy with the consortium means that            people from a wide variety of races, religions
                                                      Camden can embark on campaigns that reach          and cultures.
                                                      a wider audience. Advertising campaigns are
                                                      launched across North London and beyond.           Following attendance at an open evening,
                                                      Monthly open evenings run across South             applicants are invited to complete an
                                                      NLAC to enable prospective adopters to             Expression of Interest form. On the basis of this
                                                      find out more about adoption and to answer         information the application can be progressed.
                                                      any queries they may have. Camden also
                                                      runs a number of other recruitment activities
                                                      throughout the year, including a big recruitment   7.2 Assessment
                                                      event during National Adoption Week in
                                                      October, and is involved in a wide range of        All applicants are encouraged to view the
                                                      community events to raise awareness of             consortium website and attend an information
                                                      adoption. All publicity materials are designed     evening. They will also have the opportunity
                                                      in a way that is sensitive to the cultural and     to discuss their personal circumstances with
                                                      linguistic needs of the prospective adopters.      a social worker either via telephone or during
                                                                                                         an office appointment. This ensures that
                                                      Two daily duty services run across the North       adopters have a clear understanding of the
                                                      and South teams within the consortium to           types of children that are currently awaiting

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Adoption and Permanence Statement of purpose 2018-2019
Adoption and
      Permanence                                                                                          Panel recommendations are passed to Anne            and development will be considered as well
      Statement of Purpose                                                                                Turner, Director of Children’s Safeguarding         as how adopters may meet their needs.
                                                                                                          and Social Work or Martin Pratt, Executive
                                                                                                          Director Supporting People, who are the             Matches will be considered from a number
                                                                                                          designated Agency Decision Makers. They will        of sources, which include Camden children,
                                                                                                          consider the recommendation made by the             the North London Adoption Consortium and
     adoption. If adopters are able to consider       are invited to sign a Stage 2 Agreement and         panel and decide whether or not to approve          organisations like the Adoption Register and
     the profiles of children waiting both locally    arrangements are also made for them to attend       the prospective adopters.                           Link Maker. Adopters are also invited to attend
     and nationally, they will be encouraged and      a three-day Preparation Course.                                                                         Adoption Exchange Days, where children
     supported to begin the assessment.                                                                   The ADM makes a decision on all panel               from a number of local authorities are profiled.
                                                      Stage 2 should be completed within 4                recommendations as soon as receiving the            Activity Days are also periodically held across
     The adoption assessment is structured as         months, including being presented to Panel          final set of minutes and recommendations but        all London boroughs.
     follows:                                         and the recommendation being ratified by the        not later than 7 working days.
                                                      Agency Decision Maker.                                                                                  In considering a match with an identified
     Stage 1                                                                                              Applicants whose approval is not agreed by          child, adopters are given a copy of the Child’s
     Prospective adopters complete a Registration     As part of the assessment process, the social       the panel or the ADM can ask for their case         Permanence Report which contains full
     of Interest form, which marks the beginning of   worker will also interview family members,          to be reviewed by the Independent Review            information about the background and needs
     Stage 1. This stage should last two months.      friends and others in the prospective               Mechanism (IRM). Details of this process            of the child, including health, educational
     Applicants are allocated a social worker         adopter’s support network, and any person           together with timescales are made available to      and therapeutic needs and other unique
     to support their learning and a Stage 1          with whom someone has had a significant             the applicants during the adoption process.         characteristics such as cultural or religious
     Agreement plan is made.                          relationship, particularly if there were children                                                       background. The adopter will be able to meet
                                                      as part of that relationship.                       The IRM works to the following timescales:          with the child’s social worker and any other
     During this stage, the following must be                                                             ƒƒApplicants have 40 working days from the          professionals who are working with the child,
     completed:                                       All prospective adopters have the opportunity         decision to decide to contact the IRM             such as the medical advisor or the child’s
     ƒƒApplicants to attend Foundation Day            to read the assessment report prepared by           ƒƒCamden will be required to produce relevant       foster carer, to discuss these needs.
       training (this may be completed prior to       the assessing social worker and make their            documentation within 10 working days
       Stage 1 commencing).                           own comments for the panel. A midway                                                                    Once it has been agreed to proceed with
                                                                                                          ƒƒThe IRM will set up a panel within 3 months
                                                      meeting is often held during the assessment.                                                            the match, the social worker will prepare
     ƒƒAll statutory checks including DBS,                                                                  of the application.
                                                      It’s general practice that adopters are involved                                                        an Adoption Placement Report which the
       medicals, background checks and                in these meetings. Once the report has been                                                             adopters will have an opportunity to both
       references.                                                                                        The IRM is currently operated by CoramBAAF
                                                      agreed it is formally submitted to the panel for                                                        contribute to and consider before agreeing the
     ƒƒWorkbook: this is an assessment tool which                                                         Academy for Adoption & Fostering.
                                                      a recommendation for approval.                                                                          final report with the social worker.
       applicants are supported to complete prior
       to moving on to Stage 2.                                                                                                                               Once agreed, this is sent to the Adoption
                                                                                                          7.4 Matching
                                                      7.3 Approval                                                                                            and Permanence Panel along with a
     Stage 1 can be extended for up to six months                                                                                                             comprehensive Adoption Support Plan, in
     for legitimate reasons, without having to                                                            Approved adopters are given clear information
                                                      Recommendations about whether prospective                                                               order to make a recommendation to the ADM
     restart the process.                                                                                 about the matching, introduction and
                                                      adopters should be approved to adopt are                                                                as to whether the child should be placed for
                                                                                                          placement process. Following this, a Post
                                                      made by the Camden Adoption, Fostering                                                                  adoption with the proposed adopter(s).
     At the end of Stage 1, a review meeting is                                                           Approval Meeting is held in order to clarify
                                                      and Permanence Panel, which meets once a
     held with the adopters to review the outcome                                                         and agree how the adopters will be supported
                                                      fortnight.                                                                                              The Panel may also give advice on
     of Stage 1 with a view to progress to Stage 2.                                                       in identifying a suitable match for them. Once
                                                                                                                                                              arrangements regarding contact, adoption
                                                                                                          approved and prior to matching, adopters will
                                                      The panel will read the report of the                                                                   support services and the extent to which
                                                                                                          be invited to attend workshops on a range of
     Stage 2                                          assessing social worker, and any other                                                                  prospective adopters will be able to exercise
                                                                                                          topics such as transitions and education.
     All the applicants’ learning and information     information that may be presented, and                                                                  parental responsibility once a child has been
     gained in Stage 1 (including the Workbook)       will make a recommendation to the council                                                               placed with them.
                                                                                                          The matching process is designed to ensure
     form the basis of the Home Study and support     about approval as a prospective adopter.
                                                                                                          that children are placed with adoptive families
     completion of the Prospective Adopters Report    Prospective adopters will be invited to attend
                                                                                                          who are most likely to be able to meet the
     (PAR). At the beginning of Stage 2, applicants   the panel meeting.
                                                                                                          child’s needs. All aspects of the child’s history

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Adoption and Permanence Statement of purpose 2018-2019
Adoption and
      Statement of Purpose

                                                      • Therapeutic services for the child
     7.5 Placement                                    Camden has access to a range of therapeutic
                                                      services for children, including CAMHS, the
     Once a child has been placed for adoption, the   Tavistock Clinic and PAC-UK.
     child’s social worker and the adopter’s social
     worker will visit the placement regularly to     • Financial support
     monitor the child’s progress and support the     Financial support can be provided to help
     placement. Review meetings will be held and      adoptive parents with any additional costs
     chaired by an Independent Reviewing Officer,     in caring for the child, in particular where the   any new requests for adoption support from
     as part of the requirement to review Looked                                                         adoptive families who live in the borough.      7.8 Non Agency adoptions
                                                      child has specific on-going needs. There is no
     After Children’s care and adoption plans.        automatic entitlement to financial support and     Camden is responsible for supporting families
                                                                                                         with whom they have placed children for a       People who are resident in Camden wishing
                                                      support will be subject to a means test and
     Adoption Support Plans and services are                                                             period of three years, following the granting   to adopt a child they are caring for must notify
                                                      reviewed at least annually.
     reviewed at this meeting; once the adoption                                                         of an adoption order. Camden is able to offer   the department of their intention to adopt.
     order is granted, such services continue to be                                                      adoption support services to any adopters and   These notifications are logged and monitored
                                                      • Mediation around contact issues
     reviewed annually.                                                                                  children/young people who reside in Camden.     within the Adoption and Permanence team by
                                                      The team runs a letter-box contact scheme
                                                                                                                                                         the team manager.
                                                      that enables birth families and adopted
     All adopters of Camden children will be          children to exchange letters and birthday
     offered between 3-6 consultations with                                                                                                              The Adoption and Permanence team
                                                      cards. The service is confidential and is          7.7 Overseas adoptions
     a clinical psychologist, based within the                                                                                                           can offer support and guidance on such
                                                      normally agreed and set up as part of the
     CAMHS. These consultations give adoptive                                                            Applicants wishing to adopt from another        specialist adoption issues. Such assessments
                                                      adoption planning for the child.
     parents the opportunity to think about the                                                          country are referred to the Intercountry        are allocated within the Adoption and
     type of parenting the child may need and                                                            Adoption Centre (ICA), a contracted agency      Permanence team for the preparation of the
                                                      The team can also facilitate direct contact
     support following placement of the child. If                                                        who undertakes this work on behalf of           Annex A report required by the Court in all
                                                      between the adopted child and their birth
     further sessions are required, these can be                                                         Camden, via the North London Adoption           adoption applications.
                                                      family where this has been agreed and
     negotiated.                                      deemed in the child’s best interests.              Consortium. ICA is an associate member of
                                                                                                         the North London Adoption Consortium. ICA
                                                      Post placement, Camden as well as NLAC             also provides a service that monitors and
     7.6 Support                                      organise training and/or events for adoptive       reviews intercountry placements, once a child
                                                      families that give them an opportunity to meet     enters the UK.
     During the assessment and matching process,      other adoptive families, and can also help
     the support needs of the adopters and child      them in accessing support groups.
     are fully explored and considered. Within
     Camden and the NLAC there is a range             Adoptive families have the right to request an
     of adoption support services available for       assessment for adoption support services.
     adoptive families. These could include:          Where they consider they need to have
                                                      support services, they can contact the
     • Information, advice and counselling            adoption support services advisor based
     The team can offer advice, information and       in the Adoption and Permanence team
     counselling to adoptive parents, or can refer    for information and advice on the types of
     them on to more appropriate resources.           services available.
     Camden also has access to counselling
     services provided by the Post-Adoption Centre. The Adoption Support team will respond to

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Adoption and Permanence Statement of purpose 2018-2019
Adoption and
      Statement of Purpose

     8. The Adoption, Fostering and Permanence Panel
     Since October 2014, Camden has been                 recommendations on support plans.             as much as possible. The Agency Decision          years’ relevant post-qualifying experience.
     running a joint Adoption, Fostering and           ƒƒTo consider any adoption support plans        Maker (ADM) makes the final decision.           ƒƒEducation specialist
     Permanence Panel, which is an independent           submitted as part of the proposed             Camden has two ADMs: the Director of
     panel, set up to oversee Camden’s fostering         placement.                                    Children’s Safeguarding and Social Work and     In addition the Panel has:
     and adoption service as set out in the Children   ƒƒTo consider and give advice on contact        the Executive Director Supporting People, who   ƒƒA Legal Adviser
     Act 1989, the Care Standards Act 2000 and           arrangements, the exercise of parental        are the designated Agency Decision Makers.
                                                                                                                                                       ƒƒAn Agency Adviser
     the Children and Families Act 2014.                 responsibility post-placement and the
                                                                                                       Should any adopters disagree with the panel     ƒƒA Panel Administrator
                                                         numbers and types of children a prospective
     The panel’s overall functions and purpose are:      adopter may be suitable to adopt.             recommendation and the agency decision
                                                                                                       maker’s decision, they are able to make         All children’s plans for adoption are considered
     ƒƒTo consider and make recommendations            ƒƒTo provide a thorough and critical
                                                                                                       representation to appeal to the Independent     by Camden’s Agency Decision Makers.
       about whether a child should be placed for        consideration of all cases presented to it
       adoption in those cases where there is no                                                       Review Mechanism.
                                                         in order to make sound and appropriate
       court involvement.                                recommendations to the agency decision
     ƒƒTo consider and make recommendations                                                            The composition of the Panel is made up as
                                                         maker who makes the final decision.
       about the approval of prospective adopters                                                      follows:
                                                       ƒƒTo consider and provide advice on any other
       and long term foster carers, including                                                          ƒƒAn independent chairperson who has
                                                         issues affecting Camden’s Fostering and
       family and friends carers who wish to be                                                            appropriate skills and experience in
                                                         Adoption Service.
       considered as long-term carers for a child                                                          adoption and permanence work
       they are currently looking after.                                                               ƒƒTwo independent vice chairs who can, if
                                                       The panel consists of a central list of panel       required, chair the Panel
     ƒƒThe continuation of foster carer’s approval
                                                       members who have been recruited because
       terms at the first annual foster carer review                                                   ƒƒA councillor who serves on a full and equal
                                                       they have the necessary experience and
       and then at intervals of 3 years or as                                                              basis as other panel members
                                                       expertise to contribute effectively to the
       requested by the Fostering Service. To also                                                     ƒƒA medical adviser who makes a full
                                                       discharge of the panel functions. Camden’s
       review prospective adopters’ approval on an                                                         contribution to the wider aspects of the
                                                       panel aims to ensure that the panel reflects
       annual basis.                                                                                       panel as well as providing advice and
                                                       the diversity of the borough and includes
     ƒƒThe termination of approval of adopters and     representation from as wide a field as              comment on medical issues
       foster carers.                                  possible in terms of professional knowledge     ƒƒAt least 3 other independent persons
     ƒƒTo consider and make recommendations            and experience of adoption and fostering.           who include, where reasonably practical,
       about the proposed matches between              The panel also works to ensure that panel           two people with personal experience of
       children and prospective adopters               membership is gender-balanced and reflects          adoption.
       and long term foster carers, and make           the ethnic and cultural composition of Camden   ƒƒTwo social workers, each with at least 3

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Adoption and Permanence Statement of purpose 2018-2019
Adoption and
      Statement of Purpose

      9. Services for Prospective Special Guardians

     The Adoption and Children’s Act 2002              ƒƒThe nature of the prospective special           ƒƒLetterbox service, if needed, to facilitate
     provides the legal framework for special            guardian’s relationship with the child,           correspondence between birth parents,
     guardianship under the Children Act 1989.           currently and previously                          children and the new family
     In addition to these, the Adoption and            ƒƒThe prospective special guardian’s ability to   ƒƒReviews of support needs, at least annually
     Permanence Service closely follows the              meet the child’s needs in the short term and    ƒƒSpecial Guardianship allowance, which is
     statutory guidance for local authorities on the     into adulthood                                    means tested and reviewed annually
     Special Guardianship Regulations 2005 (as         ƒƒThe prospective special guardian’s ability
     amended in 2016). The Special Guardianship          to keep the child safe and protect from any     The Adoption and Permanence team is
     Orders were introduced to meet the needs of         harm and/or abuse                               responsible for providing support services for
     children for whom adoption is not appropriate,                                                      those affected by special guardianship orders
                                                       ƒƒContact arrangements based on the child’s
     but who could still benefit from a legally                                                          that live in the borough, including the child,
     secure placement.                                                                                   their parents and the special guardian for a
                                                       ƒƒRobust background checks on the
                                                         prospective guardian(s) including an            period of three years following the granting of
     The Adoption and Permanence Team                                                                    the Special Guardianship Order. After three
     provides an assessment and support                  enhanced DBS, medical, local authority
                                                         checks, references, etc.                        years, the responsibility for support (except the
     service to prospective special guardians for                                                        allowance) is transferred to the local authority
     a Camden looked after child, or for a child       ƒƒSupport needs and subsequent support
                                                                                                         in which the special guardian lives.
     who resides in Camden and has been in               plan, during assessment as well as post
     placement with the proposed carer for at            order
     least 12 months. On receipt of a notice of an
     application for a special guardianship order,     In addition to assessment, the Adoption and
     the team prepares a report for the court on       Permanence team also provides:
     the suitability of the applicant to be a long     ƒƒInformation and advice to prospective
     term carer for the given child.                      special guardians
                                                       ƒƒSupport for special guardians, including
     In assessing a prospective special guardian,         financial support
     the following are considered:
                                                       ƒƒAssistance with managing contact, subject
     ƒƒThe child’s individual needs including             to regular reviews
       their background, age, gender, health,          ƒƒAccess to social work support either by
       behavioural and identity needs, and any            allocated social worker or the Adoption and
       harm they have previously suffered                 Permanence Duty line
     ƒƒThe wishes and feelings of the child and        ƒƒAccess to additional training and support
       others                                             via the North London Adoption Consortium

18                                                                                                                                                           19
Adoption and
      Statement of Purpose

     10. Services for children, adoptive parents,
          birth families and permanent carers

                                                     Further information is provided in the Adoption    child’s social worker in the selection and       who are trying to trace birth relatives, and
     10.1 Consortium services                        Support Handbook, which is available on            matching process and can remain involved         to birth relatives who are trying to trace an
                                                     the Camden website and provides detailed           until the second review.                         adopted adult.
     The North London Adoption and Fostering         information about sources of support.
     Consortium has been working closely                                                                Following a match being made, an adoption        The team can:
     together for over 13 years to provide a         The consortium also provides support to            support social worker is allocated to monitor
     wide range of adoption services in the          special guardians and it includes the following:                                                    ƒƒprovide counselling to the individual wishing
                                                                                                        the adoption support plan and support all
     consortium, in addition to those provided by                                                                                                          to trace a relative
                                                     ƒƒIntroduction to Special Guardianship             parties, including the birth family.
     each individual Adoption and/or Permanence                                                                                                          ƒƒaccess information from a variety of sources
     Support Team.                                     workshop
                                                                                                                                                           to help individuals begin the tracing process
                                                     ƒƒPost order training on certain themes:           10.3 Adoption Support Fund
     The consortium adoption support services are      • Trauma and attachment                                                                           ƒƒact as an intermediary between the
     summarised as follows:                            • Contact and family dynamics                    The London Borough of Camden has worked            individual, other adoption agencies and the
                                                       • Life story telling                             with consortium partners in developing a           person being traced to establish whether or
                                                                                                        comprehensive range of adoption support            not that person wishes to have contact.
       • Post approval training                      ƒƒMonthly support groups to special
       • Specialist parenting training, including      guardians                                        services to fit with the introduction of the
         ‘Adoption Changes’ and ‘Newly                                                                  Adoption Support Passport and Adoption
         Approved Adopters’.                         ƒƒSpecial event days available to special          Support Fund (ASF).                              10.5 Services for birth parents
                                                       guardians and their children
     ƒƒSupport groups:                                                                                  Camden has been proactive in ensuring that       Birth parents, relatives and others who had a
       • Groups for teenagers and their parents      ƒƒCommissioned services to address areas                                                            significant relationship with an adopted child
                                                       such as counselling or mediation                 adopters and special guardians (as of April
       • Annual Children’s group for 5-11 year                                                          2016) are aware of the Adoption Support          can request support for information, advice
         olds and their parents                                                                         Fund. Carers are able to access the ASF          and counselling around adoption, as well as to
       • Adopted Adults group                                                                           once an Adoption or Special Guardianship         seek assistance around contact issues. Within
       • Bi-monthly support group for adopters in    10.2 Services for children                                                                          the North London Adoption Consortium we
                                                                                                        Support Assessment has been completed by
         Camden, Islington, Hackney, Enfield and                                                        an allocated social worker within 6-8 weeks.     have a comprehensive support package,
         Haringey.                                   The Adoption and Permanence Team liaises                                                            which is provided via a service level
                                                     closely with those professionals working           A good level of scrutiny is provided to all
                                                                                                        applications prior to them being submitted       agreement with PAC-UK.
     ƒƒCommissioned support services, for            with children who have been identified as
       example, PAC-UK, which offers advice,         requiring an adoptive placement. Once the          to the ASF.
                                                                                                                                                         The team can help birth parents, relatives
       counselling, therapeutic family work,         ADM approves an adoption plan, the child is                                                         and others to access counselling via a
       training and support groups for all parties   allocated a family finding social worker and
                                                                                                        10.4 Adoption information                        range of independent adoption support and
       to adoption and permanent care. They          six weekly family finding reviews commence                                                          voluntary agencies.
       also support adopters in relation to the      to ensure ongoing scrutiny of this plan. The
       education of adopted children.                                                                   The Adoption and Permanence team provides
                                                     family finding social worker works with the
                                                                                                        intermediary services to assist adopted adults

20                                                                                                                                                                                                         21
Adoption and
      Statement of Purpose

      11. Long Term Fostering
                                                                                                           12.	Organisational structure and management
     For some children, long term fostering is the      Camden remains committed to fully explore               of the Adoption and Permanence Service
     preferred permanence option, particularly          and support all permanency solutions
     older children who maintain close and              for children. As such, the current policy          Camden is continuing to work towards              The Adoption and Permanence team
     significant relationship with birth parents        framework for long term fostering will             improving its permanence planning for looked      undertakes family finding for all children in
     and relatives. Changes to care planning            be revised and updated in line with new            after children. Camden is committed to            Camden who require an adoptive family. The
     regulations mean that long term fostering          legislative changes. The proposed framework        achieving the appropriate care plan for each      family finding social worker presents matches
     is now considered a statutory permanence           for decision making will need to address the       child, whether that be to return home to their    to the Adoption, Fostering and Permanence
     option for looked after children. Presently, the   following:                                         birth family, to be cared for by Family and       Panel in partnership with the child’s social
     framework for decision making around long          ƒƒdecision making regarding long term              Friends carers under a child arrangement or       worker and the adopter’s social worker. The
     term fostering is dependent on the child’s age;        fostering as the child’s permanence plan       special guardianship order, long term fostering   family finding social worker has a role to
     where the child is under 11, the Adoption and                                                         or adoption.                                      co-ordinate and support introductions and
                                                        ƒƒassessing the suitability of carers to be long
     Permanence team takes the lead and cases                                                                                                                placements.
                                                            term foster carers
     go to the Fostering and Adoption Panel for                                                            The Adoption and Permanence Team
                                                        ƒƒdeciding on the suitability of proposed          is located within the Supporting People           The Adoption and Permanence Team also
     a recommendation before a final decision
                                                            matches                                        Directorate, Children’s Safeguarding and          provides a family finding service for children
     is made by the ADM. The process closely
     follows adoption procedure and practice as         ƒƒdeciding on what level of delegated              Social Work Division, the Director of which       under 11 who require permanent fostering,
     described above.                                       authority should be given to permanent         has overall responsibility for the Adoption and   and has responsibility for special guardianship
                                                            carers, the frequency of visits and LAC        Permanence Service.                               assessment and support services. Long-term
                                                            reviews                                                                                          fostering placements for young people aged
                                                                                                           The Adoption and Permanence Service is            11 and above are arranged by the Looked
                                                                                                           structured into three distinct areas:             After Children team, Resource team and the
                                                                                                           ƒƒAdoption work,                                  Fostering Service.
                                                                                                           ƒƒFriends and Family Fostering and Special
                                                                                                              Guardianship assessments,                      The Adoption and Permanence Team offers
                                                                                                                                                             adoption support services, and the senior
                                                                                                           ƒƒAdoption & Special Guardianship Support.
                                                                                                                                                             practitioner based in the team acts as
                                                                                                                                                             Camden’s Adoption Support Services Adviser
                                                                                                           This ensures the team is able to maintain
                                                                                                                                                             (ASSA). The team are able to provide adoption
                                                                                                           specialisms and much needed expertise
                                                                                                                                                             support services from the second review
                                                                                                           in adoption and permanence. The current
                                                                                                                                                             following placement and remain involved for
                                                                                                           structure also allows for work to be completed
                                                                                                                                                             long as is appropriate after an adoption order
                                                                                                           in a flexible manner across the sub-teams to
                                                                                                                                                             has been made. This team is responsible
                                                                                                           ensure good and timely service is provided in
                                                                                                                                                             for Adoption Support Assessments and
                                                                                                           all areas according to service need.
                                                                                                                                                             applications to the ASF.

22                                                                                                                                                                                                             23
Adoption and
      Statement of Purpose

     The Adoption and Permanence team is                other teams across the department, offering
     responsible for reviewing all the adoption         social workers advice and consultation.
     support plans as appropriate. A review of the
                                                        All staff have access to training courses and
                                                                                                        13. Quality Assurance
     financial support offered to families is carried
                                                        are kept updated on developments in practice
     out annually.
                                                        and legislative changes.                        The Adoption and Permanence Service is               policy that sets out clearly its role and
     Staff within the Adoption and Permanence                                                           monitored regularly to ensure that performance       responsibilities, and provides a reference for
     team work closely and in partnership with                                                          adheres to the standards set out by legislation      good practice.
                                                                                                        and council policies. The service’s aims and       ƒƒProspective adopters are effectively
     Adoption and Permanence Service management structure is detailed below:                            objectives are also reviewed as part of the          recruited, prepared, trained and supported
                                                                                                        Children and Young People’s Plan by both             so that the adoptive placements available
     Name                       Designation
                                                                                                        Service and Divisional managers.                     are of a high quality and able to meet the
     Martin Pratt               Executive Director
                                                                                                                                                             needs of the children.
                                Supporting People                                                       An annual report on the work of the Adoption
                                Agency Decision Maker                                                                                                      ƒƒProspective special guardians are effectively
                                                                                                        Panel and the Adoption and Permanence                assessed, trained and supported to ensure
     Anne Turner                Director                                                                Service is produced for the senior management        placement stability and longevity.
                                Children’s Safeguarding and Social Work                                 group, the Camden Safeguarding Children
                                Agency Decision Maker                                                                                                      ƒƒAll adopters approved for over a year and
                                                                                                        Board, and the Corporate Parenting Board.
                                                                                                                                                             who have not been matched with a child
     Sally Joseph               Head of Childrens Care Provision
                                                                                                                                                             are reviewed annually by the Adoption
     Pal Jandu                  Service Manager for Care Provisions and Panel Advisor                   The mechanisms for quality assurance are:
                                                                                                                                                             and Permanence team manager and
     Holly Parlett              Manager, Adoption & Permanence Team                                     ƒƒAll staff in the Adoption and Permanence           the recommendation is presented to the
     Janice Clarke              Senior Practitioner, Adoption                                             Team receive regular supervision and               Adoption and Fostering Panel.
                                                                                                          training, as well as an annual appraisal. The
     Rhonda Barrow              Adoption Social Workers                                                                                                    ƒƒThe Adoption and Fostering Panel is
                                                                                                          team manager is supervised by the Head of
     Caroline Faleye                                                                                                                                         independent of the Council management
                                                                                                          Children’s Care Provision.
     Karen George                                                                                                                                            structure and is responsible for scrutinising
                                                                                                        ƒƒChildren’s cases are regularly reviewed,           applications from prospective adopters and
     Val Forrest                Senior Practitioner, Adoption and Special Guardianship Support
                                                                                                          with statutory child care reviews chaired          adoption plans for children.
     Sheila McInnes             Adoption and Special Guardianship Support Social Workers                  by Independent Reviewing Officers who
     Sue Bineham                                                                                                                                           ƒƒSenior managers hold a tracking meeting
                                                                                                          are attached to the Division’s Quality
     Eleni Christodoulou                                                                                                                                     regularly to monitor the progress of all
                                                                                                          Assurance Unit.
     Chantelle Stevens          Senior Practitioner, Family and Friends                                                                                      children who are to be placed for adoption
                                                                                                        ƒƒManagement information is collected                or waiting permanency.
     Lizzie Allan               Social Workers, Family and Friends                                        regularly to ensure performance indicators
     Rebecca Allan                                                                                                                                         ƒƒWhere an adoptive placement breaks down,
                                                                                                          are met, to deliver efficient provision of the
     Faye Trimmer                                                                                                                                            a disruption meeting is held, chaired by a
                                                                                                          service and to set targets for the service.
     Natasha Erskine            Marketing and Recruitment Officer                                                                                            senior manager or independent person, and
                                                                                                        ƒƒThe Adoption and Permanence team                   the findings are fed back to the Adoption
     Marco Reis                 Panel Coordinators                                                        operates in accordance to written policies         and Fostering Panel.
     Rodney Ayer                                                                                          and procedures, legal and regulatory
                                                                                                          framework and is subject to corporate

24                                                                                                                                                                                                            25
Adoption and
      Statement of Purpose

       14. Complaints
                                                                                                         15.	The Registration                          16.	Other organisations
     At Camden Children’s Safeguarding and                If a child or young person makes a complaint        Authority                                      and useful links
     Social Work we aim to provide the best               about services provided for them, then the
     possible service. If a service user, or someone      Children Act complaints procedure must
     planning to use our service, is unhappy with         be followed. In this event, a child or young   The Office for Standards in Education,       CORAMBAAF Academy for Adoption and
     any aspect of our service or a decision we           person involved in the complaint will be       Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted) is   Fostering
     make, they can make a complaint. This is             entitled to an advocate to support and         responsible for monitoring, regulating and   Coram Campus,
     important as it helps us to improve                  represent them in the process.                 inspecting adoption services under the       41 Brunswick Square,
     our services.                                                                                       provisions of the Care Standards Act 2000.   London WC1N 1AZ
                                                          Advice on making a complaint can be sought                                                  Tel: 020 7520 0300
     It is the responsibility of the staff and their      from the complaints and representations team   The address of the registration office is:
     managers based in the Adoption and                   in the Supporting People Directorate.                                                       Department of Education Adoption Web
     Permanence Team to try to put right any                                                             Ofsted                                       Pages
     concerns raised by service users when a              This team can be contacted at:                 National Business Unit,                      Adoption - The Department for Education
     problem first arises. This local resolution is the                                                  Royal Exchange Building,
     first stage of the complaints process.               Complaints Unit                                At Ann’s Square,                             Adoption UK
                                                          Hayden Glassey                                 Manchester M2 7LA                            46 The Green, South Bar Street,
     If the complaint cannot be resolved at the first     5th Floor, 5 Pancras Square,                   Tel: 08456 404045                            Banbury OX16 9AB
     stage, it may be necessary for it to progress        London N1C 4AG                                                                              Tel: 01295 752240
     to stage two, where it is formally investigated.     Phone: 020 7974 6673                           Children’s Rights Officer                    Fax: 01295 752241
     Service users have a right to go straight to         Email:       Roger Morgan                                 Website:
     this stage of the process, if they wish.             Website:              Ofsted
                                                                                                         Alexander House,                             PAC-UK (Post-Adoption Centre)
     If the complaint is still unresolved after the                                                      33 Kingsway,                                 5 Torriano Mews, Torriano Avenue,
     formal investigation at stage two, a Review                                                         London WC2B 6SE                              London, NW5 2RZ
     Panel may be requested, which is chaired by                                                                                                      Tel: 020 7284 0555
     an independent person. This is stage three of                                                                                                    Website:
     the process.

26                                                                                                                                                                                              27
Camden’s Adoption and             If any stakeholders have any feedback or
Permanence Team is based at:      comments about this document or the role
                                  of the Adoption and Permanence Team,
Children’s Care Provision         then please contact us on our duty line at
Phase 1, 1st Floor                020 7974 3082, or please contact:
Crowndale Centre
218 Eversholt Street,             Sally Joseph - Head of Children’s Care Provision
London NW1 1BD                    Tel: 020 7974 6798
Tel: 020 7974 3082
Fax: 020 7974 6799                Pal Jandu – Service Manager of Adoption,
Email:     Fostering and Resources / Panel Advisor
Website:   Tel: 020 7974 3079

                                  Holly Parlett - Team Manager, Adoption and
                                  Permanence Team
                                  Tel: 020 7974 1056
                                                                                     Creative services 2017. 124.213 Tel. 020 7974 1985

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