Fostering and adoption

Adoption and fostering are complex systems involving a number of key processes: recruitment, assessment, training and approval of adopters / foster carers, the matching of children to carers and ongoing support. Additional to these are the requirement for hefty amounts of paperwork to be compiled and updated. It is not surprising, therefore, that the system has often been characterised as complicated, slow and bureaucratic.

A number of measures have been introduced by the DfE since 2010 to tackle these issues and we have supported both local authorities and VAAs to implement these changes and make the most of available funds to support them. Building on our hands-on experience of managing adoption and fostering services, we have provided service reviews for clients as well as process improvement projects designed to remove some of the inherent bureaucracy from the adoption and fostering journeys.

Dennis Vergne  07980 541990

We have a great deal of experience within children's services. We have worked with councils across the country including Wakefield, Devon and Cambridgeshire on projects spanning early intervention, safeguarding, fostering and adoption and developing new models of delivery, as well as with the Department for Education (DfE).

One of our lead consultants in this work is Clive Harrison, who is an independent Chair of Adoption and Fostering panels in Nottingham. Clive had over 25 years’ experience of managing services in local authorities, finishing as Head of Service for Adoption and Fostering, before joining Ofsted and then the Audit Commission. Clive has helped several councils review and improve their early intervention or preventive services drawing on the Munro and Allen reports.

Cambridgeshire County Council – evaluation of partnership with Coram
We were commissioned to evaluate the impact of the partnership between Cambridgeshire County Council and Coram to help the council consider future arrangements for its adoption services. Based on fieldwork and analysis of service data, we provided a comprehensive report detailing future options with benefits and disadvantages. As a result, the council and Coram have set up a new VAA to develop the partnership and take advantage of new government funding streams.

Niki Clemo, Service Director of Children’s Social Care, Cambridgeshire County Council
'I found the work Emma and Clive did of the highest quality. They didn’t shy away from the tricky questions or the tricky issues and the outcome was a report which supported a direction of travel which is innovative and raises the bar in adoption work. We could not have progressed so speedily without a clear analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of our plans. Thank you!'