Local adoption services praised

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Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Fostering and Adoption Service has been graded as grade 5,very good, for the quality of care and support it provides and for the quality of staffing.

These were the conclusions of Care Inspectorate visits made during January and February.

The director of social work services, John Alexander, said: “I am delighted that the very good performance of the council’s fostering and adoption service has been recognised by the Care Inspectorate. This is in line with the consistently good inspection findings which those services have enjoyed for a number of years.”

The council’s adoption service recruits and supports adoptive parents to provide families for those children who cannot live with their birth parents or extended family members and whose needs have been assessed as best met in an adoptive family. Between January 1, 2011, and December 31, 2011, 13 new adopters were approved, 17 approved adopters received post-adoption support and five children were placed with adoptive parents. At December 31 no children approved for adoption by an adoption panel were awaiting an adoption placement.

The approved adopters spoken with during this inspection said they had been well supported from the first day they had expressed an interest in becoming adoptive parents. They complimented all members of the Children and Families Services Fostering, Adoption and Kinship Team, stating that communication was to a high standard. One adopter said: “My link worker is worth her weight in gold. She gave me great parenting advice.”

Recommendations from the previous inspection on the adoption service had been addressed and no new recommendations were made.

In reporting on foster care, the inspectors said that carers and children’s social workers had confidence in the skills of the management and staff and the service they provided. The service effectively supports carers in meeting the needs of the young people in their care.

At the time of the inspection, the service supported a total of 77 foster carers.

The inspectors spoke to four foster carers and attended a carers’ support group meeting. They found that carers had a very positive view of the service provided. They advised that they were listened to and that their opinions were valued. They thought their link workers were skilled, approachable and enthusiastic about the work the service carried out.