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About ACE and DDP

About ACE

ACE is the regional adoption agency for the local authority areas of Coventry, Herefordshire, Solihull, Warwickshire, and Worcestershire. This means that we work very closely with Childrens Services across the 5 local authorities in securing adoption for children who are unable to live with their birth parents or relatives. The arrangements in place with the local authorities means that we know very early on about children who may need adoptive parents so that we can identify, prepare, and support prospective adoptive families for those children coming through - Together we build strong families

Launched on 1 February 2018 as part of the government’s policy to ‘delivering a radical, whole system redesign’ by regionalising adoption services ACE is structured into a ‘hub’ and ‘spokes.’ The two hub teams recruit and assess people who wish to adopt, support them in process of identifying the right child or children for them, and offer support for up to 12 months after the child or children are adopted. We have three spokes that are based in Coventry, Warwick, and Worcester who cover the whole region. The spoke teams provide ongoing support to adoptive families as the need arises. The spoke teams also offer Birth Records Counselling to adopted adults seeking access to their records and services to stepparent families.

During an average year ACE assesses between 80-95 households for adoption and places 90 – 110 children, some will be brothers and sisters who are placed for adoption together. More details about the children can be found in the section on ‘Who are the children’. ACE is keen to recruit more families so that children do not have to wait for a family and so that the best possible ‘family match’ can be found.

Our aim as a regional adoption agency is to ‘provide a relationship focussed service for children, adoptive families and others affected by adoption, to achieve this by offering lifelong support, based on up to date practices and interventions and supported by modern technology.’

We apply the principles of Dyadic Developmental Practice within our relationships inviting open and engaged conversation so that everyone feels heard and their experiences validated. In these relationships ACE workers will be ‘curious’ in understanding individual and family experiences so that the best possible information and help can be offered. By modelling this approach with our colleagues and families we have experienced stronger relationships and positive outcomes for adopted children.

We are pleased to announce that ACE has been become the first Adoption Service in the world to be become a certified Dyadic Psychotherapy Practice.

The DDPI board unanimously approved the final end point review of your organizational certification process in December 2020. The documents that we received gave such compelling evidence of how DDP has been woven into every aspect of the agency as well as clearly articulated plan for moving forward.

– DDPI Connect Board

You will also see from the website that ACE support services includes a specialist Therapeutic Team who provide individual and group work based interventions to help parents increase their understanding and empathy of the impact of their child’s early trauma and the need to build safe trusting long term relationships.

ACE also has a Clinical Psychology Service, where the clinical psychologist will meet with prospective adoptive parents and adoptive parents, alongside their ACE social worker to discuss any issues of concern where specialist advice is sought.

ACE also works closely with other regional adoption agencies sharing information about our children and families as appropriate to secure the best possible family for children waiting for adoption. We are also pleased to subscribe to two organisations who can advise and provide services to specific families interested in adoption. New Family Social is charity for same sex couples interested in adoption and fostering, and the Intercountry Adoption Centre (IAC) is for those interested in adopting from overseas. ACE works in partnership with IAC who manage all enquiries that relate to intercountry adoption of any nature. IAC are also a charity and registered adoption agency with a long history of working in this specialist area. Details of both organisations are available on the website.

ACE also supports the national adoption recruitment strategy #youcanadopt and has contributed to regional events.