Two girls, best of friends

Mummy I want to marry my best friend Zoe and have children one day.

That's fine but where will you live?

In this house!

But where will Daddy and I live?

You will live here too. You can look after the children while Zoe and I go out and play.

What happens after an Assessment of Need meeting?

The Assessment of Need (AON) meeting provided an opportunity for you to discuss with the ACE duty social worker your family history, the emotional and physical well being of all your family members, what is going well, presenting issues and how as a family you are addressing them. With the SW you will have consider what support needs are required by your family and how these can be met by either the family network , universal services, ACE or local authority Children’s Services.  Dependent on your child’s age the social worker may have met with your child.

The AON report is a working document. The information is gathered from one meeting and therefore social workers can only make recommendations on the information they receive at the time. Following your meeting, the social worker may need to liaise with other services or none resident parents to gather further information.

The AON report will be sent to the Spoke Manager for comments/approval and a decision as to which level of tiered support you will receive. ACE provides support based on a tiered system of support tier 1 low level to tier 4 high level (the need for children’s services)

The AON report will be sent to you for your comments. Alongside the AON report you will receive a post order information pack with includes the adoption support flyer and education pack.

Providing therapeutic interventions

Where the AON assessment recommends therapeutic intervention the social worker will discuss a range of therapeutic services and providers with the you. The aim of the intervention will include enabling the family to revisit the impact of your child’s early trauma, enable you to parent your child to feel secure within a loving family home and support your child to build a trusting relationship with you and others.

When identifying an external provider the following needs to be considered:

  • appropriateness of the therapeutic intervention
  • availability of the therapist/provider
  • geographical location
  • cost
  • adopter’s preference.

In the first instance ACE therapeutic support services will be considered. Please look on to ACE’s website to see the range of therapeutic interventions ACE provides.

The social worker will seek up to 3 quotes from therapeutic providers and then discuss this with you. Once a suitable provider has been identified and agreed an application is made to the Adoption Support Fund. If deemed appropriate, £2500 per year per child can fund a specialist assessment and £5000 per year per child can fund therapeutic intervention. Assessments and therapy have to meet the ASF funding criteria to be approved.

The Adoption Support Fund requires each application to identify the desired positive outcomes for the family as follows:

  • Improved relationships with friends, family members, teachers and school staff
  • Improved engagement with learning
  • Improved emotional regulation and behaviour management
  • Improved confidence and ability to enjoy a positive family life and social relationships.

The ASF makes their decision within 20 working days, but this may take longer if the ASF requires further information. A Working Agreement and Set Up meeting with you, the provider and SW is completed before therapy commences. This is to ensure that all parties have a clear understanding of what is expected.

Each intervention commissioned requires a review meeting to take place which include the family, provider and social worker. These meetings will cover:

  • the therapy continues to meet the needs of the family
  • the agreed therapy is being delivered
  • the format for remaining therapy sessions
  • any changes to the working agreement must be agreed by the SW
  • outcomes and whether a further application to the ASF will be required.
  • how to bring therapy to an end.

Adoption Support Fund Review Panel

Where a fourth application to the ASF is being considered the social worker, family and therapeutic provider will complete an Adoption Support Review Form. The membership of the panel includes professionals from Education, Health, Family Information Service, ACE, Early Help.

The aim of the panel is to consider the impact of the therapy on your family and review the support to be provided to the you either through your own family network, universal services, ACE or local authority children’s or other services.

All unspent money will be returned at the end of the financial year to the ASF. The ASF is subject to change.

If you would like to discuss what happens next, please contact the duty social worker on 0300 369 0556.