Young boy thinking about a dinosaur

Luka - what do you want to be when you grow up?

A dinosaur.

Tiered approach to support services

Following an initial contact with Adoption Central England, adoptive families will be offered a range of post adoption support within a tiered framework. At every tier, the aim of the support and intervention is to improve the life experiences and outcomes for adoptive families.

The tier of intervention offered to the family will be proportionate to the needs of the child and family. It is important that adoptive families have access to services at the right time and are able to move between the tiers of interventions including stepping down when the levels of needs or risks reduce.

ACE use approaches informed by Dyadic Developmental Practice (DDP) that are  safe, open and engaging, delivered by staff who are informed, trained and supported in their work with children and families at all stages of the process.

Tier 1 - support and advice

ACE will offer advice and assistance which may include enabling adopters to consider their own family, friends and peer support or signposting to universal services i.e. school, CAMHS, Early Help.

Families may also be directed to ACE services which may include:

  • letterbox and advice on low level contact issues
  • picnic and social events
  • training / workshops
  • stay and play mornings.

Where issues relate to financial matters these are referred to the responsible local authority

The referral will be closed down if there is no follow up contact with the service from the family within 10 working days or where the Spoke workers have had three unsuccessful attempts to contact the family, whichever is sooner.

Tier 2 - as above plus:

  • A consultation meeting at a Spoke office, this may include completing an Assessment of Need to ascertain the presenting issues for the family and exploration about how these needs can be supported and by whom.
  • Signposting and referral to ACE therapeutic interventions i.e. therapeutic parenting, sensory integration and non-violent resistance courses.
  • Allocated to the Spoke Team for the coordination of meetings and support services.
  • Consultation meetings with Educational Advisor from Virtual School.
  • Referral to a mentor – an experienced adopter who provides a telephone listening ear service.
  • Referral to Systemic Family Counsellor who provides individual /couple counselling – 4 sessions.

Where a therapeutic intervention is required a provider will be identified, and an application to the Adoption Support Fund will be undertaken. The working agreements and reviews will be attended by a member of the Spoke Team. Ongoing and repeat applications to the ASF will be considered by the ASF Multi Agency Review Panel.

The Spoke Managers review all work on a monthly basis and the level of support may be stepped down or stepped up according to the needs of the family.

TIER 3 - as above plus:

  • An allocated ACE social worker where families have more complex needs requiring the provision of coordinated, targeted and enhanced services following an Assessment of Need.
  • An Adoption Spoke Manager has reviewed the Assessment of Need report/s and identifies that the family should be allocated a named ACE Spoke social worker. In these situations there is a clear plan of support (including outcomes) that is monitored in supervision and reviewed on a three monthly basis.

Tier 4

In the event where a child is assessed to be at risk of harm or neglect, ACE will refer the family to the relevant Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub / MASH.

This will apply where:

  • There has been a deterioration in family circumstances to such an extent that there are child protection concerns for the child/young person.
  • A concern which relates to the ongoing care and well-being of a child which may indicate neglect.
  • The child or young person exhibits acute or severe needs and /or is a child in need of protection.

The local authority will lead on these referrals and ACE social workers may attend joint visits and provide consultation.

Universal services will continue to be offered and therapeutic interventions will be continued where the child remains in the family home.