Berkshire Safeguarding Children Board Procedures
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6.3.1 Customer Care Standards for Adoption

AMENDMENT

In January 2017 a new standard was added to this document regarding the shortened assessment process for prospective adopters who have already been approved as foster carers. Additional information was also added regarding the National Gateway for Adoption and First4Adoption.


Our Aims:

  • To ensure that there is a positive welcome for all who may be able to care for children in the care system;
  • To increase the number of adopters to meet the needs of children in care;
  • To speed up the process of adoption whilst ensuring that it is effective and supportive for children and adults;
  • To ensure that our service offers customer service excellence.

Our Commitment to Those Who Use Our Service:

  • To respect and value you at all times;
  • To provide accurate and useful information in a timely manner;
  • To manage all information in line with the Data Protection Act and best practice in terms of security;
  • To treat you with sensitivity and empathy;
  • To listen to you and take your feedback on board;
  • To be polite, courteous and professional;
  • To respond to your enquiries in a timely manner;
  • To provide responses to your enquiries which are clear accurate and easy to understand;
  • To do what we say we will do;
  • To ensure our service is accessible and easy to use;
  • To apologise when we get things wrong and work with you to put them right;
  • To offer the opportunity for you to explore/share your experiences with those who have successfully adopted.

The Adoption Service and its Staff Members Will:

  • Answer all telephone calls within four rings;
  • If it is not possible to answer a call, use voicemail and return calls within one working day;
  • Respond to your emails within one day of receiving them;
  • Send you information about adoption within 3 working days of your initial expression of interest;
  • Use any comments to improve the information provided by updating and using verified sources and training staff and adopter volunteers;
  • If you are not satisfied we will listen to you and process your complaint in line with our local procedures;
  • Within 3 days of receiving your registration of interest form, we will contact you to arrange for you to speak to a social worker;
  • We will complete the stage one assessment process within 2 months of you submitting the registration of interest and should this not be possible, will keep you informed of any reasons for delay;
  • We will complete the stage two assessment process within 4 months of you submitting an application for assessment (after stage one) and should this not be possible, keep you informed;
  • We will undertake a shortened process for prospective adopters who have already been approved as foster carers / adopters;
  • We will be sensitive to a time and approach that suits you;
  • Before any link/match with any child is confirmed, your agency will discuss a post adoption support plan with you;
  • Every local authority has a duty to inform you of the post-adoption support provided locally. You are also entitled to an assessment of adoption support at any time;
  • Once approved if you have not been matched with a child/children within 3 months we will refer you to the National Adoption Register;
  • If the agency is unable to assist you, we will redirect you to the National Gateway for Adoption and First4Adoption for more information, (0300 222 0022: www.first4adoption.org.uk) or another agency which is currently recruiting;
  • If you are not satisfied we will process your complaint in line with local procedures and, if unsuccessful after the stage Two assessment, provide the details of the Independent Review mechanism.

End