Aberdeenshire Adoption Service praised by inspectors and applauded by bosses and parents

Inspectors have praised Aberdeenshire Council’s Adoption Service for the ‘safe, nurturing care’ experienced by children who are adopted.

The Care Inspectorate also acknowledged that adopters felt ‘confident’ and ‘well prepared’ for the task. The inspection ranked the service as ‘very good’ for quality of care and support and for quality of management and leadership following an inspection carried out in June.

The report explained: “From talking to adoptive carers we found that their journey to adoption had been efficient and skilfully carried out by experienced and knowledgeable staff. We found that enquiries had been responded to timeously and that the ‘Preparation to Adopt’ course had been informative and enjoyable.”

Caroline Shand, whose daughter is just three years old said: “From the ‘Preparation to Adopt’ course through to now – when I am in need of a little support – the adoption team have been amazing. They are knowledgeable, experienced, non-judgemental, hugely positive and supportive. We have a fab relationship with our social worker and have always had an open and honest dialogue.

“To anyone thinking of adopting I’d say trust the process, ask all the questions and voice all those niggles. Having our little person is incredibly rewarding – she’s happy, secure and ours.”

Now looking ahead to Adoption Week Scotland which takes place next week from 18 to 23 November, Leigh Jolly, Aberdeenshire’s Head of Children’s Services, said: “The positive comments from adopters who have praised the team’s professionalism, empathy and the quality of training are testament to the commitment of our social workers.

“I am particularly proud inspectors recognised there is clear evidence of a culture of continuous improvement within the service. There is always room to find better ways of doing things and the best interests of children and young people will always be our first priority.

“Working directly with the council on adoption means prospective parents only ever have to work with one dedicated and experienced team who can guide you through the process and offer post-adoption support for an unlimited period, on your terms. Please, talk to us if you would like to find out more.”

Aberdeenshire Council’s Chief Executive Jim Savege is also keen to highlight his support for adoption and congratulate the team on another strong inspection.

He added: “As a council we are profoundly committed to ensuring children and young people get the best start in life. It’s a team effort and it’s helpful to reflect on this report and recognise that we have a very skilled team who have significant experience guiding families through their adoption journey. We have a huge amount of respect for adoptive parents and we hope this will encourage many more to consider this as an option.” 

The inspection is the latest in a series of positive reports. In March 2017 the service received ‘excellent’ ratings for quality of care and support and quality of staffing. In February 2015 the service was rated as ‘very good’ for quality of staffing and for management and leadership and ‘good’ for quality of care and support. In January 2014 inspectors ranked the service as “very good” for quality of care and support, quality of staffing and quality of management and leadership. In February 2013 inspectors concluded that quality of care and support, quality of staffing and quality of management and leadership were all ‘very good.’

If you are LGBT+ and thinking about adoption, please come along to an information evening from 5:30pm to 7:30pm on Monday, November 18 at Inverurie Family Centre, Victoria Street in Inverurie.

There is also a Staying Connected event taking place from 5:30pm to 7:30pm on Thursday, November 21 at in Committee Room 3 at Aberdeenshire Council’s Woodhill House headquarters in Aberdeen. The topic of the evening is ‘promoting attachment relationships’ and is aimed at adoptive parents as well as those who are considering adoption. There will be discussion and group activities. 

Adoption Week Scotland is a national week raising awareness about adoption. It aims for as many people as possible to come forward to adopt.

If you are considering adopting or for more information, visit www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/children/adoption email Adoption@aberdeenshire.gov.uk or call 01467 53280.