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8.9 Allegations and Complaints Against Prospective Adopters and in Relation to Children Placed for Adoption or already Adopted

SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER

This chapter is under review – please refer to the Kent and Medway Safeguarding Children Procedures Manual, Allegations Against Persons who Work with Children Procedure for process to be followed for allegations against prospective adopters.

This procedure describes the process to be followed when concerns about standards of care result in complaints or Child Protection allegations regarding children placed for adoption by Kent County Council, and/or with KCC approved adopters prior to the making of the Adoption Order. Guidance is given regarding post order allegations against adoptive parents residing in Kent. The support available to adoptive parents who are the subject of complaints or allegations is explained.  

See also Kent and Medway Safeguarding Children Procedures.


Contents

  1. Background Information
  2. Complaint or Child Protection Allegation?
  3. What is a Child Protection Allegation against a Prospective Adopter?
  4. Child Protection Allegations - Attribution of Responsibility for Enquiries when Children are Placed for Adoption (more than one authority involved)
  5. Procedures to be followed Once the Child has been Adopted - Attribution of Responsibility
  6. Procedures to be followed by KCC in the Event of Allegations Against Prospective Adopters
  7. The Initial Strategy Discussion Meeting - Who Attends and What is Discussed?
  8. Final Strategy Discussion
  9. Child Protection Conference
  10. The Plan for the Child
  11. Role of the Adoption Social Worker
  12. Role of the Adoption Panel
  13. Support for Prospective Adopters who have had Allegations or Serious Complaints made Against them
  14. Further Sources of Information


1. Background Information

Prospective adopters and adoptive parents are expected to provide a high standard of care for the children they look after. They are not expected to use physical punishment or any measure of control, restraint or discipline which is excessive or unreasonable. Physical restraint is only permitted when necessary to prevent injury or serious damage to property. Adopters are also expected to promote a child’s emotional and psychological welfare and to avoid the use of demeaning verbal reprimands or personal criticism that undermines self-esteem.

The ‘Kent and Medway Safeguarding Children Procedures’ describes the processes and thresholds for action in cases where allegations are made against Adopters. If adopters are also registered foster carers, then there are more detailed procedures set out in the Allegations and Complaints Against Foster Carers, which ensure the requirements of the Disclosure and Barring Service, are also followed.

Consideration of referral of cases to OFSTED and the Disclosure and Barring Service will be made by the Children and Young People Service Managers in consultation with the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO).

The KMSC Procedure and Guidance applies whenever it is alleged that a person who works with children has, in any connection with her/his employment or voluntary ‘activity with a child’:

  • Behaved in a way that has or may have harmed a child;
  • Possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to a child;
  • Behaved towards a child in a way which indicates (s)he is unsuitable to work with children.

Once the Adoption Order is granted the Local Authority where the adoptive family resides has clear responsibility for any child protection enquiries. These will follow the safeguarding procedures in respect of any child of a family against whom an allegation has been made.  

In reaching decisions and offering support to adopters, it is important that due regard is given to the child’s history, which may often include previous abusive experiences that in some cases could be leading to the child exhibiting behaviour which has triggered the investigation. Kent’s adoption support service should be contacted for assistance and advice when there is an allegation against an adoptive parent.

Complaints or Child Protection Allegations against Kent County Council’s Approved Adopters

Any person or worker who is aware of, or receives information, which indicates that a child has suffered, or is at risk of suffering Significant Harm in an adoptive placement, must immediately refer their concerns to the Central Duty Team on 08458 247100. 

Allegations of historical abuse where it becomes evident that a disclosure by an adult relates to an adoptive parent must be referred to Central Duty Team as above. The police should be informed, if the service user wishes, and if the perpetrator is currently caring for children then a child protection enquiry should be instigated.

The duty officer/child’s social worker/supervisory social worker receiving the referral will inform their line manager. It is the responsibility of the duty senior to determine whether the allegation/complaint/concern is:

  • A referral of Child Protection concern, which requires an Initial Strategy Discussion (see below);

    or
  • A complaint against the carers, which will be dealt with by the adoption service.

The LADO is available for consultation and should always be informed of the outcome of the decision. 


2. Complaint or Child Protection Allegation?

The decision making regarding whether to deal with an allegation or incident as a Child Protection concern or as a complaint requires, in every case, consideration of the following:

  1. The nature and severity of any actual harm to the child;
  2. The context in which the harm occurred; and
  3. Whether the alleged behaviour of the prospective adopter was:
    1. Intentional; and
    2. Has, or is likely to, result in Significant Harm to the child in question;

      or
    3. Any other child in the household.

If Disagreement about the Status of the Concern

When there are disagreements about whether or not the concern is one of Child Protection, this should be resolved through line managers and the LADO. Where there is any doubt, child protection procedures should be initiated in the first instance.

What is a Complaint Against an Adopter?

A complaint against prospective adopters might include:

  1. An incident of minor physical chastisement resulting in no injury or a very minor injury;
  2. Inappropriate verbal chastisement;
  3. A child being restrained or inappropriately handled, resulting in no injury or a very minor injury;
  4. Incidents indicating inadequate supervision such as inadvertently allowing a child access to alcohol, prescribed medication, or unsuitable viewing of “adult” sexual material;
  5. Incidents indicating a lack of due care such as inadvertently wrongly administering prescribed medication.

Complaints against prospective adopters are investigated by an experienced social worker from the adoption team who is independent of the case. 

If the decision is that the concerns/allegation will proceed as a complaint or as no further action, the written record should outline:

  • Details of nature and source of allegation/concern;
  • Any other relevant information;
  • Decision reached and reasons for this;
  • Parties to the decision;
  • If not already aware how the persons with parental responsibility for the child(ren) are to be informed.

The record should be completed by the Duty Team Manager and authorised by the Service Manager of the area where the child originates from. The record must be copied to:


3. What is a Child Protection Allegation Against a Prospective Adopter?

A referral of Child Protection concern will involve allegations which go BEYOND what would be considered to be a complaint regarding the care or management of a child in placement and may constitute a criminal offence in relation to the child. 

‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’ (2015) sets out key definitions of what constitutes abuse or neglect, (this section also includes definitions of harm used by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)):


4. Child Protection Allegations - Attribution of Responsibility for Enquiries when Children are Placed for Adoption (more than one authority involved)

When more than one authority is involved with a child, KCC Specialist Children’s Services’ responsibility for Child Protection enquiries depends on whether allegations or concerns arise in relation to the child’s circumstances in her/his ‘home’ or ‘host’ authority.

The following principles must be applied:

  • Negotiation about responsibility must not cause delay in urgent situations;
  • There must be immediate and full consultation and co-operation between both host and home authorities, with both involved in the planning and undertaking of enquiries;
  • Specialist Children’s Services case responsibility for the child lies with the home authority;
  • Where allegations arise in relation to the child’s home circumstances, the home Police Child Abuse Investigation Unit (CAIU) and Specialist Children’s Services will lead the enquiry, involving the host authority where the child is placed;
  • Where allegations arise in relation to the child’s circumstances within the host local authority, e.g. abuse in placement (or school), the host Specialist Children’s Services will lead the enquiry liaising closely with the home authority (the home Police CAIU retains responsibility but may negotiate with their colleagues in the host area);
  • Where emergencies and enquiries are dealt with by the host authority, responsibility for the child will usually revert to the home authority, following negotiations.

The adoption agency which approved the adopters will be responsible for informing them regarding progress (subject to Child Protection procedures), and available support.


5. Procedures to be followed Once the Child has been Adopted - Attribution of Responsibility

If an allegation is made against an adoptive parent after the Adoption Order has been granted, the Local Authority where the adoptive family resides has clear responsibility for any Child Protection enquiries. These will follow the safeguarding procedures in respect of any child of a family against whom an allegation has been made. The responsible authority’s Adoption Support Services Advisor (ASSAs) (i.e.’ Home’ up to 3 years post order; ‘Host’ after 3 years) should be involved. The ‘Home’ and ‘Host’ ASSAs should consult and co-operate regarding support.


6. Procedures to be followed by KCC in the Event of Allegations Against Prospective Adopters

(See Cross Boundary Placements - to follow).     

There are four separate but related aspects to the procedures. These are:

  • The Child Protection investigation;
  • Any criminal investigation which may take place;
  • The consideration of the adopter’s approval with Kent County Council by the adoption panel. This will take place whenever there is an allegation or a serious complaint when the placement has been ended, or there are other serious concerns;
  • Consideration of whether the adoption placement should continue, or whether the application to the Court should be delayed. 

It should be recognised that an investigation into allegations of abuse against a prospective adopter are traumatic and have serious implications for the health of the family and therefore a conclusion should be reached at the earliest opportunity. It is essential that the Service Manager responsible for the investigation monitors the case and addresses any delay. The Service Manager should liaise with their equivalent (i.e. area child originated from and area child now placed in). Carers are to be kept informed of the process of the enquiry by their Adoption Social Worker and an estimated timescale must be given.

It is important that roles and relationships are sufficiently objective to ensure and be seen to ensure a thorough and fair process e.g. the person undertaking the enquiries must not be the child’s social worker, or be managed by the person with line responsibility for the child(ren).

The County Adoption Manager must be kept fully informed of the progress of the case, and will decide whether to make a referral to the Disclosure and Barring Service in consultation with the LADO.

If the prospective adopter is also a registered foster carer the fostering team leader must be fully involved in the Child Protection enquiry (see Allegations and Complaints Against Foster Carers Procedure).

Accusations of child abuse are a serious matter, and prospective adopters who are the subject of such allegations are advised to seek immediate legal advice. The Kent Adoption Service arranges an initial one year membership of Adoption UK and members can access legal advice. Where carers are to be interviewed by the Police, they are strongly advised to have a solicitor present.


7. The Initial Strategy Discussion Meeting - Who Attends and What is Discussed?

Where allegations of deliberate harm are made against a Kent County Council prospective adopter, the Children in Care Duty Manager of the area where the carers are normally resident should ensure that an Initial Strategy Discussion takes place within 24 hours (this may be by telephone). If emergency action is required immediately, the strategy discussion should be convened as soon as possible. The purpose of the Strategy Discussion is to consider the concern or allegation and plan any subsequent enquiries and/or protective action.

The Initial Strategy Discussion should involve the following:

  • The Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) or nominee;
  • The duty Team Manager will chair (unless there is a complex situation/conflict of interests, when the Children and Young People Service Managers should chair);
  • The allocated duty social worker;
  • The supervising social worker for the adopter;
  • The child’s social worker and the team leader;
  • The social worker of any other child placed in the household;
  • A representative from the Police Child Abuse Investigation Unit in the area where the prospective adopter is normally resident.

And, as appropriate:

  • Area Performance and Standards Officer, Child Protection in complex cases;
  • The local consultant community paediatrician (where a medical examination may be considered);
  • The Adoption Team Manager in complex cases;
  • The Fostering Team Manager, when the prospective adopter is also a registered foster carer;
  • Any other involved professional, (such as a school representative, community paediatrician etc.) who has relevant information to contribute?
  • The Independent Reviewing Officer who has been chairing the Adoption Reviews.

The chair should decide whether to seek legal consultation, including any need to refer to the council’s insurers.

In addition to planning enquiries in accordance with strategy discussion procedures the meeting should consider the following:

  • The allegation and its context;
  • The background, including any other previous allegations made against the carer(s) or their family;
  • The background of the alleged victim, including any previous allegations;
  • Any proposed new placements with the carer will not be made pending the outcome of the enquiry;
  • Whether the child(ren) remain in placement (removal of child(ren) should not be an automatic course of action - the decision making should be in the context of the best interests of the child and the Information available);
  • Other children currently living in the carer’s household, and those previously placed with the carers. (including the need for Strategy Discussions with regard to any of these children) and what information to be given;
  • Any other children the carer may have contact with in other roles e.g. as a child minder or youth worker;
  • The status of the carers, as co-workers and individuals who have a right to be heard;
  • Who will inform the carers of the allegation and provide information and the timing of such actions;
  • The support and information to be provided to the child(ren) in the placement, including the carer’s other children e.g. use of advocates. The role of the supervising social worker and the adoption team and alternative sources of support. All parties need to understand that the focus for the adoption social worker is the child and that (s)he will be unable to provide unconditional support to the carer;
  • How, and when, will the parents be informed of the allegations;
  • Whether to initiate Organised and Complex Abuse Procedures (see Kent and Medway Safeguarding Children Procedures Manual);
  • Whether any financial support to the prospective adopters should continue.

The Strategy Discussion will consider all children being cared for or having significant contact with the person the allegation has been made against and will agree one of the following:

  1. That further enquiries need to be made in order to determine what further action is required; who will undertake the enquiries and when they should be completed; 
  2. That the allegation/concern is not substantiated and no further action will be taken in relation to the referral;
  3. That a Child Protection Investigation should be undertaken. This will be managed in accordance with the Kent and Medway Safeguarding Children Procedures. A police officer and a social worker (independent of the child) will investigate the allegation and report back to the Strategy Discussion meeting. The investigating social worker, together with an adoption social worker or senior practitioner, will carry out an assessment of the prospective adoptive family paying attention to the risks to and needs of the family including children who have significant contact with the carers. Enquiries must be conducted in the strictest confidence so that information can be given freely without fear of intimidation, and in a way that protects the rights of carers and their families.

Depending on the nature of the allegation, prospective adopters will submit a written account of the concern/incident.

Regardless of the outcome, they may be invited to the Strategy Discussion. The meeting will give consideration to what support should be provided for the foster carers during this process.

During the course of the investigation prospective adopters have the right to:

  • Details concerning the nature of the allegations (timing will be dependent upon Police Child Abuse Investigation Unit and Specialist Children’s Services investigation);
  • Contact details for the relevant managers;
  • A copy of the procedures being followed;
  • A written statement about existing placements;
  • A written statement about financial arrangements;
  • Make a written statement to the County Adoption Manager;
  • An indication of the timescale for the investigation;
  • Details of independent support and how this may be accessed;
  • Receive details in writing of all decisions made and actions taken.

The strategy meeting must identify those responsible for these actions and the relevant timescales.


8. Final Strategy Discussion 

A Strategy Discussion must be held at the conclusion of an enquiry to ensure:

  • All information is shared;
  • Confirm all actions agreed in previous Strategy Discussion(s) have been completed;
  • Agree the conclusion of the enquiry i.e. alleged abuse has taken place (papers may or may not be forwarded to the Crown Prosecution Service); alleged abuse has not been proven but concerns remain (may be standards of care issues that need to be addressed); abuse was not founded;
  • Ascertain whether Children in Care will remain, or return to the placement;
  • Identify whether and how to protect any children in the home, including whether an Initial Child Protection Conference is required;
  • Consider counselling/therapeutic needs of those affected.

The concluding Record of Strategy Discussion must be authorised by the Children and Young People Service Managers, placed on both the child(ren) and prospective adopter's files, and within 2 weeks of the meeting sent to the:

  • LADO;
  • Manager of the County Adoption Service.

The manager responsible for the enquiry must ensure that a letter is sent to parents and carers outlining conclusions made and actions to be taken. A copy of this should be placed on the carers’ file.


9. Child Protection Conference

Where the Final Strategy Meeting decides there is a need for a Child Protection Conference this should be held in accordance with KMSC’s procedures. This must take place within 15 working days.

Reasons for diverging from these timescales must be fully recorded together with a plan of action detailing alternative arrangements.

Normally prospective adopters will be invited to attend the conference. Reasons for exclusions (which are exceptional) are detailed in Kent and Medway Safeguarding Children Procedures Manual, Exclusion of Family Members Procedure.

The social worker must facilitate carer(s)’ constructive involvement by ensuring in advance of the conference that they are given sufficient information and practical support to make a meaningful contribution including the sharing of their report at least 48 hours beforehand.

The social worker must explain to carers the purpose of the meeting, who will attend, the way in which it will operate, the purpose and meaning of a Child Protection Plan and the complaints process.

Preparation should include consideration of childcare arrangements to enable the attendance of carer(s).

Written information should be left with the family regarding conferences, the right to bring a friend, supporter (including an advocate) or solicitor (in role of supporter), details of any local advice and advocacy services (Appendix 1 - to follow) and the conference complaints procedure. Kent has leaflets to support this.

The role of the supporter is to enable the carer to put her/his point of view, not to take an adversarial position or cross-examine participants. The family needs to be aware that the supporter will hear personal information about child(ren), carers and partners.

Matters that will be considered are set out in the Kent and Medway Safeguarding Children Procedures Manual, Information for Conference Procedure.

A copy of the written record of the conference should be sent within 10 working days of the conference to all those who attended or were invited to attend, including family members (except for any part of the conference from which they were excluded).

When a friend, supporter or solicitor has been involved, the chair should clarify with the carer whether the record should be provided for those individuals.

This conference record and recommendations should include:

  • Matters relevant to the placement of all children currently in the prospective adopter’s household;
  • Implications for the approval of the adopters.

Complaint Procedure - Eligibility and process complaints about specified aspects of the Child Protection Conference is set out in Kent and Medway Safeguarding Children Procedures Manual, Complaints about the Conference Process and Appeals made by Parents, Carers or a Child Against the Conference Decision.

The manager responsible for the enquiry must ensure that a letter is sent to parents and carers outlining conclusions made and actions to be taken. A copy of this should be placed on the carer’s file.

The child’s social worker will ensure that the child understands that the allegation has been looked at thoroughly, and share appropriate information about the outcome.


10. The Plan for the Child

Should it be necessary to change the plan for the child, then the Independent Reviewing Officer must be informed so that a review can be held. 


11. Role of the Adoption Social Worker

The role of the supervising social worker should be to:

  • Be informed of the allegation/complaint from the outset;
  • Attend the strategy discussions;
  • Link with investigating social workers about when to make contact with the carer(s);
  • Contact the carer as determined at the strategy discussion;
  • Ensure the carer receives appropriate information and advice;
  • Attend any follow up interview with the carer and her/his family, unless this is judged inappropriate.

In all cases where the Panel is to review the adopter’s approval, the adoption social worker for the applicants will present the report to the Panel which approved the adopters, (this should also be made available to the Panel which recommended the match). Their supervisor should also attend the Panel. 

The report will address:

  • Matters relevant to the placement of the child; and whether the child(ren) have been removed;
  • Implications for the application for the Adoption Order;
  • Findings of the enquiry;
  • Whether a report has been forwarded to the CPS;
  • What, if any, concerns remain;
  • Other information relevant to the child(ren) remaining in the household;
  • The recommendation of the investigation regarding the continuing suitability of the adopters to care for children;
  • Future training or support needs;
  • Whether referral should be made to Disclosure and Barring Service.

The report must include an account of the allegation or complaint, the investigation, and the subsequent recommendations and decisions.  

When a review of the adopters’ approval is to be considered, the adopters should be invited to submit their own written comments to be included with the report.  Following consideration by the Panel, the adopters should be advised of the outcome in writing and their right to have the decision reviewed.

The supervising social worker will, following an allegation leading to a review of the adopter’s approval by the Adoption Panel, and after the Agency Decision Maker has communicated her/his decisions to the carer(s), complete a report including:

  • Name of prospective adopter;
  • Date of birth and ethnicity;
  • Address;
  • Name, date of birth and ethnicity of child(ren) concerned;
  • Nature of child protection enquiry, including date of allegation;
  • Outcome(s) of Panel’s recommendation i.e. immediate reinstatement of the carer/re-assessment of the carer in relation to the concerns that have been identified/the carer(s) remaining on hold depending on the decision of the CPS/the carer(s) choosing to withdraw/ the concerns are sufficiently serious to warrant termination of approval regardless of whether there is a CPS decision to prosecute;
  • Agency decision and date arrived at.

This report will be countersigned by the registered manager for the adoption/fostering service and copies sent within seven working days of receipt of the Agency Decision Maker’s decision to the:

  • Carer;
  • LADO;
  • County Adoption Manager.

A copy of the report must be placed in key information at the front of the carer’s file.


12. Role of the Adoption Panel

Following a Child Protection enquiry or a serious complaint, the following action will be taken:

  • Approved adopters awaiting placement.  In all cases a report will be considered by the adoption panel as soon as possible following the conclusion of the enquiry;
  • When a child has been placed but the Adoption Order has not yet been made, depending on the outcome of the enquiry, either a review of the adopter’s approval, or an update, should be presented to the panel as follows:
    • If the child has not been removed an update will be presented to the Panel;
    • If the child has been removed, the adopters’ approval will be reviewed.
  • The County Adoption Manager will confirm whether the panel is being updated, or reviewing the adopters’ approval prior to the report being submitted;
  • When the Adoption Order has been granted, the County Adoption Manager will confirm whether the Panel should review the adopters’ approval or be updated.  

The panel must consider the following information prior to drawing its conclusions:

  • The review report and recommendation by the supervising social worker;
  • Any written submission by the carer(s);
  • Minutes from any relevant Child Protection Conference;
  • The record of the concluding Strategy Discussion.

This process provides the carer with the opportunity to reflect on their experience and consider what action they might wish to consider. They must be informed of the panel date and information on the complaints and access to files procedures.

Being the subject of allegations or serious complaints can be a very stressful experience for prospective adopters and their families. The Kent Adoption Panels therefore allow prospective adopters the choice of whether to attend or not, and will respect carers’ wishes and feelings about attendance. If there are concerns about the carers continuing approval following any child protection or complaint investigations, the carer will be notified. The prospective adopter will then write to the team leader with their decision about whether they wish to attend the Adoption Panel. The carer may decide to bring a family member, or ‘buddy’ adopter along for support on the day. Their adoption social worker and his/her supervisor will always attend, regardless of whether the carer wishes to be there or not. 

The panel’s recommendations are forwarded, without delay, to the Agency Decision Maker. If the Decision Maker considers that the Prospective Adopter’s Approval should remain the same, then the carers will be notified. However if the proposal is to withdraw the approval then the Decision Maker will make a “qualifying determination”. The Carer will be sent a letter and a copy of the information leaflet about the Independent Review Mechanism. Within 28 working days of receipt of the letter, the carers must either:

  • Confirm to the Decision Maker that they have accepted the determination;
  • Request that their case is reconsidered by the Adoption Panel;
  • Apply to the Independent Review Mechanism for a review of the case.

If the carers choose to have their case reconsidered at the Adoption Panel, then a final recommendation about the carer’s approval will be made to the Decision Maker. The adopter(s) may attend with the worker if they wish.

The panel will make appropriate recommendations as follows:

  • Re-assessment of the adopter(s) in relation to the identified concerns;
  • Adopter(s) remaining on hold pending the decision of the Crown Prosecution Service;
  • Concerns are sufficiently serious to warrant withdrawal of approval.

Recommendations may include changes to the approval of carers, review and/or training, Recommendations, implications for the Safe Care Plan, or address specific matters within the adoptive family.

If the carers apply to the IRM (following a review of their approval) then the final decision may not be taken until the IRM process has been concluded. Prospective adopters are also able to use the Specialist Children’s Services’ official Complaints Procedures if they believe their case has been incorrectly handled.


13. Support for Prospective Adopters who have had Allegations or Serious Complaints made Against them

Accusations of child abuse are a serious matter, and prospective adopters who are the subject of such allegations are advised to seek immediate legal advice. The Kent Adoption Service arranges an initial one year membership of Adoption UK and members can access legal advice. Where carers are to be interviewed by the Police, they are strongly advised to have a solicitor present.

It will be the responsibility of the adoption team leader to ensure that appropriate support/advocacy is made available to the prospective adopters which is independent of any complaint investigation.

Allegations and serious complaints against prospective adopters will impact differently on them as a family according to:

  1. The nature of the allegation or complaint;
  2. The potential consequences for the adoptive family;
  3. The previous experiences of the adoptive family;
  4. The level of stress or discord within the family;
  5. The individual resilience of the family members.

For these reasons a range of support services are provided and it should be for the prospective adopters to decide which levels of support they need. This may change during the process of an investigation into allegations or serious complaints.

Independent Support

Provided by membership of Adoption UK. The adoptive family’s first year’s membership is paid by Kent County Council. Further membership is at the expense of the adopter. Adoption UK will provide up to 6 family counselling sessions where there has been an allegation. It is not necessary to be a member to access this service, but there is a charge. Adopters will be asked if the Local Authority will be funding their sessions prior to the service being agreed. The request must be made to the County Adoption Manager, who will consider funding on a case by case basis.

Support and Advice from the Adoption and Special Guardianship Support Team

Provided by an experienced, professionally qualified, social worker with children and families experience and good knowledge of adoption.

At the request of adopters, a referral will be made by their adoption social worker to the Adoption and Special Guardianship Support Team. The team will contact the prospective adopter and negotiate their support needs. The team will provide information, advice, support and counselling to members of the prospective adopters family. They can also accompany and support the prospective adopter at meetings where required. They will at all times be bound by professional responsibilities relating to confidentiality and to the protection of children.


14. Further Sources of Information

The Kent and Medway Safeguarding Children Procedures describe the processes and thresholds for action in cases where allegations are made against Kent County Council’s prospective adopters. Carers who are subject to serious complaints or allegations will be given a copy of this guidance at the time and additional copies are available from the local adoption team.

Who Do We Trust?: The Abuse of Children Living Away from Home in the United Kingdom - Andrew Kendrick - Paper presented to the 12th International Congress on Child Abuse and Neglect.

‘Protecting Children, Supporting Foster Carers’ - Department for Education and Skills, April 2006

‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’ 2015.

Adoption UK - www.adoptionuk.org - Helpline 0844 848 7900 (10 -4)

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