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					Adoption UK
Statement of Purpose


This document sets out the Statement of Purpose of Adoption UK as required by
regulation 5 of the Adoption Support Agencies (England) and Adoption Agencies
(Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2005 and Standard 1 of the National
Minimum Standards for Adoption Support Agencies in England (as published by the
Department for Education and Skills, 2005).

Its purpose is to:

   Provide a clear written statement of the aims and objectives of the organisation
   Accurately describe what facilities and services the organisation provides and to
   Confirm that the requirements of the Regulations and National Minimum
    Standards in respect of the monitoring and evaluation of the effectiveness and
    quality of the organisation’s services are in place.

The Statement of Purpose is available, upon request, in a format which is appropriate
to the physical, sensory and learning impairments, communication difficulties and
language of the organisation’s service users, staff and volunteers. Arrangements will
also be made for those who are unable to understand the document to have it read,
translated or explained to them.

The Statement of Purpose has been circulated to all those who work for Adoption UK,
whether trustees, advisory group members, staff, self-employed trainers or
volunteers. A copy is provided to all new staff, trainers or volunteers. This document
was originally approved by Adoption UK’s Board of Trustees in December 2005. Since
then the content has been reviewed annually and approved by the Board. This
version was approved in December 2009.

Aims and objectives

All children who are adopted will have experienced some form of loss or trauma
through being separated from their birth families. Many adopted children will have
experienced further loss and trauma through their early experiences of abuse or
neglect within the birth family, which may have been compounded by numerous
moves within the public care system. For many children, this trauma may lead to
emotional, behavioural, educational or development difficulties, which may also
affect the children’s abilities to form secure attachments with their new parents.
Traditional parenting techniques may not work and adoptive parents may need to
develop alternative parenting strategies in their role as “therapeutic parents” for
traumatised children.

Adoption UK’s objectives are:

   to ensure that prospective adopters, adoptive parents and foster carers are as
    fully informed and supported as possible in the challenging, but rewarding, task
    of parenting or caring for children from the public care system; and
   to increase the number of successful adoptive placements through the provision
    of appropriate support services.

Statement of Purpose – Adoption UK – final – December 2009                              1
We aim to achieve these objectives by providing information, advice, support and
training to prospective adopters, adoptive parents, long-term foster carers and
special guardians. Our information and services are rooted in the personal
experiences of adopters, so that as an organisation we are at the centre of a self-
help network of peer support. This network helps parents to explore the unique
social, emotional and developmental needs of adopted children and young people
and their families, and promotes effective parenting practice based on our own
experiences, integrating these with current theories of trauma, attachment and child

We also aim to work with practitioners involved in adoption to promote the concerns
and interests of adoptive families, and those involved in the parenting/care of
traumatised children, and to develop appropriate support services in partnership with

Vision statement

Adoption UK’s vision statement is as follows:

       “Adoption UK’s vision is the creation of a loving, supportive and permanent
       family environment for all adopted children. Because of the long-term effect
       on the developing child of the traumatic experiences of loss, abuse and
       neglect, adoptive parents will be educated, supported and empowered to
       reparent and therapeutically parent their children.”

Mission statement

Adoption UK’s mission statement is as follows:

       “Adoption UK helps to make adoptions work and promotes loving and
       supportive relationships between children and their adoptive families.

       It provides independent support, information and advice on good practice to
       all concerned with adoption. In particular, it offers a wealth of relevant
       experience from generations of adoptive families to prospective and
       established adopters and to all those who work with them.”

Core values and beliefs

In 2006 Adoption UK developed a set of core values and beliefs that are integral to
its work and activities, as follows:

Core values

   Adoption UK is a parent-led organisation that represents and communicates
    honestly and openly the views and experiences of adoptive parents to other
    service users, practitioners, central and local government, and the general public.
   Peer support and the exchange of knowledge, experiences and opinions between
    adoptive parents is a crucial part of adoption support, and plays a vital role in
    developing a better understanding of parenting traumatised children.

Statement of Purpose – Adoption UK – final – December 2009                            2
   The effects of trauma and loss on the emotional, physical, behavioural and
    educational development of adopted children and children in care must be
    acknowledged and reflected in appropriate service provision.
   The effects of secondary trauma on adoptive parents and their wider families as a
    consequence of parenting traumatised children must be recognised,
    acknowledged and addressed by all those who work in adoption.
   Prospective adopters, adoptive parents and anyone interested in adopting should
    be treated with courtesy, respect, dignity and humanity by all those involved in
   The importance of honesty and openness in all communications between parents
    and practitioners must be recognised as crucial to the parenting of traumatised
    children. Adoptive parents need as much information as possible about their
    children’s past if they are to parent their children well.
   The role of adoptive parents in “reparenting” and being “therapeutic parents”
    must be valued by all those working in adoption. Adoptive parents are part of the
    solution, not part of the problem.
   Adoption UK represents all adoptive parents equally, from wherever they have
    adopted, irrespective of ethnic or racial origin, nationality, cultural background,
    religion, language, gender, age, disability, sexuality or marital status.
   Adoption UK will always ensure that the needs of adopted children and adults,
    and adoptive parents, are vital concerns in its development of support services
    and policy positions.

Core beliefs

   Wherever possible, it is preferable for children to be brought up within their own
    birth family. However, where this is not possible, for whatever reason, adoption
    offers many of those children the opportunity of a stable, permanent and loving
   Children’s needs should be at the heart of the adoption process and all adoptions.
    Their views, feelings and wishes should always be taken into account in any
    decisions, wherever possible and practicable.
   Adopted children’s needs will often extend well into adulthood and this should be
    acknowledged and respected in adoption policy and practice.
   Adoptive parents and practitioners should be equal partners in meeting the needs
    of adopted children.
   High quality, effective, timely and appropriate adoption support services should
    be readily available to adopted children and adults, adoptive parents and birth
   Contact and links between birth and adoptive families should be flexible, subject
    to review and reflect the interests of adopted children, while being sympathetic to
    the needs of the birth parents and their family.
   All practitioners and professionals involved in working with adoptive families
    should be experienced and properly trained in dealing with adoption issues.

Status and constitution

Adoption UK is constituted as a “charitable trust” in England and Wales (Registered
Charity Number 326654). The charitable objects of the trust, as stated in its trust
deed, dated 2 July 1984, are:

       “(i)    to advance the education of the public about all aspects of the legal
               adoption of children;

Statement of Purpose – Adoption UK – final – December 2009                             3
       (ii)    to promote the care and welfare of potential and existing adoptive
               children with particular regard to such children who have special
               needs, particularly by facilitating their adoption by suitable persons
               who are able to meet those needs.”

Adoption UK is also a charity registered in Scotland (Registered Charity Number
SC037892) under the Charity and Trustee Investment (Scotland) Act 2005. In
particular, it has the following charitable purposes under the 2005 Act:

   The advancement of education (s7(2)(b)).
   The relief of those in need by reason of age, ill-health, disability, financial
    hardship or other disadvantage (s7(2)(n)).

It is not possible currently to register as a charity in Northern Ireland. The
establishment of a Charity Commission for Northern Ireland had originally been
planned for 2007, however, with the restoration of devolution to Northern Ireland,
this was delayed and has yet to come into effect. Adoption UK intends to register as
a charity in Northern Ireland when there is the opportunity to do so.

Adoption UK is also a registered Adoption Support Agency in England (Service No
66957), regulated by Ofsted under the Care Standards Act 2000, as amended.

History of the organisation

Adoption UK was founded in 1971 under the name Parent to Parent Information on
Adoption Services (PPIAS) by a group of parents who had adopted children with
special placement needs. Over the years, the organisation has developed and grown
and, in May 1999, it changed its name to Adoption UK. However, it has remained the
same parent-led organisation, committed to the consideration of adoption for
children unable to return to their birth families and encouraging the development of
understanding and support services for adoptive families, both within professional
child care circles and through parent-to-parent networking.

For the first 10 years as PPIAS, the organisation was run entirely voluntarily from the
homes of the two adoptive parent founders (Hilary Chambers and Sheilagh Crawford)
in London. In 1972, the first issue of the PPIAS Newsletter was published, with
photographs of children in need of new families appearing in the newsletter in the
following year. These are the origins of the two regular magazines we publish today:
Adoption Today and Children Who Wait.

In its early years, PPIAS formed a steering committee to plan a new adoption agency
to find families for the most disadvantaged children. This was established as the
Parents for Children adoption agency in 1976.

In 1982, the organisation moved from its London base to Northamptonshire under
the leadership of the then National Coordinator Philly Morrall. In 1984, PPIAS
registered as a charity and began to expand the range of information and resources
it provided to families, eventually leading to the launch of the “It’s A Piece of Cake?”
modular parenting support programme in 2000, drawing on research in attachment,
trauma and brain development.

As a reflection of PPIAS’s growth in membership, ideas and resources, it moved into
its first formal offices in 1993 with one full-time and three part-time staff. Staff

Statement of Purpose – Adoption UK – final – December 2009                                 4
numbers, membership and income continued to increase and in 1999 the
organisation changed its name to Adoption UK, partly to acknowledge its national
status. The organisation has grown significantly since and is now seen as the leading
voice for adoptive families in the UK.

Throughout its history, but especially in recent years, Adoption UK has been closely
involved in the development of adoption policy and practice. It has participated in
numerous working groups and committees, including giving evidence to the
Parliamentary Special Select Committee during the passage of the Adoption and
Children Act 2002 and similarly with the Scottish Parliament’s Education Committee
during the passage of the Adoption and Scotland (Children) Act 2007. It is also
involved in the work of the Northern Ireland Executive’s Adopting the Future
Implementation Group, which is developing new adoption legislation for the province.
Alongside its practical role in delivering support services to families, our
representational role for the concerns of adoptive families has become increasingly

Contacting Adoption UK

Adoption UK has four offices operating in the UK, as follows:

Head          Adoption UK
office        Linden House
              55 South Bar Street           Tel: 01295 752240
              Banbury                       Fax: 01295 752241
              Oxfordshire OX16 9AB          Email:

Scotland      Adoption UK
              172 Leith Walk                Tel: 0131 555 5350
              Edinburgh EH6 5EA             Fax: 0131 555 5351

Northern      Adoption UK
Ireland       545 Antrim Road               Tel: 028 9077 5211
              Belfast BT15 3BU              Email:

Wales         Adoption UK
              Penhevad Studios
              Penhevad Street
              Grangetown                    Tel: 029 2023 0319
              Cardiff CF11 7LU              Email:

Our website address is:

Adoption UK’s head office is the registered address in respect of the organisation’s
work as a charity, regulated by the Charity Commission in England and Wales, and
by the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator in Scotland.

The head office is also the address of Adoption UK as the “registered provider” in
relation to its operation as an adoption support agency, registered by Ofsted in
England under the Care Standards Act 2000.

Statement of Purpose – Adoption UK – final – December 2009                             5
In its operation as an adoption support agency, Adoption UK must also appoint a
“responsible individual” and a “registered manager”, as follows:

Responsible           Jonathan Pearce
individual            Adoption UK
                      Linden House
                      55 South Bar Street          Tel: 01295 752240
                      Banbury                      Fax: 01295 752241
                      Oxfordshire OX16 9AB         Email:

Registered            Janet Smith
manager               Adoption UK
                      Linden House
                      55 South Bar Street          Tel: 01752 482005
                      Banbury                      Fax: 01752 482005
                      Oxfordshire OX16 9AB         Email:

Description of services

Adoption UK is primarily a membership organisation for prospective adopters,
adoptive parents and long-term foster carers. However, many of our services are
available to practitioners, as well as other groups of carers, most notably our general
information, training programmes and workshops and Children Who Wait magazine.
We do not provide services directly to children and young people.

Adoption UK members receive a range of services for their annual membership fee,
as follows:

   National Telephone Helpline – 0844 848 7900;

Available Monday to Friday, between 10.00am and 4.00pm, the Helpline staff offer
up-to-date information on all aspects of adoption and the adoption process.

A dedicated Scotland Helpline service is available to callers from Scotland on 0131
555 5111 weekdays between 11.00am and 1.00pm.

The Northern Ireland Helpline (028 9077 5211) is available Monday to Friday,
between 10.00am and 4.00pm; and also on Wednesday evenings on 0844 848 7900
from 8.00pm to 10.00pm.

The Wales Helpline is available to callers from Wales on 029 2023 2221 weekdays
between 10.00 am and 1.00pm.

   Local support groups

Our widespread and expanding local support group network offers support at a local
level, including telephone contact, local meetings, events and family fun days.

Local groups are run by volunteer coordinators who are all adoptive parents and so
have first hand experience of adoption. Attending the groups gives members the
chance to talk to fellow prospective adopters and adoptive parents, benefit from their
experiences and share strategies.

Statement of Purpose – Adoption UK – final – December 2009                            6
   Buddy support schemes

In conjunction with a number of local authorities, we run one-to-one
befriending/mentoring schemes, which provide support in the early days of an
adoptive placement or during times of particular difficulty. All our buddies are
adoptive parents, acting on a sessional, self-employed basis.

   Parents Are Linked (PAL) and contact networks

The PAL contact database contains nearly 500 adoptive parents willing to share their
first hand adoption and fostering experiences, providing invaluable support and
reassurance. Enquirers are put in touch with the appropriate parents, depending
upon what they need.

Whether information or help is needed, there is a range of experience in over 700
categories of adoption issues, including: behavioural problems, attachment
difficulties, sibling queries, contact with birth families, disruption, baby placement,
single parent adopters and unmarried adoptive couples.

Contact networks are collections of parents, prospective parents or carers who wish
to communicate with others on particular issues of interest or concern to them.
Members of the networks receive a list of all participants on a quarterly basis,
containing names, areas, telephone numbers and email addresses. Members then
initiate contact with other participants whenever convenient.

Contact networks have been established in the following categories: adoptive
fathers, attachment issues, black and minority ethnic adopters, born to and adopted
children, disabled adopters, foetal alcohol spectrum disorder, foster carers, “It’s A
Piece of Cake?” participants, lesbian and gay adopters, overseas adopters, parents of
disabled children, parents of teenage children, parents of young children, post-
adoption marital breakdown, post-18 support network, prospective adopters, single
adopters and transracial adopters.

   Parent Consultation Service

Our Parent Consultants offer an enhanced level of support, helping members with
any new or ongoing issues as they arise. This could include accompanying members
to disruption and review meetings, helping them access local authority adoption
support services or providing information on legal issues and assessments. Members
are entitled to a free consultation and first session. Subsequent sessions are then
chargeable, which can either be funded privately or via a request to the family’s
relevant local authority for the provision of adoption support services.

   Lending library

Our lending library has over 500 books, video and audio cassettes, covering a wide
range of adoption issues in the following categories: abuse, attachment,
bereavement and loss, birth parents, contact, disability/disorder, education,
fostering, general, infertility, intercountry adoption, law, parenting, personal stories,
professional, race, research, therapy.

Statement of Purpose – Adoption UK – final – December 2009                                7
Specialist books, therapeutic games and interactive CD-ROMs, suitable for use with
children and young people, are also available. A full library catalogue is accessible on
the Online Community (

   Adoption Today and Children Who Wait

Adoption Today (published bi-monthly) magazine includes news and features on all
aspects of adoption, such as preparation for, and support after, adoption, contact
issues, attachment, and updates on legislation. There are articles written by adoptive
parents about their experiences before and after adoption. The magazine also
contains information about adoption agencies, new developments in practice and
research, and reports from Adoption UK local support groups.

Children Who Wait (monthly) is our family-finding magazine, featuring profiles of
children waiting for new families. Children Who Wait Online is the online version of
our family-finding magazine, enabling agencies to feature more detailed and rounded
profiles of children seeking new families, as well as benefit from a faster and easier-
to-access service.

Depending upon which membership package has been chosen, members will either
receive six issues of Adoption Today over the course of a year, or both Adoption
Today and 12 issues of Children Who Wait.

   Publications and information booklets

We have an expanding range of publications and booklets covering many aspects of

   Online Community

Our award-winning Online Community has a wide range of facilities which can be
accessed at any time. Members can share experience and advice, get guidance and
reassurance, and find information and useful contacts.

The Online Community is open to all and key features include:

       o   Message boards – whether seeking or offering tips, support, reassurance
           and friendship, these boards put users in touch with other prospective
           adopters, adoptive parents and foster carers.
       o   Adopter diaries – members share their experiences about life as a
           prospective adopter or adoptive parent.
       o   Adoption: the facts – keeps members updated about the adoption process
           and changes in adoption practice.
       o   Special features – weekly in-depth articles about issues relevant to
           adopters and prospective adopters.
       o   Online shop – buy Adoption UK publications and products.

Paid-up Adoption UK members also have access to a Members’ Area with extra
facilities and content, including:

       o   Children Who Wait Online.
       o   Ask the Expert – a specialist question and answer service.
       o   E-library – articles on a range of medical, social and psychological issues.

Statement of Purpose – Adoption UK – final – December 2009                                8
       o   Insight – a searchable database of members’ shared experiences.
       o   Adoption Today – electronic copies of back issues and current copies of
           Adoption UK’s bi-monthly magazine.
       o   Coordinator news – information from and about our local support groups.
       o   Research – summaries of key adoption and adoptive parenting research.
       o   Factsheets on various topics of concern

   Training programmes and workshops

Our training workshops have been developed in the light of years of experience of
working with parents whose children suffer from attachment difficulties brought on
by the trauma they have experienced in the past. All training workshops have been
written and developed by individuals affected by adoption and all Adoption UK
trainers are adoptive parents.

Training programmes and workshops currently offered include:

       o   It’s A Piece of Cake? – A modular parent support programme offering a
           fresh approach to parenting hurt children, covering expectations, realities
           and loss, attachment, trauma and adaptive behaviour, claiming and
           belonging, rewiring, self-care, and endings and beginnings.
       o   Understanding the Needs of the Child at Placement – Parenting issues and
           strategies are explored to help parents make positive connections with a
           child in the early days of a new placement, based on the knowledge of
           attachment and the effects of early trauma.
       o   Telling About Adoption: Life Story Work – Participants develop an
           understanding of age appropriate explanations linked to a child’s
           developmental stage. Practicalities, resources and potential difficulties
           involved in undertaking life story work are covered.
       o   Contact and the Adopted Child – Participants reflect on the purpose and
           meaning of contact. Practical ideas are shared on how contact can be
           supported and improved. The course looks at how contact can help
           develop a child’s identity.
       o   School and Education Issues – Examines issues that arise for children,
           adoptive parents and schools because of the effects of separation, trauma
           and loss. These social and emotional difficulties may be the underlying
           causes of behavioural problems that lead to learning difficulties.
           Legislation on special educational needs is examined so participants can
           work with schools to ensure appropriate provision is made.
       o   Parental Substance Misuse – Identifies issues associated with parental
           substance misuse and how they impact on children in adoptive and foster
           families. Information is provided about the physical and behavioural
           effects on children born to parents misusing drugs, alcohol and tobacco.
           There is an emphasis on the effects of alcohol, reflecting current research
           findings and assisting participants to develop caring strategies at home, in
           school and in the community.
       o   Parenting Adopted Teenagers – Supports and empowers parents and
           carers in understanding and addressing the emotional and practical impact
           of adolescence on families. It introduces some of the theories that seek to
           explain adolescent behaviour, describes warning signs that suggest
           serious emotional or behavioural difficulties, explores the issue of control
           in relation to the older child and considers ways in which parents can

Statement of Purpose – Adoption UK – final – December 2009                            9
           maximise their influence over behaviour without alienating the young
       o   Insight and Strategies – Provides adoption and fostering practitioners
           (including social workers, child care workers, health visitors, therapists,
           teachers, Special Educational Needs Coordinators, etc) with a deeper
           understanding of life in an adoptive or foster family. Participants will
           develop an understanding and expertise in dealing with issues of
           attachment and the ongoing effects of early trauma, and learn strategies
           to support parents and carers living with hurt children.

We also offer bespoke training packages to agencies and our training is available
either for parents or practitioners.

Local agencies or organisations purchase the above training programmes and
workshops from Adoption UK. We provide the adoptive parent trainer, but
participants are selected by agencies, according to their own criteria. We also run
“open training workshops” for parents and practitioners on which participants can
book themselves directly.

How to access our services

Membership enquiries and renewals
01295 752252 or

Helpline and library requests
0844 848 7900 or

Local support groups and volunteering
Sharon McCall, Development Manager England (North), 0121 445 4442 or
Julie Chanel, Development Manager England (South) 01295 752258 or
Ann Bell, Development Manager Wales, 029 2023 0319 or
Fiona Lettice, Development Manager Scotland, 0131 555 5350 or
Stephen McVey, Development Manager Northern Ireland, 028 9077 5211

Parents Are Linked and Contact Networks
Claire Friday, Support Manager, 01295 752251 or

Publications and information booklets
Jessica Hitching, Communications Assistant, 01295 752967 or visit our Online Shop

Parent Consultants
Claire Friday, Support Manager, 01295 752251 or

Buddy Support Scheme
Jill Beardon, Buddy Coordinator, 01525 210434 or 01295 752264 or

Training programmes and workshops
Bob Barnes, Trainer Coordinator, 01228 560075 or

Statement of Purpose – Adoption UK – final – December 2009                            10
Adoption Today
Karam Radwan, Editor, 01858 445565 or

Children Who Wait magazine and online
Elizabeth Perry, Managing Editor, Children Who Wait and Adoption Today, 01295
752962 or

Online Community
Danny Evans, Online Community and Projects Manager, 01295 752247 or

Organisational structure

Organograms for Adoption UK can be found on pages 19 to 22 of this document.
Adoption UK is a charitable trust, the work and management of which is overseen by
a Board of Trustees, currently comprising:

Peter Seymour (Chair)        Adoptive parent, with a background in IT sales and
                             business development
Rosemary Cook CBE (Vice      Adoptee and charity chief executive of the Queen’s
Chair)                       Nursing Institute
Charlie Chester              Adoptive parent, with a background in sales, marketing
                             and general management with Shell International
Felicity Collier             Former Chief Executive of the British Association for
                             Adoption and Fostering
Judith Evans                 Adoptive parent, former social worker and member of
                             Adoption UK’s Wales Advisory Group
Mary Greenwood               Social worker, adoption panel chair and charity chair
Helen Oakwater               Adoptive parent, local support group volunteer
                             coordinator and life coach, with a background in
                             lobbying work
Linda Palmer                 Adoptive parent and volunteer buddy, with a background
                             in lobbying work
Charlotte Thompson           Adoptive parent, with a background in special
                             educational needs teaching
Rosie Webster                Adoptive parent, and member of Adoption UK’s Scotland
                             Advisory Group

A minimum of three Trustees is required by the Trust Deed. The Trust Deed does not
restrict the maximum number of Trustees in office at any one time. Trustees do not
receive remuneration for their duties.

The Board of Trustees meets four times a year to review the organisation’s work and
services, and to agree the strategic goals for the charity. The Board also reviews its
own operation, effectiveness and governance on an annual basis.

A Finance Committee, comprising at least three trustees, has specific responsibility
for the organisation’s strategic financial planning and development and for
monitoring the charity’s financial situation. It meets at least quarterly, with the
Director, Adoption Support Services Manager, Finance Manager, Communications
Manager, and Senior Development Manager in attendance.

Statement of Purpose – Adoption UK – final – December 2009                             11
A Human Resources Committee, comprising at least two trustees, has specific
responsibility for the organisation’s HR matters. It meets at least three times a year,
with the Director, Assistant to the Director and an HR consultant in attendance.

Three Advisory Groups (in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales) of adoptive parents
and practitioners report to the Director, Adoption Support Services Manager and the
Board of Trustees, advising them on policy and practices issues relating to adoption
in those countries.

The Director has overall responsibility for all operational matters and reports directly
to the Trustees on a regular basis. The Director line manages the Finance,
Administration and Communications departments and the work of the Adoption
Support Services Manager, while line management of Adoption UK’s support services
is delegated to the Adoption Support Services Manager. The Director is assisted in
the management of the organisation by a senior management team comprising:

   Adoption Support Services Manager                        Janet Smith
   Finance Manager                                          Elaine Meek
   Communications Manager                                   Clive Griffiths
   Senior Development Manager                               Amanda Greenwood

The Senior Management Team meets six times a year.

In addition, there is a Wider Management Team, that also meets six times a year,

   Membership Manager                                       Michele McNeill
   Training Manager                                         Graham Bullivant
   Development Manager England (North)                      Sharon McCall
   Development Manager England (South)                      Julie Chanel
   Development Manager (Scotland)                           Fiona Lettice
   Development Manager (Northern Ireland)                   Stephen McVey
   Development Manager (Wales)                              Ann Bell
   Managing Editor Children Who Wait and                    Elizabeth Perry
    Adoption Today
   Support Manager                                          Claire Friday

The staff team is divided into the following departments:

   Membership – covering the work of the membership schemes and providing
    administrative support to the Development Teams in England.
   Training – covering the sale, delivery and development of new and existing
    training programmes and workshops.
   Support – covering the work of the Helpline, Buddy Support, Parent Consultation
    Service and contact networks.
   Development Team England – covering the development and delivery of local
    support groups and agency liaison.
   Northern Ireland – covering the development and delivery of the organisation’s
    services in that country, including lobbying and policy work.
   Scotland – covering the development and delivery of the organisation’s services
    in that country, including lobbying and policy work.
   Wales – covering the development and delivery of the organisation’s services in
    that country, including lobbying and policy work.

Statement of Purpose – Adoption UK – final – December 2009                            12
   Finance – covering the administration of income and expenditure for the
    organisation, and the development, review and monitoring of statutory accounts,
    budgets and management accounts.
   Communications – covering Adoption Today, Children Who Wait, publications,
    marketing, press/PR, fundraising and the Online Community.
   Office administration – covering the running and management of the
    organisation’s offices and suppliers, including information technology services and
    health and safety matters.

Human resources issues are overseen and managed by the Director, in conjunction
with his Assistant. In the case of the Director’s absence, responsibility is delegated to
the Adoption Support Services Manager, in conjunction with her assistant.

In relation to the organisation’s work as an Adoption Support Agency, the Adoption
Support Services Manager, Janet Smith, acts as Adoption UK’s registered manager in
relation to its registerable services in England, i.e.:

   Helpline
   Parent Consultation Service
   Buddy Support Schemes
   Training services.

As the registered manager, she manages, supervises and monitors the work of these
services on an ongoing basis. Regular management meetings involving the relevant
managers are held approximately eight times a year.

Number, relevant qualifications and experience of staff

Adoption UK employs 53 paid staff (35 part-time and 18 full-time). It also uses the
services of 32 self-employed trainers for the delivery of training programmes and
workshops. There are also 79 volunteers who act as local support group
coordinators, 31 volunteers who act as telephone contacts and 80 volunteers who act
as adoptive parent buddies in respect of individual Buddy Support Schemes set up
under service level agreements with specific local authorities.

Adoption Support Agency
In relation to the organisation’s work as an Adoption Support Agency in England (as
defined in the previous section of this document), Adoption UK employs 20 paid staff
(15 part-time and 5 full-time):

   Responsible Individual and Director                      Jonathan Pearce (f/t)

   Registered Manager and
    Adoption Support Services Manager                  Janet Smith (f/t)
    Assistant to the Adoption Support Services Manager Ginnie Morris (p/t)

   Senior Development Manager                               Amanda Greenwood (f/t)

o   National Telephone Helpline
    Helpline Adviser                                         Doris Bullock (p/t)
    Helpline Adviser                                         Barbara Walklate (p/t)
    Helpline Adviser                                         Mandie Bartle (p/t)

Statement of Purpose – Adoption UK – final – December 2009                            13
o   Parent Consultants
    Support Manager                                          Claire Friday (p/t)
    Parent Consultant                                        Carol Green (p/t)

o   Buddy Support Schemes
    Buddy Coordinator                                        Jill Beardon (p/t)

o   Training
    Training Manager                                         Graham Bullivant (f/t)
    Trainer Coordinator                                      Bob Barnes (p/t)
    Education and Training Assistant                         Lorraine Kennedy (p/t)
    Training Administrator                                   Corrina Jacob (p/t)
    Training and Family Day Administrator                    Abi Jeffs (f/t)

In addition, we use the services of 32 self-employed trainers throughout the UK for
the delivery of training programmes and workshops, 30 self-employed buddies in
England who act as adoptive parent buddies and approximately 70 volunteers who
run local support groups.

All staff and volunteers engaged in the delivery of frontline services to prospective
adopters, adoptive parents and foster carers have personal experience of adoption,
in the vast majority of cases as experienced adoptive parents, as befits a peer
support membership organisation for adoptive families.

All Helpline staff are trained and updated regularly on the law relating to adoption as
it affects adoptive families. In addition, Adoption UK is a full member of the
Telephone Helplines Association and staff are trained via that organisation’s specialist
helpline training, including core helpline skills, advanced helpline skills and email

The Parent Consultants are experienced adoptive parents who are trained and
updated regularly on the law in relation to adoption as it affects adoptive families.
The Coordinators are also trained in the Adoption and Attachment parent training
course run by the Family Futures Consortium in London.

The Buddy Coordinator is an experienced adoptive parent, with significant training
and experience in the provision of adoption support, training and HR issues.

Supervision is provided to the Helpline staff, Buddy Coordinator and Parent
Consultant by the Support Manager. In addition, staff have access to a trained
therapist and counsellor, contracted on a sessional basis, in relation to issues on
emotional management, dealing with secondary trauma and working with adoptive

Adoption UK staff engaged in the management of buddy support schemes are all
experienced adoptive parents.

All Adoption UK’s volunteers are experienced adoptive parents who are inducted and
trained in relation to their specific roles. In particular, adoptive parent buddies
complete Adoption UK’s two-day in-house training programme covering adoption law
and practice, child protection issues, listening and counselling skills, adoptive
parenting and attachment issues.

Statement of Purpose – Adoption UK – final – December 2009                              14
With the exception of administrative staff, Adoption UK staff engaged in the
management of the training programmes and workshops are both adoptive parents
and qualified trainers.

All Adoption UK’s trainers are experienced adoptive parents and we have a training
qualifications policy which states that, as a minimum, trainers should have studied
and passed, or be working towards, one of the following qualifications (or

o   Stage One: 7402 City and Guilds Adult Education Teaching Certificate
o   NVQ Level 3 in Training and Development
o   CIPD Certificate in Training Practice.

All trainers receive induction training in relation to the delivery of Adoption UK’s
training programmes and workshops. In addition, continuing professional
development training is provided on a regular basis and at least annually.

Responsible individual
The responsible individual of Adoption UK’s work as an Adoption Support Agency,
Jonathan Pearce, is also the Director of the organisation. He has a law degree and a
post-graduate certificate in journalism from the Journalism Training Centre, and is
also an adopted person. He has worked as Adoption UK’s Director since his
appointment in December 2002 and has previous senior management experience
with other charities and organisations.

Registered manager
The registered manager of Adoption UK’s work as an Adoption Support Agency, Janet
Smith, is a member of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy. She
has a social and economics studies degree, a 7307 City and Guilds Further and Adult
Education Teacher/Training Certificate, a NCFE 3703 Certificate in Counselling, a
Post-Graduate Certificate in Education (post-16 sector), a Relate Certificate in Couple
and Individual Counselling and NVQ level 5 qualification in management. Janet has
worked as Adoption UK’s Adoption Support Services Manager since September 2006.
Before that she worked as Adoption UK’s Training Manager for three-and-a-half
years, and is also an Adoption UK trainer, and an adoptive parent.

Monitoring and evaluating the provision of services

As an organisation, Adoption UK uses a variety of arrangements to monitor and
evaluate the quality of its services. These are:

o   Reviewing and reporting mechanisms operating within the meetings of the Board
    of Trustees, the Finance Committee and the Senior and Wider Management
o   Recording, monitoring and reviewing enquiries to the Helpline.
o   Formally requesting feedback from users of services, including participant and
    purchaser evaluation forms for our training programmes and workshops, for
    those receiving support from our Buddy Support Schemes, and for those who are
    supported by our Parent Consultants.
o   Regular supervision of staff, trainers and volunteers in relation to their work,
    including peer review of trainers delivering programmes or workshops.
o   Case file audits by senior staff.

Statement of Purpose – Adoption UK – final – December 2009                             15
o   The completion of six-monthly progress review forms by local support group
    coordinators, covering the level of use of the groups, the issues discussed and
    any matters arising.
o   The completion of Buddy Support Scheme reports for each individual period of
    support of up to six weeks for each family supported.
o   Quarterly meetings to review services with the local authorities where we supply
    either Buddy Support Schemes or local support groups or both, in conjunction
    with them.

Procedure for assessing the needs of those requesting adoption support

As a membership organisation for prospective adopters, adoptive parents, foster
carers and special guardians, access to the majority of our services is covered by the
payment of an annual membership fee. In this respect, the members’ needs for the
support services we offer are dictated by self-assessment, i.e., if you feel you need
to access one of our services, then we will supply it. This is particularly so in relation
to our information, advice and peer support services. Most services are also available
to non-members, but at an additional cost.

There are some important distinctions in relation to our training services and our
Buddy Support Schemes.

We sell some of our training programmes and workshops to local authorities. We
provide the adoptive parent trainer, but the local authority selects the parents or
carers that it wishes to be trained with the training material. Thus, we have no direct
input in the selection of training participants or in assessing their need for adoption
support services. However, dependent upon the course being delivered, training
material may be more appropriate for certain categories of adopters, e.g., the “It’s A
Piece of Cake?” parent support programme is ideally delivered to adoptive parents or
carers who have had a child placed with them for approximately one to two years. In
arranging any course with a local authority, we will inform the staff of the scope and
intended audience for the relevant programme or workshop. In relation to “open
training workshops”, on which participants can book themselves directly, the
member’s or service user’s needs are self-assessed, i.e., if a parent or practitioner
believes they need training on a particular issue or subject offered in our advertised
programmes or workshops, then we will provide it, subject to the financial viability of
running the training. Upon request, we offer advice to interested parties on the
suitability of our training to their needs.

Our Buddy Support Schemes are delivered under service level agreements with
particular local authority adoption agencies, but can also be accessed by anyone via
self-referral. The nature and extent of the schemes vary from authority to authority.
However, in general terms they are either aimed at adopters with new placements or
at adopters who may be experiencing particular difficulties. Although individual local
authority arrangements will vary, generally the authority will offer the Buddy Support
Scheme to the adopters it selects. If the adopters decide to take advantage of the
scheme, then their details will be forwarded to us. We will then allocate an adoptive
parent buddy to the family within one week of placement. In this respect, we have
no direct input in the selection of those parents who will be supported or in assessing
their need for adoption support services. However, in setting up the schemes we
discus and agree the remit and range of each individual scheme. These are detailed
in the relevant leaflets produced for each scheme. In relation to self-referrals, the

Statement of Purpose – Adoption UK – final – December 2009                             16
member’s or service user’s needs are self-assessed, i.e., if a parent believes they
need a buddy support service, then we will provide it.

Complaints procedure

Adoption UK always endeavours to provide a sympathetic, courteous and
professional service to its membership and service users. While we hope that our
services will not give rise to any complaints, we will respond fairly, positively and
promptly to complaints from the membership and service users when they feel we
have not met their expectations or needs. Furthermore, we are always pleased to
hear members’ and users’ views on our services, so that steps can be taken to
review and improve our services, as necessary. These views may be positive, as well
as negative, and will be welcomed as constructive feedback on our work.

All complaints will be treated in the strictest confidence.

Our complaints policy and procedure is summarised, as follows:

o   We have an informal and a formal complaints procedure.
o   The policy differentiates between complaints about the provision of services, and
    complaints about the conduct of staff, trainers or volunteers. In the latter case,
    complaints will be handled under the formal procedure by the Director (in cases
    relating to staff other than the Director) or the Chair of the Board of Trustees (in
    cases relating to the Director).
o   The informal procedure is intended to be easy to use, quick and responsive to the
        o Contact the Manager of the relevant service or the Director by phone or
        o The Manager or Director will investigate the complaint and respond within
            seven days, providing an explanation of the circumstances surrounding
            the event complained about, the reasons for any unsatisfactory service
            and, if appropriate, an apology, what course of action will be taken to
            remedy the unsatisfactory service and what you can do next if you are not
            satisfied with the response.
        o If the response is not satisfactory then you can use the formal complaints
            procedure, but you will not need to go through the earlier stages of the
            procedure, as your complaint will be dealt with by the Director.
o   The formal complaints procedure requires the complaint to be in writing:
        o The Manager or Director will acknowledge receipt of the complaint within
            three working days and will investigate the complaint and respond in full
            within 10 working days.
        o The response will provide an explanation of the circumstances surrounding
            the event complained about, the reasons for any unsatisfactory service
            and, if appropriate, an apology, what course of action will be taken to
            remedy the unsatisfactory service and what you can do next if you are not
            satisfied with the response.
        o If you are not satisfied with the response, the complaint can be referred to
            the Director and/or Chair of the Board of Trustees for further
        o If you are not satisfied with the Chair’s response, the complaint will be
            referred to an independent adjudicator. The identity of that adjudicator
            will depend upon the nature of the complaint. The appointed adjudicator
            will have the necessary knowledge, experiences, skills and expertise to

Statement of Purpose – Adoption UK – final – December 2009                            17
            investigate satisfactorily the complaint. The independent adjudicator’s
            response will be final.
o   We will do all we can to facilitate help or support in making a complaint, where
    this is necessary.
o   We keep a record of the number and type of complaints received in order to
    improve our services and provide relevant training. These records will be
    reviewed annually by the Board of Trustees. In addition, complaints about staff
    conduct or behaviour will be brought to the attention of the Board of Trustees
    (for the purposes of review) within three months of the complaint being received.

Contact us for full details of our Complaints Policy and Procedure.

Comments and review of this Statement of Purpose

If you have any comments or queries regarding this document, please contact:

Jonathan Pearce
Adoption UK
Linden House
55 South Bar Street          Tel: 01295 752240
Banbury                      Fax: 01295 752241
Oxfordshire OX16 9AB         Email:

The contents of our Statement of Purpose are reviewed annually by the Board of
Trustees, acting upon review and revisions supplied by the Director and Senior and
Wider Management Teams.

Address of Registration Authority

As a registered Adoption Support Agency, Adoption UK is subject to regulation and
inspection by:

Head Office,
Aviation House
125 Kingsway                                Tel: 08456 404040
London WC2B 6SE                             Email:

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