Gounder (Head of Service for Looked After and Vulnerable Young
People) and Morris Linton (Team Manager Adoption & Special
Guardianship Service) presented a report on the work of the
Fostering and Adoption Services since September 2018.
had been circulated with the agenda -
Panel Report of the LB Enfield Adoption Service April 2018 –
March 2019 and
Enfield Fostering Panel Annual Report April 2018 – March
from the March 2019 Ofsted report for Enfield’s fostering and
adoption services, which were very positive, were
following points were highlighted:
are currently 15 children placed with prospective adopters awaiting
have 134 foster families (including family and friends and Reg 24
(temporary approval carers) and 141 looked after children placed.
43.5% of all our looked after children are placed with in house
Fostering and Adoption services are based at Triangle House.
Proximity to the Looked after Children’s Team is helpful in
promoting good planning for children in care
- Enfield is part of the North London Adoption and Fostering
Consortium (NLAFC) made up of Enfield, Barnet, Camden, Hackney
Haringey and Islington. The boroughs work together in areas such as
sharing of training and recruitment activities.
Adoption and Special Guardianship (SG) Service is situated in the
same area as the Fostering Service. They recruit and assess
prospective adopters, to family find and match suitable adopters
and to support adoptive families. The
SG service has responsibility for assessing and supporting Special
independent fostering and adoption panels consider and agree
recommendations on the suitability of applicants wishing to foster
- Regionalisation of Adoption Agencies (RAA) is going ahead
throughout the country and the six boroughs, of which Enfield is
part, in the current consortium have joined together to become the
Regional Adoption Agency for North London. A structure for the RAA
has now been put in place and will start from 1 October 2019. There
will therefore no longer be an adoption service based in Enfield
from that date although we will continue to have the Special
has been an increase in the number of SG Orders granted over the
last 2 – 3 years. In 2016-17, 42
SGOs were granted. In 2017-18, 32 SGO’s were granted and for
this year up to August 21 SGO’s had already been granted and
it is estimated that there would be 45 to 50 for the year. In
2018-19 13 Adoption Orders were granted. It is anticipated that
there would be a similar number of Adoption Orders for 2019
aim is to increase the pool of foster carers and adopters to meet
the demand of children in need of fostering and children where
adoption is the plan. The RAA will
result in a larger pool of adopters. Marketing is continuing and
recent adverts have been put on local buses. The aim is to recruit
15 or more foster carers for 2019/20 targeting older children and
- 226 SG Allowances are currently
being paid. Adoption allowances are paid for those harder to place
and where there is a sibling group of 3 – it is not being
paid for those who no longer have a link to Enfield.
The following issues
- It was
asked how the matching of adopters and children take place and how
this is tackled for BAME children. It was stated that historically
there was a view that adopters of BAME children should also be
of BAME, but priorities now are not
just based on ethnic matching. The RAA will be carrying out this
process in future. A lot of work behind
the scenes goes into looking for potential matches. Shirley Gounder
said we have targeted local communities including single sex and
the LGBT communities for potential foster carers.
- When asked
if it is preferential for children to be placed with foster carers
outside the borough it was stated that children are usually placed
outside the borough especially if families are at risk.
members of staff would be moving to the new RAA and there are
uncertainties about how many adopters will be
commented that good fostering for the most complex vulnerable
children can give children real life chances and in response to the
following question - How many children are currently fostered out
of the borough? The following
information was provided – of 381 looked after children
– 274 are placed within 20 miles of their home address so
local links can be maintained for them.
It was asked why some children change
placements. An answer was given that
this may be due to a variety of issues such as challenging
behaviour or because of safeguarding issues. Shirley Gounder intends to introduce exit
placement interviews using KRATOS to help provide further
information, for example as to whether adequate support had been
Members said councillors could be contacted if it
assists with recruitment campaigns for foster carers.
There have been challenges in the past for the team
because of the number of SG assessments needed. Morris Linton said he had
been fully staffed to date and some work has been commissioned.
However, three members of staff would be moving over to the
RAA. Morris stated that there would be
an additional member of staff recruited to his team.
Concern was expressed that the adoption service
would be moving out of Enfield, as the existing system works well.
It was stated that the Adoption Panel will continue in Enfield till
A concern was expressed about whether there would be
sufficient number of social workers in post to cover the number of
foster carers visits etc.
Morris Linton said courts appear to
be more reluctant to agree placement orders and prefer to use SG
Orders instead, this can be different to the Local
Authority’s preference and would appear to be because of the
aspiration to keep children within the family.
Members asked that their concerns regarding the
changes to the Fostering and Adoption Service be communicated to
the Cabinet Member for Children’s Services and for an update
report to come back to a future meeting of Overview and Scrutiny