Scotland's independent watchdog for the care sector has published its first ever report on adoption services. The report comes during National Adoption Week and ahead of an address to the 20th anniversary Children in Scotland annual conference in Paisley.

 The scrutiny and improvement body said most of Scotland’s 39 adoption services were performing well and had received good grades following a robust inspection process.

All adoption services operating in Scotland are required by law to register with the Care Inspectorate. Services are inspected annually by specialist inspectors who assess their quality, and support improvement where necessary.  

As of 30 September 2013, there were 39 adoption services operating in Scotland. Of these, 32 are local authority services. A further seven are run by voluntary or not-for-profit organisations.  

Every care service in Scotland is assessed against a number of quality themes. Grades are awarded to adoption services for the quality of care and support, the quality of staffing, and the quality of management and leadership. Grades are awarded on a scale from 1 (unsatisfactory) – 6 (excellent).

As of September 2013, over half of adoption services had a grade 5 or 6 (very good or excellent) for the Quality of Care and Support theme. All services have at least a grade 3 (adequate) for Quality of Staffing and Quality of Management and Leadership.  

The Care Inspectorate has the power to investigate complaints against all care services, including anonymous complaints if necessary. There have been no upheld complaints in the last three years in relation to adoption services. The last upheld complaint against an adoption service was in April 2010. 

Annette Bruton, Chief Executive of the Care Inspectorate, said: 

“Getting a permanent, stable home is a key issue for children in care - and adoption agencies play a huge role in this. Adoption in Scotland is generally performing well and improvements are being made where necessary. 

“The quality of care offered is generally high, and in most services the quality of staffing and leadership is good or very good. 

“The Care Inspectorate will continue to carefully and robustly inspect each adoption service in Scotland in line with our agreed inspection plan. 

“We will work with services to ensure they continually improve, supporting faster permanency planning for vulnerable children.

“We have recently established team specialist inspectors to inspect the types of service in which they have a practice background. We believe this will allow us to better identify further improvements in adoption services across Scotland, minimise the risk of drift, and improve outcomes for children in need of adoption.”  

ENDS

NOTES TO EDITORS

1. The report comes during National Adoption Week and as the 20th anniversary Children in Scotland annual conference gets underway in Paisley. The conference is the flagship event for the children’s sector, bringing together all those who are making a difference to the lives of children and young people in Scotland. Sarah Blackmore, Depute Director of Inspection (Children’s Services and Criminal Justice) will address the Children in Scotland annual conference in Paisley, today (Wednesday).  

2. As of September 2013, over half of adoption services had a grade 5 or 6 (very good or excellent) for the Quality of Care and Support theme. All services have at least a grade 3 (adequate) for Quality of Staffing and Quality of Management and Leadership. The grades for each theme are provided here: 

Number of Services
Latest Grade 
at 30th September
Quality of Care 
and Support Grade
Quality of Staffing Quality of Management 
and Leadership grade
1 - unsatisfactory 0 0 0
2 - weak 1 0 0
3 - adequate 2 2 4
4 - good 15 21 19
5 - very good 19 15 15
6 - excellent 2 1 1

 

 

  % of Services
Latest Grade 
at 30th September
Quality of Care 
and Support Grade
Quality of Staffing Quality of Management 
and Leadership grade
Grade 1 or 2 3% 0% 0%
Grade 3 or 4 44% 59% 59%
Grade 5 or 6 54% 41% 41%

Up to date inspection reports on each of Scotland’s 39 adoption services including 32 services run by local authorities are available here: http://cinsp.in/GJrVi5