Skip to main content
Trafford Council logo


Top of page

Size: View this website with small text View this website with medium text View this website with large text View this website with high visibility

6.2.8 Disruption of Adoptive Placements - Adoption 22

Contents

Caption: contents
   

Policy:

Introduction
Disruption Meeting
Purpose of Disruption Meeting
Role of Chair
Administrative Support / Note Taking
AD22 Disruption Agenda
Meeting
Timing
Format of Meeting
Child's Views and Feelings
Recommendations


Procedure:

Organising a Disruption Meeting
Allocation of a Disruption Chair
Attendance at Disruption Meetings
Completion of Disruption Meeting
Payment for Disruption Chairs
Adoption22 Disruption Chair Application


Appendices:

Disruption Meeting Request Form
Sample Letter of Invitation and Explanatory Sheet for Participants of Disruption Meetings
Disruption Chair's Post Meeting Questionnaires


Policy:

Introduction

For the purposes of the Adoption22 (Ad22) Policy, Procedure and Guidance, disruption has been defined as follows:

Disruption:

"Any adoption placement which ends in an unplanned way, either during introductions or prior to an adoption order being made, or up to one year after placement, whichever comes sooner."


Disruption Meeting

The disruption of an adoption placement can be a distressing and painful event; the aim of reviewing the disruption is not to apportion blame, but to understand what happened and use that information to inform future planning for the child(ren)/adopters, to make recommendations for practice and as a learning tool for adoption agencies.

In considering the issue of how to review a disrupted placement, Ad22 has considered a number of suggested models, including:

  • One-to-one interviews conducted by the nominated Chair;
  • Split meetings where the Chair has previously interviewed the family, who then do not attend the meeting;
  • Full day meeting to which all key participants are invited (more traditional).

It was felt that the individual interviewing model might lead to very different interpretations of events without offering the opportunity to have a discussion to which all could contribute. It would also be very time-consuming and may place an unrealistic burden on the nominated Chair. It would also be likely that there would still be the need for a formal meeting of some kind to follow this up and draw together conclusions and recommendations. The only circumstance where individual interviews should be considered is in interviewing the children involved.

After careful discussion, it was agreed that a formal disruption meeting is the most appropriate format, as it gives the opportunity for all interested parties to be heard and is the most effective forum in respect of time, whilst acknowledging that this can often be a painful process for participants.

It was agreed that it would be most appropriate to invite a core group of attendees with additional significant people being invited to attend by appointment for part of the meeting.

In order to ensure that the meeting can be managed and kept focused, it is intended that the nominated Chair will have an important role in preparing for the meeting, which will necessitate relevant documents being sent in advance of the meeting.

It is acknowledged that adoptions may disrupt many years after a child has been placed, and whilst it will be important to review these, it is not felt that such disruptions would necessarily be subject to the meeting format as described.


Causes of Disruption

Research informs us that there are four main causes of disruption:

  • The emergence of previously unidentified, misunderstood or unknown factors;
  • The miss-assessment of the family or the child's readiness to make an adoptive attachment;
  • The appearance of unpredictable circumstances which have impacted on the process;
  • Lack of all available information about the child given to adoptive parents.


Purpose of Disruption Meeting

The purpose of the disruption meeting is to review the sequence of events leading up to the disruption and to identify learning points, the primary aim of which will be to assist in planning for the child's future.

The main aims are as follows:

  • To share information and identify factors which have led to the disruption;
  • To identify learning which will inform future planning for the child;
  • To enable the process of 'healing' for the child and the family;
  • To develop and improve knowledge and practice in the field.

Recommendations should consider:

  • if adoption remains in the best interest of the child;
  • if the adopters approval status should be reviewed.


Role of Chair

The role of the Chair is crucial. It is considered essential that the Chair should be independent of the agencies involved.

The Role of the Chair is:

  • To identify key areas on which to focus;
  • To identify with the meeting organiser from the commissioning agency of the disruption Meeting:
    • Invitation list and duration of attendance;
    • Who should be sent the confidential questionnaires;
    • The agreed return date and address for the completed confidential questionnaires.
  • To liaise with the meeting organiser to ensure that documentation as requested is received by required date;
  • To prepare a précis/summary to present to the meeting;
  • To prepare questions/issues to be raised;
  • To summarise feedback from questionnaires;
  • To enable participants to share their views/feelings;
  • To summarise main findings/conclusions of meeting to inform future planning;
  • To produce written summary for circulation by date agreed;
  • To write a summary of meeting with conclusions and recommendations for future planning and practice;
  • To complete 'Chair's Disruption Meeting Questionnaire Feedback'.


Administrative Support / Note Taking

It has been agreed that verbatim minutes will not be provided. The disruption Chair will provide an outcome focussed summary with conclusions and recommendations.

The decision about whether or not to have a note taker at the meeting will be agreed in advance by the disruption Chair and the meeting organiser from the commissioning agency.

Note takers must hold an up to date DBS check.

Please see Disruption Chair payments.

The summary of the disruption meeting should be agreed by the Chair and the meeting organiser from the commissioning agency.

A copy should be placed on the child's file, a copy should also be sent to the adopter's agency. A record of the meeting should not be available to anyone else.


AD22 Disruption Agenda

Details of:

  • Child(ren) /Adopters;
  • Date of placement for adoption;
  • Date of placement disruption;
  • Date of disruption meeting and names of those attending - indicating whether full or partial attendance;
  • Name of Chair;
  • Apologies;
  • Other reports received.


Meeting

  1. Summary of case:
    • To present a summary of the information from the confidential questioners;
    • To include a simple chronology of events;
    • To include a brief summary of child's specific needs and anything significant in respect of the adopters;
    • To include a summary of the contributions of each participant at the meeting analysed by the Chair.
  2. Conclusions:
    • This will be a summary under the headings on the confidential questionnaires. (see confidential questionnaire) e.g.
      'What in your opinion were the main factors that led to the disruption of this placement?
      Would it have helped if anything had been done differently? If so, what?
      How may the child's needs be met in the future?'
  3. Recommendations:
    • These should not be too prescriptive in terms of suggesting specific methods or resources but should clearly and briefly identify the pertinent issues allowing each agency to learn any lessons. This should assist agencies with decisions about future plans for adopters and children. To include:
      • Future planning for child(ren);
      • Future approval status of adopters, i.e. review suitability to adopt;
      • Any practice development or staff training areas.

The Chair's summary should be sent to the child's agency, adopter's agency and should be made available to the relevant adoption panel(s).


Timing

It is essential that a disruption meeting is held in a timely fashion. There has been considerable debate about when a meeting should be held. It is suggested that as a guide, a period of 8-12 weeks after the placement has ended will be the most appropriate timescale. This gives people time to recover from the immediate trauma and memories are more reliable. It also allows for any conclusions/recommendations reached by the disruption meeting to be available to inform the future planning process for the child and adopters.


Format of Meeting

It is agreed that the meeting should focus on the circumstances of the disruption and that whilst information about the child's background is relevant, this should be available as a summary prior to the meeting. The record of a life appreciation day that has already been held in respect of a child will give this information.

Preparation work and the appropriate documents will enable the meeting to be shorter and more focused.


Child's Views and Feelings

It is essential that the views of the child are represented at the meeting. This may be via child's social worker, the current carer or an independent worker. Older children should be given the opportunity to express their views in writing, either by completing a simple questionnaire or by writing a letter. Younger children should be assisted via an age-appropriate medium to share their feelings about the disruption and their views on what should happen in the future. N.B. Toolkit devised by workers in Cheshire may be useful.

Whilst is likely that most disruptions covered by the Ad22 definition will involve younger children, an older child may wish to attend part of the meeting or perhaps more appropriately to meet with the Chair prior to the meeting.


Recommendations

The Chair and meeting organiser from the commissioning agency should agree the disruption summary within four weeks of the meeting.

The record of the disruption meeting is the property of the commissioning agency (child's agency); the agency will decide what information from the record to share with relevant parties.

It is important that the conclusions and recommendations from the meeting should be made available in a timely manner to those who are involved in planning for the child's and adopter's future. The relevant Adoption Panel will also require reports back on the disruption.


Procedure:

Organising a Disruption Meeting

The child's Local Authority will be known as the commissioning agency and will take responsibility for organising and funding the disruption meeting.

There will be a meeting organiser from the commissioning agency who will take responsibility for organising the disruption meeting.

The meeting organiser is responsible for:

  • Booking a venue. Consideration should be given to parking, access, availability of tea and coffee, a waiting area, a private area;
  • Liaising with the adopter's agency, other professionals and those participating;
  • Contacting Ad22's Administration Manager - by email or telephone, to request a disruption Chair. Email: h.graham@adoption22.co.uk Tel: 0161 764 9185.

The initial request should contain:

  • Name of disruption meeting organiser;
  • Name of child's LA agency;
  • Name of adopter's agency;
  • Suggested timescale for disruption meeting.

The Ad22 Administration Manager will send the meeting organiser an Ad22 "Disruption Meeting Organisers Pack", by e-mail. This will include a "Disruption Meeting Request Form", which should be competed and returned to Ad22's Administration Manager. (See Allocation of a Disruption Chair below).

The Disruption Meeting Organisers Pack will contain the following Pilot documents:

  1. Ad22 Protocol, Policy, Procedure and Guidance document;
  2. Sample Letter of Invitation/Reply Slip and Explanatory Sheet for Participants of Disruption Meetings;
  3. Disruption Meeting Request Form;
  4. Disruption Meeting Participants Evaluation Form;
  5. Confidential Disruption Questionnaire (for completion by participants prior to the disruption meeting. These should be sent by the meeting organiser, with return envelopes marked confidential to the address agreed by the Chair and meeting organiser. In the case of an independent chair this may be done via Adoption22).

On receipt of the "Disruption Meeting Request Form" Ad22's Administration Manager will contact the next Chair from the Ad22 disruption Chair rota to ascertain their availability and to check that there is no conflict of interest re the agencies involved. If the next Chair on the rota is not available, then Ad22's Administration Manager will contact the next available chair on the rota. Once a Disruption Chair has been established for the meeting, a copy of the Disruption Meeting Request Form will be sent to them. (Please see Disruption Chair procedure)

The disruption Chair will contact the meeting organiser directly to arrange a date for the disruption meeting.

The meeting organiser must arrange for the Chair to have all the relevant information at least two weeks prior to the meeting date.

Minimum documents required:

From the Childs SW:

  • Child's Permanence Report (CPR);
  • Adoption Placement Plan (APP);
  • Completed Adopters Placement Report (APR);
  • Adoption Support Plan;
  • Previous panel minutes child, adopters, match;
  • Short- listing / Matching Report;
  • Chronology of Child's life (should be in CPR);
  • Summary of significant events:
    • In child's early life;
    • Since being looked after;
    • Since placement with adopters.

From the adopters agency:

  • Adopters Report (PAR);
  • A summary of the adopters adjustment to placement and development of parenting skills.

The Chair may identify further information or wish to have sight of other reports.

In consultation with the commissioning agency (child's agency) and adopters agency the disruption Chair and disruption meeting organiser should decide:

  • The date for the disruption meeting (guide period is 8 - 12 weeks after the placement has ended);
  • Who should be invited to the meeting, at what stage, for how long?

Confidential Questionnaires

Confidential Questionnaires should be sent to all relevant parties at least four weeks prior to the disruption meeting, to be returned by a set date (at least two weeks prior to meeting date).

Disruption Chair / Meeting Organiser should decide:

  • Who should complete a Confidential Questionnaire;
  • Who will send and collect the Confidential Questionnaires;
  • How the Confidential Questionnaires will be returned:
    • E-mail (a return e-mail address should be provided- this may be done via Ad22 if there is an Independent Chair);
    • Post (a return envelope with agreed address should be provided marked confidential for the attention of Chair).

The Confidential Questionnaires must be returned to the chair and participants must feel confident that their views will be kept confidential.


Allocation of a Disruption Chair

Adoption22 will operate a system for allocation of disruption Chairs.

The Commissioning agency will request a disruption chair by e-mail or phone from Ad22 by completing a "Disruption Meeting Request Form".

On receipt of the "Disruption Request Form" Ad22's Administration manager will ascertain the availability of the next person on the Chair rota. If unavailable, the next person will be contacted.

If following 7 working days the next three disruption Chairs on the rota are unavailable, or unable to respond, all Ad22 Disruption Chairs will be advised of the request.

The disruption Chair who has indicated to the Ad22 Administration Manager that they are available to Chair the requested meeting, will be sent a copy of the completed "Disruption Meeting Request Form" by the Ad22 Administration Manager. If requested by the commissioning agency, Ad22 Administration Manager will send Section 1 of the DCI form "Disruption Chair Information/Application Form to the commissioning agency.

If there is any conflict of interest that arises as a result of discussion between the proposed disruption Chair and the commissioning agency, and it is felt inappropriate to proceed, re- allocation will take place.

The disruption Chair will be expected to contact the commissioning agency meeting organiser directly. The arrangements for the disruption meeting should be confirmed with Ad22 and should include the name of the disruption Chair, date and venue of meeting.

Adoption22 will send to the Disruption Chair the following information.

The Disruption Chair's Pack will contain the following Pilot documents:

  1. Ad22 Protocol, Policy, Procedure and Guidance document;
  2. Confidential Disruption Questionnaire (for completion by participants prior to the disruption meeting. These should be sent by the meeting organiser, with return envelopes marked confidential to the address agreed by the Chair and meeting organiser. In the case of an independent chair this may be done via Adoption22);
  3. Pro forma template for meeting;
  4. Disruption Chair's post meeting questionnaires - to be completed by Chair on completion of the meeting and returned to Ad22, for use as a learning tool and for statistical purposes. (Please note payment will be subject to receipt of completed Chairs Disruption Meeting Feedback Questionnaire);
  5. Copy for information only of Disruption Meeting evaluation Sheets for completion by attendees at the meeting.

Ad22 will maintain a pool of at least 10 or more experienced dedicated disruption Chairs who will chair for a term of 2 years with an option of 2nd term if agreed. This would mean that each Chair would Chair a maximum of 4 meetings a year which would be a time commitment of approximately 8 to 12 working days.

Disruption Chairs should possess appropriate skills to undertake this work, and have the expertise and understanding of disruption to fulfill this demanding role. Please see Ad22 Disruption Chair application procedure.


Attendance at Disruption Meetings

Core group:

  • Independent chair;
  • Child's social worker;
  • Adoptive family's social worker;
  • Adopters (suggested that they are invited for part of the meeting only);
  • Previous foster carers (part of meeting only).

Additional:

  • School/nursery;
  • Medical (i.e. Health Visitor; Community Paediatrician);
  • Current carers;
  • Reviewing officer;
  • CAMHS/therapist;
  • Psychologist;
  • Representative for child;
  • Older/adult children of adopters;
  • Any other person with a significant contribution to make.

Views should be sought in writing from all those who have played a significant role in the child's life. The Confidential Disruption Questionnaire may be sent to aid the information gathering process.


Completion of Disruption Meeting

On completion of the disruption meeting, the Chair should complete the Ad22 "Disruption Chairs Post Meeting Questionnaires". Giving the Chair's view of the main issues involved in disruption. (This form is included in the chair's pack and will used for research and statistical purposes). This form is to be completed and returned to the Ad22 Administration Manager and must be received before payment to Chair can be made by commissioning agency.

The information provided will be used as a learning tool, for training, statistical analysis and practice development.

The Chair should agree a record of the meeting within two weeks of the meeting or if a note taker is used, two weeks from receipt of the notes (maximum four weeks).

All meeting notes should be returned to the commissioning agency.

The chair will expect the meeting organiser from the commissioning agency to decide who will receive

  • A full or partial summary from the meeting;
  • To whom a copy of any recommendations should be sent;
  • The distribution of the summary.

Ad22 Administration Manager to keep a list of who chaired which disruption meeting and collate information from the completed "Disruption Chairs Post Meeting Questionnaires".


Payment for Disruption Chairs

Payment to Independent Chair

Direct Payment

  • If note taker is not provided by the commissioning agency, a payment of £680 will be made to the Independent Disruption Chair in acknowledgement of the time commitment which this would represent;
  • If the Independent Disruption Chair does not wish to take the notes themselves, then the commissioning agency will either ask the Independent Chair to identify a note taker, or the commissioning agency themselves will provide a note taker;
  • If note taker is provided by the commissioning agency, a payment of £500 will be made to the Independent Chair in acknowledgement of the time commitment which this would represent;
  • In addition, a travelling allowance will be paid to the Independent Chair as per commissioning agency's usual arrangements;
  • If note taker is provided by the Independent Chair, any arrangement or payment to note taker is the responsibility of the Independent Chair.

Payment to Chair Employed by an AD22 member LA or VAA

Payment to Agency

  • If note taker is not provided by the commissioning agency, a payment of £680 will be made to the Chair's Agency in acknowledgement of the time commitment which this would represent;
  • If the Chair does not wish to take the notes themselves, then the commissioning agency will either ask the Chair to identify a note taker or the commissioning agency themselves will provide a note taker;
  • If note taker is provided by the commissioning agency, a payment of £500 will be made to the Chair's Agency in acknowledgement of the time commitment which this would represent;
  • In addition, a travelling allowance will be paid to the Chair as per commissioning agency's usual arrangements;
  • If note taker is provided by the Chair themselves or the Chair's agency, any arrangement or payment to note taker would be the responsibility of the disruption Chair or their agency.

Invoice

The L.A., V.A.A., or Independent Chair providing a service will invoice the commissioning agency directly.

  1. The invoice should clarify payee i.e.
    The Chairs Agency (if work completed in agency time);

    Or
  2. The Independent Chair (if work completed on independent basis).

Payment Terms

Ad22 Administration Manager will advise the commissioning agency when the "Disruption Chair's Post Meeting Questionnaires" have been received for payment to proceed.

Payment will be subject to receipt of:

  1. Agreed final record of meeting with full recommendations and actions;
  2. Completed Ad22 "Disruption Chair's Post Meeting Questionnaires".


Adoption22 Disruption Chair Application

Criteria for Adoption22 (Ad22) Disruption Chair

  • Work at a Senior level: Senior Social Worker, Senior Practitioner, Team Manager, Service Manger Principle Manager or above;
  • Qualified Registered Social Worker;
  • Hold Enhanced DBS;
  • Provide two references;
  • Chair must evidence:
    • Understanding of child development and the impact of trauma, loss, neglect on children's behaviour;
    • A firm grasp of issues relating to adoption, including adoption regulations and law, IRM;
    • Ability to Chair complex meetings;
    • Commitment to equal opportunities.

In addition if chairing role completed on an independent basis:

  • Hold Professional Indemnity Insurance up to 1 million;
  • If possible one reference should be from a member LA or associate VAA Ad22.

    *Please note for each disruption meeting independent chairs will need to evidence to the commissioning agency: Professional Indemnity Insurance up to 1 million, DBS, Social Work Registration.

A Person wishing to become an approved Ad22 Disruption Chair should meet above criteria and should complete the Ad22 "Disruption Chair Information /Application Form" (Ad22DCI Form), available on request from Ad22's Administration Manager h.graham@adoption22.co.uk. Please note the Ad22DCI form Section 1 may be circulated by Ad22 to commissioning agencies if requested, therefore personal information i.e. DOB, home address, personal telephone number etc is not requested on the form.

Completed Ad22DCI application form should be returned to Ad22

Referees will be contacted by Adoption22.

Candidates meeting the person specification and reference are agreed as approved Ad22 Disruption Chairs. Ad22 will notify of approval and add the chairs name to the list of approved chairs.

  1. Individual Chairs are responsible for ensuring they notify Ad22 of any changes in circumstances i.e. contact details, any offences committed since last DBS, etc;
  2. Individuals Chairs are responsible for keeping their own DBS, SW Registration, Professional Indemnity Insurance up to 1 million (where required) up to date;
  3. Individual chairs may need to show evidence of up to date enhanced DBS, Professional Indemnity Insurance up to 1 million (where required) and SW registration to Commissioning Agency if requested.


Appendices

End