New Leaf Adoption
This is a relatively new agency. The director who ran it at the time we were approved was very friendly and good at matching families with children. Support after placement was non existent, despite requests.
We recently discovered this director was struck off as a SW due to serious misconduct whilst working freelance for local authorities, but that she continued to work as a SW despite being first suspended then struck off. The rest of the agency staff were aware but said and did nothing.
They had an Ofsted inspection a few months ago and were rated Inadequate. The report can be read here -
The second director took charge - he had taken a back seat all this time and allowed his partner (birth mother) to be in control. He is now claiming he cannot be held responsible for anything as he was not involved or aware. As director he should take responsibility, he chose to turn a blind eye, there is no way he could not know what was going on.
Sadly, things are going bad to worse - despite claiming on their website that they use only experienced competent assessors, they don't. There are only 2 SW in the agency. The first one has now been there for a couple of years and she was taken on and allowed to undertake assessments and write reports without any experience in adoption whatsoever and without any supervision. She has now been made Senior SW. The present director has stated that records were falsified to show training and supervision had taken place, yet he keeps her on with the agency - despite attending matching panels with no actual knowledge of the child the family is there for. The second SW again has no experience at all in adoption and no experience in carrying out assessments or writing PARs. The director himself has very limited experience in doing this and is allowing this SW to carry out assessments and write reports unsupervised...with devastating results. The Ofsted report also makes it clear that staff are inexperienced.
The report also highlighted that approval panel members didn't have up to date DBS checks and that when there weren't enough panel members, agency staff sat on it to make the numbers up. At the moment there isn't even a minute taker for panels...is this legal? The ADM, who is the director, sits on the panel himself.
Out of the original staff, FOUR have been reported to the HCP - Health Care Professionals Organisation for fitness to practice investigations - two SW, director and agency manager... Only 2 staff weren't - one who has left of her own accord - and this second director, who is possibly going to be reported himself very soon by more than one prospective adopter because of his unprofessionalism. The agency has no manager now.
Any people considering using this agency, be careful, as you could end up been let down badly. The way things are going the agency might end up been closed down. But even if they continue to practice they could be black balled by LAs and this will affect family finding...which will be carried out by totally inexperienced staff too.
I wish you all the very best in your journeys, it's a long and sometimes stressful road, but so worth it in the end