Ofsted has rated Merton as “Good” for its adoption service.
In its report, Ofsted highlights the considerable level of understanding and strong support the council provides to adoptive parents, the children and their birth parents.
The council’s adoption team take a child focussed approach, helping a wide range of children find loving and supportive homes. The report cites two recent examples of children with complex disabilities who have been successfully placed with families.
Ofsted praises the high calibre and work of the borough’s social workers, who get to know each individual child and their different needs so they are able to make the best decision as to the most suitable adoptive parents. Children are prepared well for adoption and are fully consulted throughout the process to ensure they know what is happening.
Looking at the administration involved in providing an effective adoption service, Ofsted highlights the good tracking and monitoring systems in place which show the progress of each child as they settle into life with their adoptive families.
Children’s needs are well met because of the council’s partnership working with health and education services. For some children, their health has improved significantly since being placed with their adoptive families. Successfully adopted children also progress well with their education. Merton’s adoption service supports schools with training and other support in understanding the complex needs of adopted children.
Merton Council cabinet member for children’s services Councillor Maxi Martin said: “Adoption is a positive option for many children who need a permanent and secure home. We have many wonderful current and prospective adoptive parents who can provide children with a loving home. We also have a number of fantastic young people who need a safe and loving home. This report shows our staff’s commitment to continually improving the service we offer, always ensuring the views of our children about the sort of family they would like, are taken into consideration, because we want them to be happy and for the adoption to be successful first time.”
The full Ofsted report can be found on the Ofsted website.