Effective practice in Early Permanence for children recognised with launch and award of new Quality Mark

Published: Monday 26th March 2018

A pioneering new Quality Mark which recognises excellence in Early Permanence adoption services in England is launched today, March 26 2018, with the announcement of the first agency, CCS Adoption, to receive the award.

Designed and developed in consultation with adoption services (Local Authority and Voluntary Adoption Agencies) the Early Permanence Quality Mark was initiated with support from the DfE Performance Improvement Fund and overseen by a multiagency national early permanence Expert Working Group.

The Quality Mark is a standard of excellence awarded to adoption agencies in England who wish to achieve good practice in early permanence. It is shaped by what works and what agencies said is important in child-centred practice. It aims to promote consistent and coherent shared understanding of what ‘good’ looks like in working between functions and agencies and across regions.

The Quality Mark was developed and is hosted by Coram’s Centre for Early Permanence and is now open to receiving applications at https://quality-mark.earlypermanence.org.uk/.

The early permanence quality mark is based on seven sector-defined best practice descriptors.  The descriptors coexist with statutory and regulatory guidance, Ofsted National Minimum Standards and the Knowledge and Skills Statement for Achieving Permanence.

Decisions to award the Early Permanence Quality Mark are made by a specially appointed independent panel of moderators, selected for commitment to adoption services, and with legal, academic and practice leadership expertise.

Lindy Wootton, Early Permanence Project Manager from CCS Adoption said:

CCS Adoption has made a real commitment to developing Early Permanence services over the last five years. This has been a whole team effort and we are delighted to have our expertise in this area recognised by the new Early Permanence Quality Mark.

Jeanne Kaniuk, OBE, Associate Director of the Centre for Early Permanence services at Coram and has pioneered practice over 20 years said:

Evidence shows that having stability, at the earliest possible stage, is key to providing children in care with emotional, physical and legal security and a sense of continuity and commitment.

The launch coincides with the publication of messages for policy and practice from tracking Coram’s early placements over a 15 year period and the creation of new materials including films to support wider practice.

Latest figures show that approximately a third of children who were adopted were placed at under 12 months.

Information about the Early Permanence Quality Mark, including an online application form, can be found at https://quality-mark.earlypermanence.org.uk/