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8.5b Adoption Panel Job Descriptions and Person Specifications

SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER

This chapter was developed/entirely revised in September 2012 and should be read in full


Contents

  1. Job Description and Person Specification for Chair of Hertfordshire Adoption Agency’s Panel
  2. Job Description and Person Specification for Independent Panel Member
  3. Job Description and Person Specification for Social Work Member of Panel


1. Job Description and Person Specification for Chair of Hertfordshire Adoption Agency’s Panel

Job description

Purpose

To chair the adoption panel of the Adoption Agency to enable these panels to make professionally sound and procedurally correct recommendations concerning children and carers.

Main Duties

  1. To act as a panel member and chair meeting of the adoption panel of the Hertfordshire Adoption Agency. To be available to chair meetings of the panel fortnightly;
  2. To read all panel papers carefully and critically;
  3. To satisfy the requirements of the Hertfordshire Adoption Agency protocol for panel members;
  4. To take part in the interviewing of prospective adoption panel members and advise the Agency on appointment to the panels;
  5. To bring to the attention of the Hertfordshire Adoption Agency situations in which panel members are not meeting the requirements of the protocol for panel members;
  6. To ensure that the panel operates within the relevant law, regulation and guidance, particularly the Children Act 1989, Adoption Act 1976, Adoption Agency Regulation 1983 and 1997 National Adoption Standards, National Minimum Standards and Adoption and Children Act 2002;
  7. To ensure that the panel operates within the Policies of the Hertfordshire Adoption Agency and related procedures as they become available;
  8. To facilitate the involvement of panel members, social workers, applicants, children and young people and birth family members in accordance with the Policies of the Hertfordshire Adoption Agency;
  9. To ensure that the panel addresses all relevant procedural and practice issues in relation to the main categories of item before the panel namely whether adoption is the best interest of the child, whether applicants are suitable adopters, whether a particular match is in the interests of the child;
  10. To ensure that the panel addresses all relevant procedural and practice issues in relation to other matters before the panel for example, in relation to adoption support and whether the child should be freed for adoption;
  11. To facilitate the panels in their role of monitoring the quality of work presented to the panel;
  12. To bring to the attention of the management of Hertfordshire Adoption Agency significant practice and procedural issues which arise in individual cases and in general;
  13. To keep abreast of current practice issues in adoption and family placement and seek to promote best practice within the panel and the agency;
  14. To assist the Agency to identify training needs within the panels and the Agency and to attend panel training days;
  15. To prepare together with the panel adviser an annual report for senior management;
  16. The duties of the post could not vary from time to time as a result of new legislation, changes in technology or policy changes and in that case appropriate training may be given to enable the post holder to undertake this new/ varied work.

Accountability

To the Head of the Adoption Agency and on a day to day basis of the Head of Adoption Services for Hertfordshire.

Other provisions

In accordance with the Adoption Agency Regulations the appointment is for three years initially.

The appointment may be extended by a further three years with the agreement of the Head if the Adoption Agency.

Person Specification

Skills

Essential Desirable
Able to assist panels in the effective use of time  
Able to facilitate discussion and encourage involvement of all participants  
High level of oral and written communication skills Negotiation and influencing skills
Ability to communicate effectively with service users and partner agencies  
Well developed ability to summarise issues clearly and succinctly  
Ability to scrutinise, monitor performance and challenge practice appropriately  
Ability to recognise and solve problems  
Able to take an objective view and act in a manner which ensures the effectiveness of the panel as a whole in making recommendations  

Experience

Essential Desirable
5 years or more either social services child care practice post qualifying as a social worker and first line manager or as a panel member Experience of team leadership and supervising child care practice and or experience of middle or senior management: management of resources issues, policy implementation and organisational change.
Experience of adoption or adoption practice  
Extensive experience of chairing complex meetings  

Knowledge

Essential Desirable
Knowledge of the roles of the various professionals and agencies in promoting the safety and welfare of children  
Working knowledge of relevant legislation such as Children Act 1989, related regulation and guidance; Adoption Act 1976; Adoption Agency Regulations, Nation Adoption Minimum Standards. Adoption and Children Act 2002  
Understanding of child development Knowledge of attachment theory and the needs of children as applied to children who have experienced adverse life events. Knowledge of general research findings in relation to adoption and outcomes for children looked after.

Personal Characteristics

Essential Desirable
Strong commitment to the values underlying the Policies of the Hertfordshire Adoption Agency  
Clear commitment to the principles of equal opportunities and to anti-discriminatory practice  
Ability and expertise to command respect of participants in panel business including councillors and professionals  


2. Job Description and Person Specification for Independent Panel Member

Job description

Main Duties:

  1. To act as a panel member of the adoption panel of Hertfordshire Adoption Agency;
  2. To read all panel papers ahead of time carefully and thoroughly and prepare for the meeting;
  3. To satisfy the requirements of the Hertfordshire Adoption Agency protocol for panel members;
  4. To attend at least 75% of panel meetings;
  5. To take part in annual training events;
  6. To consider issues in relation to children, applicants and matches this should be brought to the panel for discussion and clarification;
  7. To take part in the discussion regarding the adoption panel's recommendation.

Person Specification

Skills

Essential Desirable
Ability to take part in discussions in a panel forum. In a manner which demonstrates independence, impartiality and integrity.  
Ability to highlight issues from the paperwork presented to panel. Ability to read and listen to complex information.  

Knowledge

Essential Desirable

Knowledge of family function

Education

Child Health

It is recognised that independent members may well need support and training around adoption legislation and a willingness to take part in training is essential.

Experience

Essential Desirable
Personal experience of adoption and or experience of Children Looked After in partner agencies

School governor

CAB

Relate

Personal Characteristics

Essential Desirable
Commitment to the policies of Hertfordshire County Council  
Clear commitment to the principle of equal opportunities and to anti-discriminatory practice  
Ability to work as part of a team  
Ability to manage issues of confidentiality  


3. Job Description and Person Specification for Social Work Member of Panel

Job description

Main Duties:

  1. To act as a panel member of the adoption panel of the Hertfordshire Adoption Agency;
  2. To read all panel papers carefully and critically;
  3. To satisfy the requirements of the Hertfordshire Adoption Agency protocol for panel members (see attached);
  4. To attend at least 75% of panel meetings;
  5. To take part in annual training events;
  6. To consider issues in relation to children, applicants and matches which should be brought to the panel for discussion and clarification;
  7. To take part in the discussion regarding the adoption panel's recommendation;
  8. To evaluate proposals against their expertise and knowledge.

Person Specification

Essential Desirable
Ability to take part in discussions, presenting views clearly and concisely  
Good interpersonal skills and ability to communicate with a diverse panel membership  
Ability to evaluate, summarise key issues  
Ability to take an objective view and act in a manner which demonstrates impartiality and integrity  

Experience

Essential Desirable
At lease three years post qualifying experience as a social worker  
Experience of adoption in the work place  
Experience of supervising child care practice  
Experience of taking part in and or chairing meetings  

Knowledge

Essential Desirable
Knowledge of Children Looked After and the impact of loss and separation  
Working knowledge of relevant legislation  
Understanding of child development and attachment theory  
Knowledge of research issues in relation to childcare and adoption practice  

Personal Characteristics

Essential Desirable
Commitment to the Policies of the Hertfordshire Adoption Agency  
Clear commitment to the principles of equal opportunities and to anti-discriminatory practice  
Ability to work in collaborative and sensitive manner with county councillors, professionals, users of service  

End