Adoption Counts is in high demand to support children being adopted. It brings together skills from five local authorities across Greater Manchester and Cheshire to deliver high quality adoption services.
The service came to Reed in November 2019 to help source two assessors for four upcoming, urgent assessments. The client was looking for experienced, independent assessors to complete evaluations, ensuring adopters and children were not left waiting unnecessarily during the adoption process.
After picking up the job from the client, Kayleigh Navarro, Team Manager at Reed said: “I investigated the type of work the assessors completed and undertook research to ensure I understood exactly what the client was looking for. The social work assessors the client needed normally work independently, meaning they either get paid as a PSC or are set up as sole traders. As we cannot pay people as sole traders, this limited the candidate pool I could work from.
“The client was given a clear time frame from the start, so they understood how long the compliance process would take. This helped to ensure expectations were set from the beginning.”
As the client was looking for urgent candidates, it was vital to manage expectations and ensure that the roles would be filled within the agreed timeframe. Kayleigh arranged an initial meeting with the client so they could talk through exactly what was required for the role. She then caught up with the client on a weekly basis to update on the progress.
We would recommend using Reed, as they have been flexible with the process. We got the result we were looking for – we are actually looking to add to the number of assessors now.
Head of Service at Adoption Counts
Reed was given 12 weeks to agree a contract and find suitable professionals. With a flexible approach, our specialist consultant worked fast to find the perfect selection of candidates for the client to choose from within the deadline. Importantly, the client emphasised they wanted social work assessors with previous assessor experience who could complete prospective adopter report (PAR) assessments. Our consultant made sure that the candidates put forward met this criterion.
Kayleigh said: “For each candidate, I conducted a full telephone vet and asked all relevant questions initially. I also asked for reference details so I could verify the quality of their work. The final list of candidates I sent over to Adoption Counts had all references and anonymised assessments checked.”
Karen Barrick, Head of Service at Adoption Counts, said: “Kayleigh understood what I was looking for, and the urgency. She came to my office for a meeting and was always available on the phone or by email.
“Importantly, it was quite an urgent requirement to get the roles filled, to make sure adopters and children were not waiting. Kayleigh understood this and made sure we had quality profiles to look at quite quickly while the contract was being agreed in the background.”
Karen added: “We would recommend using Reed, as they have been flexible with the process. We got the result we were looking for – we are actually looking to add to the number of assessors now.”
One of the successful candidates Toni Hudson, an Independent Social Worker has submitted her first assessment and is very happy in the role. She said: “Kayleigh went above and beyond to make sure the registration process ran smoothly. She kept in contact about the progression of the role and likely start dates. The team are lovely to work for, and the job is going really well.”
A new, positive relationship has been fostered between Adoption Counts and Reed. Our consultant can fully understand the organisation’s requirements, having taken the time to understand the procedure involved in the adoption process that social workers need to follow. This, along with quick, effective communication, meant the process was seamless for all parties.