Adoption & Fostering
We want every child in the Trust’s care to have the best chances possible in life. For looked after children to rebuild their lives, stability and support is vital. When a child has left their birth family, we believe they have the right to live with a ‘forever’ family.
Our Adoption team supports all potential adopters through the initial stages of an application as well as assessing potential families, making adoption placements and providing support to these families. The main aim of our Fostering Service is to provide safe, high-quality foster care placements for children and young people that value, support and encourage them to grow and develop
Assessment and Short Term Intervention (ASTI)
This service was introduced in April 2015, and has made huge waves in the way we deal with protecting children. Receiving referrals from our Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub, we undertake assessments including child protection enquiries and those at immediate risk, and we take on short-term intervention cases with children in need. If families require intervention lasting beyond three months, we then transfer the cases to the relevant teams. Our remit is very simple and has made a huge difference to the wellbeing of children. Quite simply, we work collaboratively with our colleagues to ensure continuity of service to avoid family breakdowns wherever possible. It’s something we’re immensely proud of, and our determination to make a difference to the lives of those who need us most is reflected by every hard-working ASTI team member.
Children in Care
Our Children in Care services are spread across three areas in Birmingham, North West Central, South and East. Each of the areas has an allocation of up to 550 children. Each area has six Children In Care teams made up of experienced social work staff. They work with children ranging from 0 to 18 years of age – some of whom are vulnerable and have complex, challenging needs.
Working closely with a range of partners including the Health Service, Schools Service and our own Independent Reviewing Service to ensure the voices of children and young people are always central to our practice. We also work closely with the courts where children are subject to care proceedings. This involves working closely with cafcass, legal services and other partner agencies.
Children’s Advice and Support Services (CASS)
Our Children’s Advice and Support Services (CASS), a single ‘front door’; which responds to concerns about children and advises on Early Help and Support. The Service aims are to ensure all enquiries receive the right level of information, advice and guidance from experienced and knowledgeable staff in a timely manner. To clearly identify circumstances where an early help offer is the appropriate service and to provide a clear pathway to our Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub for children who require multi- agency information sharing.
Disabled Children's Residential Service
This service comprises four children’s homes that offer a range of short breaks and long term residential care for disabled children aged between 5 and 18 years. The long-term service offers a supportive environment where children can mature into adulthood by becoming independent, or transiting into adult care. The homes also help children who are preparing to return home or moving on to foster care. The short break service gives families a break from caring and gives children a caring environment which is fun and exciting where they can participate in activities and develop their skills and independence.
No Recourse to Public Funds
Birmingham Children’s Trust has a dedicated No Recourse to Public Funds Team (NRPF) that assesses the needs of families from abroad who do not have valid leave to remain in the UK or are subject to immigration restrictions, placing them at risk of homelessness and destitution.
The NRPF team is staffed with qualified social workers who complete assessments in accordance with the Children Act 1989, immigration and human rights legislation, as well as case law.
Rights and Participation Service
Rights and Participation aims to optimise and empower children and young people’s involvement in strategic, local and day to day decisions that affect their lives. We challenge and champion children and young people’s rights to ensure that when decisions are made children and young people are involved, consulted and listened to. The Rights and Participation service offers issue-based advocacy support to children in care, care leavers and children that are part of a child protection plan. The Rights and Participation service also supports our Children in Care Council and our Care Leavers Forum.
Our Safeguarding teams work with children and families whose needs are so complex or significant that intervention is necessary to prevent risk of harm. Focussed on positive outcomes, they work in challenging yet supportive and collaborative ways, making use of Child Protection Plans and Child in Need Plans.
The teams have strong links with the Looked After Children and Education Services, Fostering and Adoption, the Internal Therapeutic Service and the Leaving Care Service. We work closely with a range of partners including the Health Service, Schools Service and our own Independent Reviewing Service to ensure the voices of children and young people are always central to our practice.
Youth Offending Service
Our Youth Offending Service works to prevent young people offending and supports those who have. They also work with young people who are being criminally exploited or involved in gangs and county lines.