Adoption Central England (ACE) was launched as a regional adoption agency on 01 February 2018. Shortly after the launch a decision was made to work towards becoming a DDP Certified Organisation. It seemed a good and sensible plan at that time!
As a new service we needed a model that would bring us together and underpin our approach as an adoption agency. We knew that adoptive families had benefited tremendously from a DDP informed intervention and that several ACE social workers in our ‘new’ service had some level of DDP training and awareness.
Funding was agreed for ACE to commission Dr Billy Smythe to be the DDP Consultant and Trainer. The next step was to put in place an all-embracing action plan that identified how we planned to embed DDP in all our areas of work.
Whilst there were some specific targets in the plan such as; for 80% of ACE social workers to have DDP Level One training. The DDP process was also about slowing down and placing an emphasis on building safe, trusting and engaged relationships not only with users of the service but also with each other. Over time the DDP principles became second nature as we reflected on what was happening, not only in our work, but in how we worked together.
Various meetings took place which monitored the implementation of plan and group consultations for the various staff groups alongside whole team events were important.
For the management group separate consultations took place as we explored and wrestled with the issues of how to manage (and challenge) in a DDP informed way. There was a lot of learning and reflection as we got closer to submitting our portfolio of evidence in December 2020.
The achievement of DDP certification was celebrated (virtually) and we appreciated the videoed congratulations from Dr Billy Smythe and Kim Golding (the second assessor). At the event ACE staff shared how their area of the service had embedded DDP and it was good to share feedback from adoptive families, to read how they have also embraced DDP and PACEful parenting.
The ACE DDP journey continues with more staff working towards their DDP Level Two and practicum. DDP consultation sessions continue to be integral to our ongoing development and ACE are keen to share our learning with others.
Most importantly we are pleased that our children and families experience the benefit of our commitment to DDP…
‘We really appreciate your empathy, understanding and thoughtfulness during the assessment process’
‘I was listened to, empathised with, supported and ultimately empowered to help my family – she has been my confidant and my advisor, I no longer felt alone; finally there was someone who ‘got it’ and not only that they’d been there before! Her warmth and acceptance has helped us to trust her implicitly.’
Adoption Central England (ACE)
Becoming a DDP Informed Organisation Workshop
ACE are running a free online workshop on 8 July 2021, ‘Becoming a DDP Informed Organisation’, where they will share their experiences of the process and how they embedded the DDP model into their service. Places are limited and registration closes 2 July 2021. Please see the event page for more information.
Organisation Certification in DDP
To find out more about how to become a Certified DDP Organisation please see the DDPI Organisation Certification section.