The Apple Tree Centre (South Yorkshire) Ltd
Adoption Support Agency Statement of Purpose
1 Values, aims and objectives
The Apple Tree Centre aims to improve the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people. We aim to provide an adoption support service to enable a child to remain (where appropriate) with an adoptive family and ensure that the child has the opportunity to reach their full potential.
We are committed to providing excellent quality, developmentally appropriate creative and talking therapies to children and young people.
We provide a model of care which is person-centred and child focused, taking into account the developmental needs of the child or young person and honouring each child’s strengths and resilience. We work systemically with parents, carers and other networks to improve outcomes for young people and families.
The child’s welfare, safety, physical and emotional needs will be at the centre of the adoption support provided and the child’s wishes and feelings will be actively sought and fully taken into account at all stages of the provision of adoption support.
Adoptive parents will be central to any planning and decision making in terms of the adoption support provided to them and/or their children. The role of adoptive parents in offering a permanent family to a child who cannot live with their birth family will be valued and respected.
A written guide to the service will be provided to all children when they first access the service. This will contain a summary of what the adoption support agency sets out to do in a manner appropriate to the child’s understanding. Information will also include how to contact the Children’s Rights Director, Ofsted and how to access an independent advocate.
Along with this, guides to Therapy for children, young people and for parents and carers is available electronically via our website.
These will be reviewed and updated annually.
The child’s ethnic origin, cultural background, religion, sexuality, gender identity and language will be fully recognised and positively valued during the provision of adoption support. A child adopted from overseas and their adoptive family will receive a comparable service to a child adopted from within the UK.
The needs of adopted disabled children will be fully recognised and taken into account during the provision of adoption support.
We recognise that adoption has lifelong implications for all involved and requires a long term commitment from many different organisations, professions and individuals who have to work together to meet the needs of those affected by adoption.
We commit to ensuring that at all times, the Adoption Support Service complies with relevant legislation, regulations and guidance. We will increase the Apple Tree Centre’s knowledge of new research and developments in adoption support by seeking continuing professional development opportunities in the adoption support field of knowledge.
2 Facilities and services provided
The Apple Tree Centre is a Therapeutic service offered to both birth, foster, SGO and adoptive parents and their children. We provide a bespoke therapy service offering age-appropriate psychotherapeutic interventions, including Play Therapy, Filial Therapy, Art Psychotherapy, Dramatherapy, Music Therapy Integrative Psychotherapy, Speech Language and Communication Therapy, Therapeutic Parenting Support and Systemic Family Therapy to children, young people and families.
During the Covid-19 Pandemic we offered teletherapy to a number of our children and families. We recognise that face-to-face contact is a valuable aspect of therapy and continue to offer this wherever possible and safe to do so. However we also recognise that online therapy can be valuable and effective and may be more accessible for some young people. Suitability for teletherapy is assessed on an individual basis.
Please contact us to see our Remote Working Policy
The Apple Tree Centre is also able to offer quality training opportunities to adopters and other professionals in the field of parenting and adoption.
These services will be offered from The Apple Tree Centre in Sheffield, at another suitable venue or online.
3 Named managers and their qualifications and experience
The named Manager is Jennifer Reid, ℅ The Apple Tree Centre, 27 Brocco Bank, Sheffield S11 8RQ. Alongside Rosie Dymond, Jenny has been co-director of the Apple Tree Centre, providing and overseeing therapy offered to children, young people and families by a growing team of Associate Therapists, since 2015. The Apple Tree Centre registered as a limited company in August 2019, and now trades as The Apple Tree Centre (South Yorkshire) Ltd.
Jenny Reid has an MA in Non-directive Play Therapy, awarded by the University of York, and is a full member of the British Association of Play Therapists (BAPT), accredited by the Professional Standards Authority. She was trained in Child-Parent Relationship Therapy (CPRT) by Dr Garry Landreth, and has accessed a variety of training as part of her Continuing Professional Development, including Solution Focused Brief Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, psychodynamic approaches, trauma and dissociation, therapeutic Life Story work and clinical supervision workshops
Jenny has over 22 years’ experience of working with vulnerable children and young people, including:
The Caldecott Foundation: therapeutic residential care
Turning Point: support for young drug users, including a high proportion of Looked After children and care leavers
Domestic Abuse projects: therapy for children with severe trauma and attachment difficulties
Cavendish Cancer Care: therapy for children experiencing loss and bereavement, including those under special guardianship orders
Rape Crisis: counselling for survivors of sexual abuse
4 Number, relevant qualifications and experience of staff
The other Director of the Apple Tree Centre (South Yorkshire) Ltd, Rosie Dymond, shares responsibility for managing and overseeing the therapeutic services provided.
Rosie Dymond has a Post Graduate Diploma in Non-Directive Play Therapy, awarded by the University of York. She trained to Advanced Diploma level in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for drug & alcohol users and is a full member of the British Association of Play Therapists, accredited by The Professional Standards Authority. She was trained in Child-Parent Relationship Therapy (CPRT) by Dr Garry Landreth, and has accessed a variety of training as part of her Continuing Professional Development, including Solution Focused individual and family therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Crisis Theory and childhood trauma and dissociation.
She has over 17 years experience of supporting vulnerable children, young people and families, including:
One to one Parenting & Alcohol Counsellor at Sheffield Alcohol Advisory service
Crisis intervention Family Therapist at Families Together: supporting families at immediate risk of care proceedings
Play Therapist at Cavendish Cancer Care: therapy for children and families experiencing serious illness, loss and bereavement, including those on special guardianship orders.
Fred Langridge is our full time Centre Manager who oversees the day to day running of the service. He has a background in administration, IT support and Equality and Diversity advocacy and policy development.
The Apple Tree Centre has a team of 13 self-employed Associate Therapists who offer a range of approaches including Art Psychotherapy, Systemic Family Therapy, Dramatherapy, Integrative Psychotherapy, EMDR, Speech Language and Communication Therapy and Video Interaction Guidance. All our Associates are suitably qualified and experienced, registered with the appropriate professional body, have a clear enhanced DBS check and carry their own Professional Indemnity Insurance. All of our Associates adhere to the code of ethics laid out by BAPT, BACP, and their own professional body, including accessing regular clinical supervision and internal peer supervision.
5 Supervision, training and development of staff
All associate therapists will access regular clinical supervision with a suitably qualified supervisor and be principally responsible for identifying and addressing their own training and development needs. The co-directors also conduct individual appraisal meetings annually, which include a review of training undertaken and identifying areas for professional development.
Associate Therapists are invited to regular team meetings, which include identifying practice issues and training needs and participating in peer supervision. The Apple Tree Centre may provide particular training when necessary, and Associate Therapists will receive discounted access to training events which are offered to the public.
6 Referral and assessment criteria for service
Referrals are accepted from Post Adoption Social Workers and other professionals as well as parents and carers. Referral information is requested in detail and this information will be recorded on a referral form. This process provides an initial screening as to which type of therapeutic approach may be most appropriate. Parents and Carers are invited to an initial consultation with one of the Apple Tree Centre Directors in which a more detailed assessment is carried out and a decision made about which therapy and therapist is best placed to provide the intervention. This will usually include a combination of individual therapy for the child or young person and a more systemic approach such as therapeutic parenting support, family therapy or filial therapy to support the wider family system.
Therapy is reviewed regularly, and at any point a change in therapy or therapist as well as a referral to another more appropriate service will be considered in consultation with parents/carers. Social workers and other professionals may be invited to participate in review meetings, as appropriate to the needs of the child and family.
7 Policies and procedures
The Apple Tree Centre operates a robust Safeguarding policy to which all associate therapists adhere.
Please contact us to see our Safeguarding Policy
All equipment will meet fire safety standards. An integral fire safety system is installed and maintained regularly. All therapists working at the centre will be trained in fire safety and evacuation procedures, and clients will always remain under the supervision of someone from the Centre. A Fire Risk Assessment has been completed in partnership with South Yorkshire Fire Service and is updated annually.
Health & Safety
All premises used will be suitable for the safe use of children and adults.
The Centre has a wheelchair ramp leading to an accessible room, and priority use of this space will be given to those clients who need step-free access.
Toys used will be safe for the age of the child and equipment will be regularly inspected for any defects and replaced if necessary.
Children are supported in expressing their feelings and some of these feelings may be powerful and potentially overwhelming. The Apple Tree Centre therapist will take responsibility for setting appropriate therapeutic limits and boundaries to ensure the safety of the child, the equipment and the therapist. If the child is unable to work within these limits the therapy session would end for that week.
Similarly if any parent appears to behave in a threatening manner and the therapist feels unsafe then work will be halted and a review of the events will take place.
Any Health & Safety issues will be recorded in an Accident Book and signed by one of the centre directors and the need for any actions noted.
Please contact us to see our Health and Safety Policy
8 Evaluation of Services
There is an imperative to ensure that all therapeutic work is focused on the needs of the child and their family. Therefore evaluation of the work will be needed at different stages of the process. The hopes and expectations of the parents and, where appropriate, the child will be elicited during the initial assessment, and reviewed regularly to identify changes made and any additional needs which have arisen. This will be undertaken through regular reviews with the parents and heuristic measures throughout the therapy process. Children will be given the opportunity to contribute to review meetings at a level appropriate to their age, understanding and emotional needs.
Children and adults are given the opportunity to provide anonymous or signed comments and feedback at any time during the therapy via a secure ‘postbox’ in the waiting room.
The Apple Tree Centre welcomes all feedback about our services, both positive and negative. Clients or parents who have concerns about the service they receive are encouraged to raise this in the first instance with their therapist who will attempt to resolve any issues informally.
Formal complaints about the Apple Tree Centre services, directors or any Associate Therapist can be made at any time by raising the complaint verbally or in writing with Rosie Dymond, Jenny Reid or the Centre Manager. A written acknowledgement of the complaint will be made within 7 days and an initial written response detailing any action taken will be sent to the complainant within 28 days. All complaints, associated information and a record of our response will be stored securely.
If the matter is not satisfactorily resolved then the complaint can be forwarded to the professional body relevant to the therapist involved. In the case of Rosie or Jenny, this is:
The British Association of Play Therapists
1, Beacon Mews
The relevant professional body for each Associate Therapist is listed on our website and available on request.
Complaints can also be sent to OFSTED:
National Business Unit
Telephone: 0300 123 1231
Information about this complaints procedure will be available to parents at the
outset of work when completing their Therapy Agreement Form.
Our complaints policy can be found here
10 Equality and diversity
The Apple Tree Centre will treat all service users fairly, openly and with respect throughout the provision of adoption support. Adopters and their children will be considered for a service regardless of age, marital status, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, maternity status or disability.
Every effort will be made to accommodate referrals where English is an additional language of the family. Information will be translated into other languages if necessary.
The viability of using the services of an interpreter for work with such families will be examined, bearing in mind the issue of confidentiality within a therapeutic relationship.
Children with communication difficulties will be accommodated and appropriate play will be used as a means of enabling them to express themselves and be understood.
Materials used in therapy will be non-discriminatory and will originate from a wide ranging number of sources and attempt to represent families from different cultural backgrounds. Therapy resources will be non-stereotyping and expectations will be that all children may benefit from all the toys.
Any premises used will have access for those with a disability.
Please ask to see our Equality and Diversity Policy
11 Storage, access, maintenance and security of client records
The Adoption Support Service acknowledges the need to ensure all records are maintained in accordance with the Data Protection Act and the National Minimum Standards for Adoption.
All client records are stored digitally in password protected, cloud-based storage. This can be accessed by individual therapists, the Centre Manager and Directors of the Apple Tree Centre. If a family has appointments with more than one therapist at the Apple Tree Centre, records will be stored in one folder and may be accessed by all therapists currently working that family. We will securely dispose of all records five years after your therapy ends, or later if required by the funder (in which case the client will be informed).
Our Record Keeping and Confidentiality Policy can be found on our website here
12 The system for reviewing the Statement of Purpose
The statement of purpose will be annually reviewed to ensure that the service we are providing continues to meet our aims and objectives, as described in this Statement of Purpose and in our company Mission and Values.
13 The address and telephone number of OFSTED
Head office functions operate from the following address:
Telephone: 0300 123 1231
This document has been informed by:
• Children Act 1989 and 2004 (and accompanying regulations and guidance)
• Education and Inspections Act 2006
• Care Standards Act 2000
• Adoption and Children Act 2002 (and associated regulations and guidance)
• Children and Families Act 2014
• The Adoption Support Agencies (England) and Adoption Agencies (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2005
• Data Protection Act 2018
• Human Rights Act 1998
• The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 with 2005 amendments
• Working Together to Safeguard Children: A guide to inter-agency working to safeguard and promote the welfare of children (2018)
• Statutory Guidance on Adoption: Chapter 9: Adoption Support Services (updated 2013)
• Adoption National Minimum Standards 2014