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We helped to shape the future of adoption through innovate technology and data

Adoptionplus, as part of Barnardo's, is a UK wide adoption agency which offers an Adoption Placement Service; a Developmental Trauma and Attachment Therapy Service and a Training and Conference Service


Barnardo's reached out to Greenwood Campbell in early 2021 because they wanted to enable Adoptionplus to gather and analyse anonymised adoption data for the first time in the UK.

Adoptionplus had devised a metric called Think About Your Child (TAYC) to measure:

  • Parents skills and understanding.
  • Parent-child relationship.
  • Child responsiveness to care.
  • Placement stability.

They wanted to build an online platform with a revised version of the metric that would enable them to provide the necessary support to parents where problem areas were identified over time within the family.

Using the data collected from the parents it would then be clinically analysed so local authorities and regional adoption agencies can learn what works, when, for whom, and for how long. Over time, this will enable the development of a more strategic evidence-based approach to adoption support.

What we did

We started the project by gathering all key stakeholders including Barnardo's / Adoptionplus, Local Adoption Authorities, adoptive parents and Oxford University researchers (who will be analysing the data) and documented all requirements for the new platform.

We built an online platform called Supporting Tracking & Evaluating Progress (STEP). The key functionality for the new tool included:

  • Families to be sent a link to the tool so that they can decide if they wish to sign up for this service and complete STEP anonymously but with the ability to link records.
  • Each parent to complete profile questions about themselves and their family and then both parents to separately complete individual TAYC-R clinical evaluations on each child.
  • Family data to be linked together.
  • Send a reminder link via email and SMS text message 6 months later to each parent who has signed up for this service, so that parents can provide updated information.
  • Second round of data inputted for each family needs to be linked to their first input of data, creating a bubble that is linked as a family and over time.
  • Raw data extraction to enable analysis changes between previous surveys and the latest ones, to identify what factors help what children and what families in what situations.
  • Share data with local authorities to help with their service development planning.
  • Provide families with the ability to track their progress over years via individual dashboards and highlight if extra support may be needed (encouraging a preventative early intervention approach).
  • Stringent data security.
App insights

My Account

Once a parent has completed registration, they will be able to return to the application and sign in to gain access to their details and any surveys and or results / resources depending on the current survey windows.

App insights

System Admin User Journeys

System Admins play an important role in the administration of the application and when and how the parent uses it. A System Administrator account will be created by the application team and provided to Adoptionplus for use.

Once created the System Admin has the ability to sign in to the system and access the System Admin dashboard. This is where they can carry out their main functions. The 2 main functions of a system admin are:

  • Survey Windows Management
  • Data Exporting

The ability for the application to allow for the data to be exported anonymously is key for the tool to be a success. System Admins will have the ability to export the raw data collected for a survey window. The data will link to previous surveys, using the family, parent and child unique ids as ways of grouping data together.

App insights


For the platform, we used modern technology stack and created a Progressive Web App (PWA).

Using the existing branding, we created responsive templates of all components and pages and delivered the new designs, optimised for Chrome and Safari mobile and desktop browsers.

For the back-end build, we firstly set up the project in Azure Devops before creating our source control repository using Git version control on the Microsoft Azure DevOps platform. We then started the development using Microsoft .NET technologies. We managed the build in weekly sprints and code was peer reviewed as we progressed each iteration. Once the build phase was completed, we set up the UAT environment and passed it to the client for user acceptance testing.

One of the key overarching requirements of this project given the sensitive nature of the information passing through the platform is data protection and security. Because of this we also enlisted our partner CREST certified penetration test agency to thoroughly scrutinise the new build.

To ensure the platform was secure we included Two Factor Authentication, performed internal breach testing, encoded anonymous data and set up a .NET Core Membership.

All boxes ticked


The STEP platform is being rolled out to adoptive families from 32 different Local Adoption Authorities across the UK. The next stage after the initial pilot is to widen the audience across further areas and we have already started developing phase two functionality.

Visit STEP website
Javed Khan

"The STEP digital tool is exactly the kind of innovation that the Barnardo’s Foundation was created to support."

Javed Khan
Chief Executive at Barnardos

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