Family Law Blogger in London
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Families need more support from the adoption system
A recent report from charity Adoption UK has found that adopted children and their families are being sold short when it comes to the provision of support services that could help ensure the success of more adoptions from care.
Around 4,000 children were adopted from the UK system in the year ending March 31, 2011; more than 70% were removed from their birth families due to abuse or neglect. Their early childhood experiences mean that adopted children may have challenging emotional, behavioural, or physical challenges.
Results indicated that at any one time, around half of adoptive families are in need of some sort of adoption support service but that accessing support services is difficult for many adopters. Many felt their agency did not provide the services that would most help their family and also believed that the lack of understanding among professionals – from social workers to school staff - around the needs of adopted children was a significant problem. Finance is also an issue with many families having to fund their own support services because local authorities are underfunded.
Jonathan Pearce, Adoption UK Chief Executive, said: “What adopters are saying they need is a process and system that better equips them for the joys and challenges of adoptive parenting.
“They need continuing education and training on child development and how this is affected by the trauma of abuse and neglect, attachment issues and how to be therapeutic parents to abused and neglected children.
“They also need joined-up, adoption-aware services across not just the social care sector, but also in education and mental health. When considering that they are taking on some of the most vulnerable children in our society, it seems senseless that they are not automatically supported.”
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