BASW adoption enquiry report

Alison Michalska, President of the Association of Directors of Children’s Services, said:

“This report raises some important questions worthy of further debate, not least in relation to the cumulative impact of wider government policies, exacerbated by financial austerity, on our most vulnerable children and families. Since 2010 local government budgets have been reduced by almost half, at the same time demand for costly child protection services has risen significantly. Cuts to vital early help and preventative services have been necessary in order to balance the books which has reduced our ability to work with families at the earliest opportunity to help them build resilience and prevent family breakdowns. ADCS continues to urge the government to urgently address the deepening funding gap facing children’s services, expected to be £2bn by 2020 whilst reaffirming its commitment to preventative services for children, young people and families.

“Finding loving, stable homes for children who cannot live with their birth parents is essential work. Whilst adoption can be the right placement option for some it is not suitable for every child, where it is not in the best interests of the child it will not be pursued. The majority of children and young people who come into our care do so because they have experienced abuse and neglect and will require support to help them overcome early trauma. ADCS members agree that it is unhelpful to present an idealistic narrative of adoption - the vast majority of adoptions are successful over a long period of time however, some can experience real challenges. The narrative of care and all forms of permanence must be more balanced to ensure we are recruiting adopters and carers who can meet the needs of children in care. It is imperative that the Adoption Support Fund is sustainable in the long term to ensure the funding of vital support services to meet the needs of children and their families. The benefits of doing so are twofold, it will help prevent adoption breakdowns, ensuring that children remain with their adoptive families, and the reassurance that support is available if it is needed should also help to bring more potential adopters forward in the future.”

ENDS



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