New report calls for adoption system reforms

A new report is calling for a significant shift in thinking about the adoption system to provide better support for some of England’s most vulnerable children

The cross-party group of MPs and peers published the report, entitled, ‘Strengthening Families’ as a result of an inquiry conducted by the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Adoption and Permanence (APPGAP).

It was launched by the Children’s Minister, Vicky Ford MP, and Josh MacAlister, who is leading a government-commissioned review of children’s social care in England.

The report calls for a system-wide move from ‘family finding, which is what the initial stage of an adoption process is currently known as, to ‘family-building, hoping to recognise the need for lifelong support for adoptive families.

The APPGAP chair Rachael Maskell MP said: “We have heard many compelling stories about the experiences of adopted children and their families throughout this inquiry.

“It is crucial that there is continued investment in recruiting adopters, ensuring children do not wait too long in care, and making good matches. But this must be seen as the start of the journey, not the end.

“Sticking with families over the long term is vital for providing the stability that these children need, given the tough start many of them have faced. There can be no greater investment than securing the future of children by enabling them to grow into confident and fulfilled adults.”

The report is intended to feed into the current Review of Children’s Social Care, with the majority of adopted children having spent time in care before moving to their adoptive family.

The APPGAP report sets out a series of recommendations to better enable a robust, stable adoption system, with members of the APPGAP urging the Review to ensure it takes a truly holistic view of the system, in which the needs of adopted children are firmly part of the analysis and recommendations.

The APPG’s recommendations include the provision of high-quality adoption support plans, a 10-year commitment to the Adoption Support Fund, and training for teachers in supporting children who have experienced early trauma.

To find out more, click here to visit Adoption UK.

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