Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Department for Education - Adopter Voice March 17

The machinery of government and social care moves at a glacial pace. But it does move, for adoptive families that can be infuriating. Changes that we hope to see come and benefit our children come too slow and sometimes the bottlenecks in our children's lives have gone and our concerns have moved on. I've had to embrace pragmatism.

So, we come together to share views on specific issues, as always education, Virtual School Heads, EHCP plans, Pupil Premium Plus are on the agenda. The machinery of adoption support is interlinked with other departments, this team and that team. Influence has to be brought to bear with some to varying degrees. Things are moving.


Child on Parent Violence was on the agenda, 'The best kept secret in adoption'.
Drawing on my CPV survey I shared some experiences and the results. This is not the place to rehearse the arguments, I've ranted enough elsewhere but in essence we discussed.


  • Prevalence, up to 30% of adopters will experience it across their child's childhood.
  • Clearly linked to disruptions and struggling families
  • That more adopters experienced it in younger children than older
  • Responses from Social Care were not always informed*
  • Professional knowledge is limited across a range of professionals
  • Knowledge of effective responses and interventions is slim
That's all standard stuff but there are individuals, professional and organisations with some knowledge and they should be accessed and there knowledge should be disseminated. It was a good discussion and I may have become animated, but hey what do you expect. On the plus side I've come away with some new ears to bend, names of people who can help, or should help. 


We squeezed in a brief discussion about the challenges of Fostering to Adopt, sorry I ate up the time on CPV.

As a footnote I asked it there was a option to place a statutory timeframe on the local authorities duty to carry out the  'Assessment of Adoption Support Needs'. Just a thought, anecdotally I hear such a range from weeks to years. Of course it can be a complicated assessment but with no timeframe attached many families find themselves languishing as they wait for it to be completed. Could this data be added to the adoption scorecard? should it be? A new fight to start, me and my big mouth. I'd much prefer that a statutory timescale was added but perhaps I'm reaching for the moon.

Anyway, we continue to push. Adopter Voice is a forum I'd encourage all who can participate in to do so.





*that's a nice way of saying it.

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