Mark Owers has been close to the decision making and has influenced adoption over the last 10 years within No. 10 Downing Street and the Department for Education. He recently co authored the Fostering Stock Take and now works with agencies on the regionalisation agend. Mark is also an adoptive parent.
There's a lot to dicuss with Mark as he has insight and understanding of a wide range of issues that affect adopters and foster carers but we start with his own adoption story which is quite remarkable and unique.
We talk to Mark about the Fostering Stocktake, that was controversial, and the responses from various groups as well as considering some of the points that were raised in relation to professionalisation, risk management, foster carer/parent roles as well as being sensible in relation to how we care for children.
Adoption is discussed and Regional Adoption Agencies (RAAs) are spoken about with some of the concerns that many familes have discussed as well as discusion around the future of adoption. Contact, support, Facebook, lifestory and birth families are all touched on as we have a really interesting conversation with Mark in relation to modernising adoption.
We had a few intermittent technical issues on the line with Mark, they come then go, so apologies but it's not unbearabe.
As usual Scott and Al enjoy a bit of pre interview banter.