Children’s care review has bold ambitions but leaves children adopted from care in the shadows
Adoption UK praises the bold ambition in the final report of the Independent Review of Children’s Social Care, published today.
However, the charity warns the decision to largely leave out adoption means a vital part of the care story is missing and risks creating siloes in the system. It also means thousands of children adopted from care will not benefit from some of the radical reforms being proposed.
The report calls for a fundamental reset of the children’s social care system, with an investment of £2.6bn to fund a five-year programme of reform, to include more support for struggling birth families, an investment in kinship care, recruitment of thousands of new foster carers, significant reforms to social care training and practice, and the establishment of new Regional Care Cooperatives.
Adoption UK has worked with the adoption community for over a year to input to the review.
Director of Communications & Public Affairs Alison Woodhead said: “We welcome the call for deep reform, the focus on sustained, loving relationships and the recommendation for a new protected characteristic for care experienced people.
“Sadly, children adopted from care are in the shadows of the report. Adopted children have the same traumatic start in life, with the same lasting effects and the same ongoing need for support. Until every child adopted from care is thriving, we will not have properly reformed the system.”
The call for an overhaul of birth family contact, called for by the adoption community during the review process, is welcome. Contact is a key area of focus for this year’s Adoption Barometer, to be published by Adoption UK in June. The Barometer is the only comprehensive annual assessment of adoption policy and practice and is based on a large-scale survey of adopters and adopted people.