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In Depth

Post-adoption contact arrangements

In light of a recent Court of Appeal judgment, Kamena Dorling, head of policy and public affairs at Coram Children's Legal Centre, examines provision for post-adoption contact arrangements.

Adoption register suspension - will it make matching harder?

A system for matching hard-to-place children with adopters has been shelved after 18 years. Those running the National Adoption Register fear the change will limit options, but others say online systems can fill the void.

Regional adoption agencies: initial successes, emerging challenges

Evaluation of regional adoption agencies highlights mixed progress, with some starting to improve various aspects of the adoption process, while others are struggling to attract staff and develop shared IT functions.

Special Report: Commissioning Care

Commissioners play a pivotal role in ensuring vulnerable children receive the care they need. However, demand and funding pressures are driving the development of new systems and changes in practice.

Legal Update: Case highlights foreign adoption complexities

A Supreme Court judgment has highlighted the complexities of bringing children who have been adopted abroad to the UK.

Review triggers debate over the role of contact in adoption cases

Review finds poor contact with birth families can cause identity problems, with report author calling for a culture change among practitioners. However, social work leaders say legislation should be revised to make contact easier.

Post-adoption support boost

Freedom of Information data reveals extent of council "match funding" under Adoption Support Fund.

Legal Update: Adoption of children from other countries

British citizens have three main types of intercountry adoption available to them if they wish to adopt a child from another country.

Investigation reveals increase in adoption placement breakdowns

FoI data shows a rise in adoptions breaking down over the past five years and inconsistent data collection by councils. Experts say findings show the need for better data and improved post-adoption support services.

Absolute adopter

Neil Puffett talks to Sue Armstrong-Brown, chief executive at Adoption UK

Legal Update Court Report: Adoption orders

R (On the Application of EL) v Essex County Council [2017] EWHC 1041 (Admin)

Adoption agencies go regional

The first regional adoption agencies are set to launch, but it is still unclear how benefits will be delivered.

Your guide to the Children and Social Work Act

What the act means for everyday practice across the children's workforce.

Legal Update: Fall in adoption placement orders

A decline in the number of adoption placement orders has been linked to a fall in the number of potential adopters being recruited.

Understanding impact of abuse and reviewing care placement options

Review assesses the evidence on the impact of abuse on children and considers the merits of care placement options. The authors summarise the findings, while three organisations outline initiatives to improve decision making.

Ofsted aims for more accurate measure of social care services

The way local authority children's services are inspected is set to undergo major change from January 2018, with Ofsted planning to move to a more proportionate system that focuses on councils that are already struggling.

Legal Update: Special guardianship orders

Serious case review highlights need for rigorous assessments when placing a child with a special guardian, writes Kamena Dorling, head of policy & programmes at Coram Children's Legal Centre.

Meet the matchmaker: a day with adoption social worker Hannah Barrs

Finding the right match for children who need a new permanent home is vital for their future wellbeing. Eileen Fursland spends the day with Derby adoption social worker Hannah Barrs.

Adoption matchmaker: Andy Leary-May, Link Maker Systems chief executive

Derren Hayes meets Andy Leary-May, co-founder and chief executive of Link Maker Systems.

Good Practice

Positive support for adopters

Project helps adoptive parents and children form loving, secure attachments and promote resilience.

Behind the Inspection Ratings: Adoption

As the number of children being placed for adoption continues to fall, the government's latest strategy emphasises the need for matches to be made without delay and stresses the importance of quality support.

Behind the Inspection Ratings: Adoption services

The standard of adoption services across local authorities and the voluntary sector has steadily improved in recent years, bucking the overall trend in Ofsted inspections, social care report shows.

Skills for the Job: Support children post-adoption

Ensuring the needs of adopted children and young people are recognised and understood is important for all children's professionals.

How councils unite to sign up adoptive parents

Four local authorities in the North West pool their resources in effort to find new adoptive families.



The Educational Aspirations and Psychological Wellbeing of Adopted Young People

Local authorities in England and Wales have a legal duty to report annually to central government on looked-after children's psychological wellbeing and academic attainment but this duty ends once children are adopted. Researchers from Cardiff University wanted to fill this gap in understanding of how young people adopted from the care system perform at school, looking at their wellbeing and aspirations around work and education.

The Support Needs and Experiences of Newly Formed Adoptive Families: Findings From the Wales Adoption Study

This research paper focuses on the support needs of newly formed adoptive families, addressing a gap in the literature for research in the post-placement period.

The Influence of Adoption on Sibling Relationships

Researchers from Cardiff University wanted to explore how sibling relationships are affected by adoption. These can include relationships with brothers and sisters outside the adoptive family, relationships between siblings placed for adoption together, and relationships with children already living in the adoptive family.

Identifying Inequalities in Child Welfare Intervention Rates

Academics from the universities of Coventry, Sheffield, Huddersfield, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Stirling and Queen's University Belfast received Nuffield Foundation funding to study inequalities in the proportions of looked-after children, or those subject to child protection plans, in the four UK nations.

Adding Evidence to the Ethics Debate: Investigating Parents' Experiences of Their Participation in Research

This paper explores the views of parents and carers involved in an English study into outcomes for children known to children's services.

Permanence for disabled children and young people through foster care and adoption: A selective review of international literature

Review discusses concerns and policy directions regarding permanency, policy shift towards adoption and how this is seen as the gold standard of permanency, despite warnings to avoid such a hierarchy.

Family Finding and Matching in Adoption: What Helps Make a Good Match?

Authors Elaine Farmer and Cherilyn Dance, University of Bristol and University of Bedfordshire

Beyond the Adoption Order: Challenges, Interventions and Adoption Disruption

Researchers examine the rate of adoption disruption and the stability of adoptions as opposed to residence orders and special guardianship orders.