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New report evaluates adoption and post-adoption services

Posted in: Uncategorized

Realistic Positivity: understanding the additional needs of young children placed for adoption, and supporting families when needs are unexpected

This research by the Council for Disabled Children explores support for adopted children and their families in relation to special educational needs, disability and health. Interviews with parents and professionals are considered alongside policy and available evidence.

Alan Burnell, Registered Manager at Family Futures comments on the report:

It’s refreshing to read an independent report that evaluates current adoption and post-adoption services with a fresh pair of eyes. Sadly those eyes see many of the same shortcomings that Family Futures has identified as a result of our work in the field of adoption.

We very much support the findings from the parent interviews which once again highlight the need for comprehensive, developmental, multidisciplinary assessments of children prior to placement, as well as the need for a post-adoption support service that has the expertise to meet those needs.

We realise that some adoptive parents and professionals may balk at the idea of labelling adopted children as ‘disabled’. At Family Futures we have said from the outset 20 years ago, that the majority of adopted children, because of early adversity, neglect and abuse, have  ‘invisible special needs’ at the point of placement. Neuroscience has confirmed this and the label of developmental trauma is now used to describe their developmental challenges. Labelling children does not define their limitations but should be used to shine a light on what their needs really are and how they can be met.

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