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BAAF urges government for post-adoption support

Lack of adoption support is contributing to the breakdown of placements, charity says

The British Association for Adoption & Fostering (BAAF) is calling upon the government to make the provision of post-adoption support a statutory requirement of adoption agencies across the UK.

Currently, adoptive parents and children have a right to be assessed for support, but there is no guarantee that the family will receive the support they need – financial, practical support, or specialist help with parenting. The charity is urging the government to introduce measures including a sufficient sum of money to fund these much-needed services to ensure that the increasing number of children who need to be adopted or those who already have been adopted receive the support they urgently need.

BAAF says that research shows that 25% of adoptions where children were placed at age 7 to 8 break down by the time the child enters their teens. It believes that lack of adoption support is likely to be a contributing factor to this.

The experience of abuse and neglect that many children have faced can leave a trail of trauma, resulting in a wide variety of emotional and behavioural difficulties that are difficult to understand and upsetting and challenging to deal with. Access to adoption support has been identified as an absolute necessity to address these issues from day one of the placement and maybe for many years on.

John Simmonds, Director of Policy & Practice at BAAF, said:

"Adopting a child has lifelong implications and although adoptive parents may be aware of this from day one, it does not diminish the fact that they may need access to expert and comprehensive support at any point. It is a moral duty when the State makes an adoption placement that the State also continues to provide support to that family."