Thanks so much for your letter. It’s good to know that such a senior public official has experience of and a keen interest in adoption.
Sadly for many of us the post adoption support system isn’t working. There are a multitude of reasons for this, only some of which may be blamed on lack of resources. Systemic and managerial failures at a national and local level also have a massive part to play, as does the fact that social workers drowning in paperwork have little opportunity to improve their skills and understanding.
So what would help parents who are attempting to therapeutically re-parent developmentally traumatised children?
1. Honest and thorough reports on children prior to matching.
2. A firm commitment at the point of matching, that each child placed with a family has a support plan.
3. A dedicated, long-term adoption support worker for each family. Someone who is experienced, knowledgable, and empathic, who can build up a positive relationship with the family, and offer sensible emotional and practical advice.
4. Therapeutic resources widely available in a timely manner.
5. An end to the bureaucratic bickering between authorities in the case of out-of-county adoptions.
6. Support groups in all areas.
7. An undertaking from schools that the use of the Pupil Premium + will be discussed with parents.
8. Attachment training for all public servants who work with children.
9. Regular respite for adoptive families.
Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on these issues.