Adoptive parents’ feedback needed to help improve adoption policy and services

Published: 14.09.16

Adoptive parents and prospective adoptive parents have an opportunity to help shape adoption policy and services over the next decade by giving up just half-an-hour of their time to complete an online survey.
Adoptive parents’ feedback needed to help improve adoption policy and services

The questionnaire aims to capture a snapshot of adopters’ experiences, thereby establishing whether or not respite support and therapeutic services have improved over the past five years.

The results will be measured against those recorded from a survey undertaken by Adoption UK entitled ‘It takes a village to raise a child’, which ran from October 2011 to January 2012.

Our survey, which received 455 responses from adoptive parents across England, found:

  • Nearly two thirds (64%) of adopters were not told they had a legal right to request an assessment of their post-adoption support needs
  • Although 61% of adopters said they wanted access to therapeutic services to help them deal with the demands of adoptive parenthood, only 28% of adoption organisations provided this
  • Just 7% of adoption agencies provided respite support, despite three out of ten adopters saying this service would help them to better support their children

The results enabled us to produce a groundbreaking report on post adoption support which was influential in encouraging a string of policy developments, culminating in the production of the Adoption Support Fund in England.

But the latest survey, ‘It takes a village to raise a child 2016’, wants feedback from parents - as well as local authorities and service providers – from across the whole of the UK, as opposed to just England.

Adoption UK’s chief executive Hugh Thornbery CBE said: “Some may see this as ‘just another survey’ but this couldn’t be further from the truth. The results from our survey five years ago contributed greatly to influencing policymakers as well as to the implementation of the ASF - so its importance should not be underestimated.

“The voice of our members helps us to lobby government so I’d encourage all of our adoptive community, from across the UK, to set aside just 30 minutes to help transform the lives of other families, for the better.”

The Tavistock Institute was commissioned to produce the survey, which will run from 14th September 2016 until December 2016, on behalf of the Department for Education.

Adoptive parents and prospective adopters, from across the UK, can access the survey by clicking here, Service providers who work within adoption support in England can access the survey by clicking here, while anyone working at a local authority within adoption support in England can do so by clicking here.