The report published today by CVAA and Sonnet has valuable insights into the value of adoption and other forms of permanence, and usefully challenges some incorrect assumptions still being made about them. Read the report here

We agree with their recommendations for a step change in support for birth family contact in adoption, and ensuring all those involved in the care planning system have a full understanding of the latest research about relative outcomes of different forms of permanence, including the judiciary.

It's true that research so far, including AUK’s own research, has shown that adopted children have better outcomes than those in other forms of permanence. However there is no right number of adoptions. Cost considerations are, of course, incredibly important, especially at a time when there are huge pressures on spending by governments and statutory bodies. But the bottom line is that care planning decisions have to be taken according to the best interests of the child. This is the most reliable way to ensure children with difficult early starts will be able to live a rewarding life and make a valuable contribution to society. 

The researchers are transparent about the limitations of the work, such as a lack of evidence about the outcomes for children in SGO placements, and the outcomes for care experienced people aged 18+. AUK is pleased to be on the steering group for a DfE-funded longitudinal study about long term outcomes for care experienced people, led by the University of Oxford: Read more about the project here