Local MP throws her support behind Adoption UK
Published: 19.09.17North Oxfordshire’s MP, Victoria Prentis, visited local charity Adoption UK yesterday to meet the organisation’s new chief executive, Dr Sue Armstrong Brown.
Adoption UK, headquartered in Banbury, is a UK-wide charity established by local adopters in Oxfordshire over 45 years ago. It is the leading charity providing support, awareness and understanding for those parenting or supporting children who cannot live with their birth families with more than 8,000 member.
Victoria Prentis took the opportunity to thank Adoption UK for its work in supporting adoptive families. She said: “Modern day adoption is a rewarding but challenging experience, and I am grateful to those adoptive families who provide a loving and nurturing home for many of our vulnerable children who have had a difficult start in life. Many of these children have suffered neglect and abuse in their lives, presenting them with challenges on a social, emotional and educational level. That is why the work of Adoption UK in supporting adoptive families is so vital and I look forward to working with them in the future.”
Dr Armstrong Brown, who was appointed Adoption UK’s chief executive in June this year, has a six year-old birth son and an adopted baby daughter. She is a former charity director and lead advocate, previously working for prominent organisations in the environmental sector including the RSPB and Green Alliance, as well as being an independent strategy and policy adviser.
Dr Armstrong Brown, whose aim is to build on the organisation’s reputation as the voice of adopters, said: “I was delighted to welcome our local MP, Victoria Prentis, to our headquarters and to discuss how Adoption UK can work with government to build brighter futures for some of our most vulnerable children. Victoria Prentis will be a strong advocate for adoptive families in Parliament and we look forward to working with her to meet some of the many challenges that our members face.”
Many adopted children have come from a background of abuse and neglect and find it hard to form the early stable attachments so important for a child’s wellbeing. This can have a devastating impact on social and emotional well-being and attainment levels.
Latest research shows adopted children falling behind as early as Key Stage Two - with less than half (49%) reaching their expected targets - compared to three-quarters of their classmates – unsurprisingly this follows them through school to GSCE’s where we know fewer than one in four adopted children secure five or more A*-C grades at GCSE, including English and maths.
The mental health of adopted children is also a big concern for the charity: 49% of looked after children aged 11-17 experienced mental health disorders, compared to 11% of non-looked after children.