Community Practitioners' and Health Visitors' Association

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Amicustheunion

CPHVA Response to the Prime Minister's Review of Adoption:
Report from the Performance and Innovation Unit
 

We welcome this review as we are aware that the areas of Looked After Children and Adoption are ones that need review and reassessment to improve the service and address users where the standard of service varies between local authorities.

The establishment of an adoption and permanency taskforce, with a remit to improve performance is a very welcome one. Changes to the whole adoption process, in particular improving recruitment standards and assessment criteria, to ensure that the poor adoption support services and timescale is addressed in the process.

It is acknowledged that the practice in certain local authorities means that it can be difficult for some potential carers to be recruited and registered. Any measures to improve this should continue to ensure those given the charge of looking after these children are adequately prepared and supported

The idea of setting targets for adoptions may be considered as a way forward that would focus some local authorities. However, with this route there should be cautions as quantitative measurements to carry the risk of impacting on the quality of permanent placements. Issues of quality have not been directly addressed. We would assume this would be detailed in any subsequent document.

The idea of setting targets for adoptions may be considered as a way forward that would focus some local authorities. However, with this route there should be cautions as quantitative measurements to carry the risk of impacting on the quality of permanent placements. Issues of quality have not been directly addressed. We would assume this would be detailed in any subsequent document.

The use of a whole system approach to adoption could be one way of ensuring the process and infrastructure is adequate. It may be useful to ring fence future Quality and Protect monies to address this.

However, we are very concerned that there appears to be very little said about the needs of the black and minority ethnic group – given that they are the hardest hit in the adoption process. In particular, issues relating to identity in trans-racial placement and adoption and the special support required to ensure the maintenance of the individual’s identity and links with their culture and religion.

Past research has identified the difficulties experienced by adoptees who have had no links with their communities and the effect this can have on their identity at different stages in their lives.

This should be considered in more detail in this document from a best practice point of view.

 Although this paper is clearly one for our social service colleagues it is essential that there is an acknowledgement of the contribution of health professionals to this process and a message given to Local Authority personnel that their input is valued and should be used in a timely way. Some guidance on how communication and partnership working with health professionals will enhance the process should be included.

We look forward to the publication of the White Paper later this year.


Lead Professional Officer - Health Visiting Policy

January 2001

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