The no smacking debate is one of several issues that have caused
potential adopters from ethnic minority backgrounds to pull out of
the adoption process, a report commissioned by children’s
charity NCH has revealed, writes Shirley
The study by Bristol University Hadley Centre for Adoption and
Fostering Care Studies finds that social workers in Nottingham,
Tower Hamlet and Bradford Councils thought the emphasis in
fostering and adoption on no smacking was perceived as contentious
in some communities and causing some adopters to drop out.
Other problems around finding families to adopt black, Asian and
mixed parentage children identified in the study include social
workers’ concerns about placing children with individuals
with fundamentalist views and potential adopters’ experiences
of racism in other council departments.
As a result, more than 11,000 ethnic minority children of a total
59,700 looked after children in the UK remained in local authority
care in March 2002.
Researcher Julie Selwyn said: “The debate on smacking and
concerns over fundamentalist views were not strictly ethnic
minority issues, they related to all religions including right wing
Christianity and went across all cultures. Adopters were concerned
with the bureaucracy and the amount of control they believed social
workers had over their lives.”
A two-year Department for Education and Skills-funded study into
why ethnic minority children spend an average of 300 days longer
than white children in getting their adoption and fostering needs
processed is due to start in January.
- Finding adoptive families for black, Asian and Black
mixed-parentage children from www.nch.org.uk