Government policies to increase the number of adoptions may not
be achievable or desirable, new research by the Social Care
Institute for Excellence has found, writes Derren
Scie’s knowledge review of research into foster care
concludes that the potential for increasing the number of adoptions
“may be limited”, despite government programmes, such
as Quality Protects and concurrent planning, designed to make it
the priority plan for many children in care.
Although adoptions in England have increased from 4,317 in 1999
to 5,680 in 2002, factors such as older children being reluctant to
adopt a new family, and family rights issues for younger ones,
could see the rise stall, the researchers concluded.
One study showed that around a half of adoptions of children
aged over 10 or 11, who had been in care, broke down. Another found
worse outcomes among those adopted from an ‘at risk’
register than among those fostered or returned home.
But there was still plenty of evidence to suggest adoption
should be preferred to long-term fostering since it offered
“greater emotional security, a sense of well-being and
They concluded that those adopted at infants are as successful
as any member of the community and perform better than those living
with lone parents or fostered.
Bill Kilgallon, chief executive of the Social Care Institute for
Excellence, said that despite initial difficulties on leaving care,
the majority of fostered children went on to lead happy, healthy
and productive lives as adults.
For more information go to www.scie.org.uk