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BASW calls for statutory post adoption support as ministers launch 'passports' for adopters

BASW responded to the Government's publication of a guide for prospective adopters by calling for post-adoption support to be legally underpinned to ensure new families are given ongoing assistance and not left to fend for themselves.

The guide, described by ministers as a "passport for adopters", highlights the benefits and support available to would-be adopters in England in response to concerns that thousands of people are deterred from applying to adopt by the process. It sets out the fact that adopters may be eligible for paid adoption leave, priority access to social housing, priority admission for school places and support services including counselling.

Nushra Mansuri, BASW Professional Officer, broadly welcomed the new guide: “The new 'adoption passport' is a step in the right direction but we want to see post-adoption support become a statutory right at any point when it is needed by adoptive families.

“All the evidence shows it is crucial that adopters and the children they adopt are supported not just at the beginning of the adoption process but throughout, particularly post adoption.

“While we all want to see improvements in adoption practice in England, we must never sacrifice a child’s best interests for the sake of expediency. We need to take care that we are first doing everything we can to support children and families with early, preventative help.

“We must remember that adoption is only suitable for a relative minority of children in the care system. Where it is in a child's best interest, we must ensure their families receive appropriate support and help to keep them together.

“Adoption is just one of several options when it comes to meeting the needs of children in the care system. This includes successful return home to their parents, living with other family members, special guardianship, foster care and residential care.”