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The role of the social worker in adoption – ethics and human rights: An Enquiry: Response

BASW commissioned an Enquiry into the role of the social worker in adoption in 2016 which has concluded with the submission of the final report by Professors Featherstone and Gupta. This Response document provides BASW’s reflections on the themes in their report, states the further actions we will take and what we ask of governments and policy makers across the UK.

Adoption has been a particularly politicised and contentious area of public policy in recent years in the UK, perhaps most particularly in England. Political and ideological perspectives on adoption drive legal frameworks, policy, the culture of practice and the use of resources. We welcome the way this Enquiry report raises and explores these issues through the eyes of those directly affected, and through considering the ethics of adoption as it is currently practised.

This Enquiry is a start and not an ending point for BASW. We will continue to develop its themes and support improvements in practice, policy and professional confidence, particularly in the application of ethical and human rights principles in this vital area of work. We will do this at a UK-wide and country specific level and will be holding events across England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales to explore detailed implications in each of the jurisdictions.