With approximately 75% of adopted children removed from their birth parents because of abuse and neglect, a new cross-party group of MPs and Peers are pushing for more support for children and families.
Chaired by Rachael Maskell MP, the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Adoption & Permanence is calling for more support for children who, as a result of early experiences, are much more likely than their peers to struggle with education, relationships, and employment.
Prioritising the future of the Adoption Support Fund (ASF), which allows adoptive families to access therapy, the APPG welcomed a recent £12m boost to the fund by the government, but are wary of the fact that the Conserative party's commitment to it is set to expire in March 2020 despite research revealing that 25% of adoptive parents say ASF-funded support prevented their placement from breaking down and their children returning to care.
“This new APPG is a very important opportunity to advocate for some of the most vulnerable children in society and I am delighted to be leading it," said Ms Maskell MP. "Adopted children have had a very tough start in life and they deserve the attention of policy makers to ensure they are able to build a better future.
“I want to ensure that families receive the very support they need pre- and post-adoption, and will ensure that the APPG brings a laser focus to the challenges facing parents and children," she added. "Government has a crucial role in adopting global best practice and resourcing essential services to build strong, loving, and resilient families."
Adoption UK and Home for Good will provide further support for the group and are well-placed to engage adoptive families directly in the work of the APPG. Adoption UK’s chief executive, Dr Sue Armstrong Brown, said: “This APPG is sorely needed to serve our society’s most vulnerable children, ensuring their experiences inform political debate and policy development.
"Adoption is a long rehabilitation from trauma, lasting throughout childhood and beyond," Dr Armstrong added. "We need a system which recognises this and delivers help for families whenever and for as long as they need it.”
Home for Good chief executive, Phil Green, commented: “Adopted children and their families deserve our very best. Home for Good is delighted to be supporting this APPG because we recognise that if we have grand ambitions for the lives of children, we need to have grand ambitions for services that exist to serve them.”