Adoptive parents and prospective adopters are being asked to help shape both adoptive policies and services for the next decade via an online survey.
Adoption UK, based at the Vantage Business Park just outside Bloxham, is a UK-wide charity offering support, awareness and advice for those parenting or supporting children who cannot live with their birth parents.
The questionnaire aims to capture a snapshot of adopters’ experiences, thereby establishing whether or not respite support and therapeutic services have improved over the past five years.
This is not the first time the charity has tried to gauge the feelings of those within the adoptive process having ran a similar survey from October 2011 to January 2012.
Entitled ‘It takes a village to raise a child’, the survey found that:
¤ 64 per cent of adopters were not told they had a legal right to request an assessment of their post-adoption support needs.
¤ Although 61 per cent of adopters said they wanted access to therapeutic services to help them deal with the demands of adoptive parenthood, only 28 per cent of adoption organisations provided this.
¤ Just seven per cent of adoption agencies provided respite support, despite three out of ten adopters saying this service would help them to better support their children.
The results enabled Adoption UK to produce a groundbreaking report on post adoption support which was influential in encouraging a string of policy developments, culminating in the production of the Adoption Support Fund in England.
The new survey wants feedback from parents, as well as local authorities and service providers, from across the whole of the UK.
Adoption UK’s chief executive Hugh Thornbery CBE said: “Some may see this as ‘just another survey’ but this couldn’t be further from the truth.
“The results from our survey five years ago contributed greatly to influencing policymakers as well as to the implementation of the ASF – so its importance should not be underestimated. The voice of our members helps us to lobby government so I’d encourage all of our adoptive community, from across the UK, to set aside just 30 minutes to help transform the lives of other families, for the better.”