Adoptive family life and adoption support: policy ambivalence and the development of effective services

Luckock, B. and Hart, Angie (2005) Adoptive family life and adoption support: policy ambivalence and the development of effective services Child & Family Social Work, 10 (2). pp. 125-134. ISSN 1365-2206

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Adoption policy and practice in England is being 'modernized' in order to increase the number of permanent placements for children in public care. Success depends on improving adoption services as well as reforming the adoption process itself. To this end the Adoption and Children Act 2002 places new duties on local authorities to ensure greater consistency and quality of service in adoption support as well as in care planning. Questions now arise locally about what priority and focus to give to adoption support. Yet service development is inhibited by the ambivalence of New Labour about exactly what it is that adoption support is supposed to be supporting and how. Funds are limited and service re-organization is always difficult to achieve. However, mixed policy messages result largely from the ambiguous social role and expectations of adoptive family life and kinship. In law adoption replicates the autonomous normative birth family whilst in policy it provides reparative parenting for particularly vulnerable children. A lack of clarity about the claims for support of those affected by adoption results. This paper argues a fresh case for the distinctive claims of adoptive family life for support. It suggests how new thinking about adoptive family life and kinship might stimulate local service collaboration and effective adoption support.

Item Type:Journal article
Uncontrolled Keywords:adoption support; adoptive family life; adoptive kinship network; difference; family practices
Subjects:L000 Social Sciences > L500 Social Work
DOI (a stable link to the resource):10.1111/j.1365-2206.2005.00358.x
Faculties:Faculty of Health and Social Sciences > School of Nursing and Midwifery
Faculty of Health and Social Sciences > School of Applied Social Science
ID Code:1223
Deposited By:editor snam
Deposited On:10 Apr 2007
Last Modified:29 Jan 2014 14:04

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