The Experiences of Fostering and Adoption Processes - the views of children and young people: Literature review and gap analysis

Fiona Walker, Mary Minnis

23 May 2012

Executive summary

The current financial climate and its impact on local authority service planning and delivery is at the forefront of local decision making. Lead members and officers will want to understand how decisions around service delivery may impact on the experiences of children and young people within the care system.

This literature review aimed to identify the existing evidence in relation to children and young people’s views of the processes associated with fostering and adoption services and to identify any gaps.

Key Findings

  • Children reported that although the decisions to take them into care were often the right ones, they had little choice about where they would live. Generally, they were aware of their care plans but reported having little involvement in what was included in them.
  • Where a social worker supported children and young people they reported feeling well looked after. Children also wanted reassurance from their social workers and would like to be able to contact them when they need to.
  • Children were aware of local budget cuts and the impact of these on their social workers already heavy case loads.
  • Children often expressed dissatisfaction with the level of contact they have with their families and arrangements made for contact. Adopted children stressed how critical it is for them to know about their adoptive families.
  • Children felt they lacked information at important points in their care journeys; particularly around transitional points: moving into care; moving to new placements; and when leaving care.
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