My Reply from Tim Loughton The Children & Families Minister

Published May 28, 2012 by thefamilyof5

If you didnt see the letter I emailed 3 weeks ago, you can read it here.

I received an emailed reply today from a ‘no reply’ email address, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Dear Mrs (name removed)
Thank you for your email of 4 May to the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Children and Families about post adoption support. As you will appreciate Tim Loughton receives a vast amount of correspondence and is unable to reply to each one personally. It is for this reason that I have been asked to reply.I was sorry to hear that you felt the post adoption support was inadequate. I appreciate this must have been upsetting. You may be interested to know that the Government has recently given adoption renewed impetus as a route to a permanent family for children who have often experienced sustained neglect and abuse, it is vital that local authorities consider very carefully the support that adoptive families need. Providing good quality support does not only help keep families together but can also encourage more people to come forward to adopt.

The Government recognises how valuable support services are to adopted and looked after children who may have been traumatised from neglect or abuse by their birth parents. Local authorities are required to make available a range of adoption support services. This is a crucial element of the statutory framework introduced by the Adoption and Children Act 2002, and is based on the recognition that adopted children and their families are likely to have significant needs.

Each local authority is required to maintain a core set of adoption support services which include financial support; therapeutic services for adopted children; and services to support the relationship between the adopted child and their adoptive parents.

Adopted children and their families are entitled to an assessment of their need for adoption support services. The provision of adoption support is discretionary, but in deciding whether to provide support, a local authority must take into account the individual circumstances of each case as well as the resources that are available locally.

Local authorities are required to have an Adoption Support Services Adviser whose role is to give out advice and information to those affected by adoption regarding the services that are available within the local area and how to access those services.

You may be aware that local authorities are required to have procedures for dealing with complaints and representations about the exercise of their social services functions. Should you wish to make a complaint, local authority contact details are available via the web link: http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Dl1/Directories/Localcouncils/AToZOfLocalCouncils/index.htm .

You will be interested to know that the Department has recently commissioned the University of Bristol to carry out research into the rate of and reasons for breakdowns in adoption and the extent to which the provision of adoption support has an impact on the success of an adoption. The findings from this research will inform the development of future policy proposals.

Also, an Expert Working Group was set up in December to help rethink the adoption system for prospective adopters. The Group’s report Redesigning Adoption has been published, along with the Government’s action plan for adoption, on the Department’s website at: http://www.education.gov.uk/childrenandyoungpeople/families/adoption/a00205069/action-plan-for-adoption-tackling-delay .

With regard to medical records, under the duties of an adoption agency, in respect of proposed placement of child with prospective adopter, in the Adoption Agencies Regulations 2005 Part 5, where an adoption agency is considering placing a child for adoption with a particular prospective adopter (“the proposed placement”) the agency must – (in your case (name removed) County Council)

(a) provide the prospective adopter with a copy of the child’s permanence report and any other information the agency considers relevant. The report includes name, date of birth, sex, weight and height and a full health history of the child.

You may be interested to see details of the information to be included in the child’s permanence report at: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2005/389/schedule/1/made .

I hope this information is helpful and I would like to take this opportunity to wish you and your family every success for the future.

As part of our commitment to improving the service we provide to our customers, we are interested in hearing your views and would welcome your comments via our website at: www.education.gov.uk/pcusurvey .

Yours sincerelyLesley O’Connor
Public Communications Unit
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4 comments on “My Reply from Tim Loughton The Children & Families Minister

  • Very similar to the kind of reply I received. I asked personal questions which I did not feel were addressed and just got “standard Government jargon” answers back like..these things are all being improved….

  • Yes I was dissapointed with the reply I received to mine too. I felt that even though I had tried to “have a voice” I had not been listened to at all, not heard.

  • Hmmm, local authorities this and local authorities that. What, those local authorities who have no money and no obligation to provide post-adoption support? We can only put our hope in the research at Bristol uni which could be very important in the long run. Not much use to us right now though.

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