As child psychotherapists working within a Looked After Children’s team, we became concerned about the ways in which children were being moved from foster care into adoption. In our view this was being done very quickly, and with very little contact between children and their foster carers afterwards.
Finding a complete lack of research into this area, we carried out a piece of qualitative research, interviewing foster carers, adopters and social workers to analyse in detail five children’s moves into adoption. We found that the emotional experience of the child, particularly their experience of losing their foster carer, became less prominent in people’s minds during this transition. In what is a highly anxious time for the adults we found that for very understandable reasons they lost sight of what was happening emotionally for the child.
We hope this research will generate some muchneeded debate and further research into children’s moves into adoption, or indeed any move from one carer to another. We believe what is needed is a better integration of theory and practice so that we become more sensitive to children’s experiences during this transition, keeping the emotional experience of the child central in people’s minds.
We are collating feedback from foster carers and adoptive parents, as well as professionals, such as psychologists, social workers and IROs. We would love to hear from people who would like to share their views or experiences.
To view the full paper, along with Background, Research and Recommendations, visit: