Battle for support undermining adopted children

Adoption UK has revealed that adopted children are twice as likely not to be in employment, education or training (NEET) as their peers, and are being let down by cash-strapped schools.

The charity has published The Adoption Barometer, which also details how 16 per cent of adopted children have had contact with the criminal justice system and 39 per cent have needed help from mental health services.

There are at least 55,000 adoptive families in the UK. While advances have been made in recruitment and preparation of adopters, Adoption UK warns that government policies are still not addressing the heart of the challenges faced by adoptive families, and especially families with older children.

Having surveyed around 3,500 families across the UK, asking them to reflect on their experiences during 2018, the charity says that 79 per cent of families would encourage others to adopt, despite the fact that 70 per cent say they face a continual struggle for support. One aspect of this struggle is in the form of education, with large numbers of families resorting to home education because the formal school system is letting their children down.

Becky Brooks, who authored the report, said: “These are strong and optimistic families, improving the life chances of some of the UK’s most complex and vulnerable children. But for too many families, getting support to help their children overcome their tough start in life is like fighting a losing battle.”