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Beyond the Adoption Order: a study of the continuity of placements

The following people are involved with this project:

More about this project

Adoption is often referred to as the ‘gold standard’, when children need a substitute permanent family and there has been a policy push to increase the number of children in care placed with adoptive families. However, it is also known that the majority of children being placed have been maltreated and the consequences can be long lasting presenting a challenge for adoptive parents.  It is not known how many adoptions breakdown post order, although many local authorities have previously adopted children in their looked after population. There is an urgent need for more information on how breakdowns can be prevented and children and families better supported. 

The aims of this study are to a) establish the national rate of adoption breakdown post order and compare with the rate of breakdown in long-term foster care and with children subject to Residence Orders and Special Guardianship Orders b) establish the factors associated with breakdown, c) understand the experience of adoption breakdown from the point of view of adoptive parents, children and social workers d) provide more information on how breakdowns might be prevented. 

This is the second phase of the study. Forty adoptive families who have experienced an adoption breakdown and 40 families who are intact bur describe themselves as struggling will be recruited. Parents, children and the placing/assessing social workers will be interviewed and a number of standardised measures used.

Project dates
01 Jan 2013 - 01 Dec 2013
Project director(s):
Professor Julie Selwyn
Project funder:
Department for Education
Contact: