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Hadley Centre for Adoption and Foster Care Studies

Press release issued: 28 September 2000

Opening of the Hadley Centre for
Adoption and Foster Care Studies

One of the major contemporary concerns is how best to use adoption and foster care to provide stability
and permanence to children whose own parents are not able to care for them consistently or predictably. There have been many recent reports and discussions in the media on this topic, especially on adoption.
To address this issue Bristol University and the British Agencies for Adoption and Fostering (BAAF)
has opened a new Centre dedicated to adoption and foster care studies, with generous support from the Hadley Trust.

The Hadley Centre for Adoption and Foster Care Studies aims to promote best practice in this
field by linking research, practice and training. The aim is to understand how to provide adopted
and fostered children with stable and predictable family lives.

The Centre will bring together, in a joint enterprise of national significance, researchers from the
School for Policy Studies at Bristol University, practitioners who are expert in permanent family
placements, and BAAF. BAAF is a leading major national organisation for promoting high standards
in foster care and adoption and a key player in developing inter-professional links.

The Centre will attempt to address practitioners' interests and concerns in working towards
permanence through scientifically rigorous research and evaluation. A major purpose of the Centre
will be to develop ways of translating research findings into effective practice and to disseminate it
in ways that will inform and influence policy makers.

Professor David Quinton, Professor of Psychosocial Development and Head of the new Centre,
said: 'Children who are adopted or are in long-term foster care have often started their lives with
the poorest family experiences of any children in the country. Because of this they have many needs
often including problems with their health, mental health and education, as well as difficulties in their relationships with friends and adults. If these problems are not dealt with the children are at risk of
continuing difficulties in their adult lives including criminality, drug and alcohol abuse and trouble in
parenting their own children.'

The provision of stable alternative families is often not, on its own, sufficient to undo the damage
caused by these early experiences. If we are to help the children overcome their bad experiences
it is essential to move towards a pattern of support for them and their carers that involves good inter-professional working and is based on good evidence of what is effective.'

Notes to Editors:
British Agencies for Adoption & Fostering (BAAF) is the leading national membership organisation
in the UK for professionals and organisations working in adoption, fostering and childcare. The agency promotes best practice in both adoption and fostering services for children separated from their families.

National Adoption Week 2000 runs from 9-15 October.

The Hadley Centre for Adoption and Foster Care Studies

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Copyright: 1998 The University of Bristol, UK
Updated: Thursday, 28-Sep-2000 14:45:42 BST

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