Adopting Large Sibling Groups
The experience of adopters and adoption agencies
Publication date: 2011
ISBN: 978 1 907585 449
Statistics reveal that attempts to find families for large sibling groups are frequently unsuccessful. In 2009/10 the Adoption Register for England and Wales found permanent families for just 34 of the 186 children referred to them for placement in sibling groups. What would it be like to adopt three or more siblings from the care system? Who might be able to do this and what could motivate someone to make such a huge commitment? Are there particular ways in which practitioners can help to ensure the successful placement of large sibling groups? What kind of support are sibling-group adopters likely to need – and where are they likely to receive it?
These are just some of the many questions addressed in Adopting Large Sibling Groups, the first UK study to examine adopters’ experiences of parenting a large sibling group as well as the views of staff in adoption agencies who need to recruit and support adopters willing to take siblings. The study is based on the input of 14 adoption agencies (five local authorities and nine voluntary adoption agencies) as well as 37 sibling group adopters from England, Wales and the Isle of Man. Adopters describe their experiences of the adoption process from recruitment, assessment and preparation to matching, introductions, placement and support. They reveal their motivation to adopt as well as the rewards and challenges of adopting a large sibling group. Social work staff explain their approaches and policies and reveal wide variations in practice.
Adopting Large Sibling Groups concludes that adoptive families represent the best chance of securing a better future for many large sibling groups, and they should be valued, encouraged and given all the support they need, especially in the first year of placement.
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Inside the book
This is an accessible book which will be of interest to social workers, adopters and academics. The study's most valuable achievement is to create a vivid account of sibling group adopters' experiences with their children and in their dealings with social workers. The study holds a mirror up to adoption agency practice, challenging adoption agencies to learn from each other’s best practice, cooperate with each other and match the 'can do' attitude of potential adopters.'
Child & Family Social Work