These are some of the changes that we feel are most urgently needed:
We would like to see the Adoption Support Fund renamed to include special guardians
We would like for all special guardianship and all adopted children, regardless of the child’s legal status or whether they live within the family home, to be able to access the Adoption Support Fund until the young person is 21 years old or 25 if they have an Education, Health & Care Plan.
The legal status of all children coming into care needs to be recorded to inform future policies and actions – not missing data for over 4k children.
We need respite to be available without it being required that we make our children homeless or looked after under Section 20
We need one person with decision making authority to take responsibility for any decisions made, working in meaningful partnership with us and other professionals.
We do not want to be so frequently put in a position where we feel we must make formal complaints to resolve problems and access services/support rather than make progress through dialogue and shared understanding. However, it is important that we are able to make complaints when there has been disagreement and conflict – for example, it is problematic that Mott MacDonald, who administer the Adoption Support Fund, have no complaints procedure,
We need recognition of the ‘parenting from a distance role’ as being of value to society and protected by new legislation. We urgently need a framework/guidance for the reunification of children who are hard to care for with safe parents – so our children do not get trapped in care with no efforts made to support them in the context of their family – and us written off as a failed care option.
We need for the tacit knowledge, insight and experience of adopters and special guardians to be valued – especially when the parent or guardian is also a professional.
We need financial security – financial support that is adequate & fair and not suddenly withdrawn. This may mean legislatory change to protect our families.
Our children often need greater support than their peers so we will need much better support for us, and for our children, as they transition to adulthood.
Please let us know if you have any thoughts about what changes need to happen from your perspective as a parent, guardian or professional