These research results come from Jonathan Benfield, a BA Hons Social Work student at Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen. The title of Jonathan's study is ‘Adopters’ Perspectives of Adoption Support in the UK: An Empirical Study’.

Adopters’ Perspectives of Adoption Support in the UK: An Empirical Study
Jonathan Benfield, 2017

Recent Government guidelines promote the expedition of the adoption process to reduce timescales for children waiting to be adopted. However, concerns exist that suggest this will increase pressures on already-insufficient adoption support systems (Holmes, McDermid and Lushey 2013), ultimately impacting adoption placement stability.

The aim of this study was to explore adoptive parents’ experiences of adoption support in the UK, as little research exists from their perspective. This was achieved by using thematic analysis to explore the data obtained from questionnaires completed by twenty current adopters. Despite the small sample size, several themes emerged that portrayed an overall dissatisfaction with the quality of support services. Adopters stated that they had encountered problems obtaining support and expressed concerns at the lack of resources, experience, training and attitudes of the professionals involved.

The researcher concluded that future studies would be necessary to explore the findings from a larger sample of adoptive parents to compare their experiences. They also felt that it would be beneficial to reproduce this type of emancipatory research as a matter of course to evaluate and direct adoption support services in the future.

Full study download

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