Assessing Adoptive and Foster Parents: Improving Analysis and Understanding of Parenting Capacity

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9781849055062: Assessing Adoptive and Foster Parents: Improving Analysis and Understanding of Parenting Capacity
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Assessing prospective adoptive and foster parents is an extremely complex task, and one that happens within a pressurised time frame. Currently, assessments draw substantially on interviews with prospective adopters and foster carers. Too often, they generate a lot of information but lack meaningful analysis and understanding of parenting capacity. Children with histories of trauma, loss and hurt need to join families in which parents exhibit the ability to be good at relationships, able to manage their own stress and bond with the child in their care. In this book, leading experts including Dan Hughes, Jonathan Baylin, Kim Golding and Julie Selwyn combine the latest findings from neuroscience with research on what makes good assessments. Together, they provide guidance and recommend tools for making thorough, analytical and effective assessments which will ensure the best possible chance of placement success. Assessing Adoptive and Foster Parents is an invaluable source of knowledge and practice guidance for social workers undertaking assessments of parenting capacity of children who have experienced neglect or trauma.

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There could not be any more significant professional task than to assess and then make a prediction of what is likely to happen if prospective carers are approved and then have a child or children placed with them. As this book makes clear, it is part art and to a limited sense science...Each one of these chapters discusses in considerable detail what the current state of play is both for the art and the science of assessment. --From the foreword by John Simmonds, Director of Policy, Research and Development, British Association for Adoption and Fostering

A visit some years ago to Adoptionplus and discussions with Joanne Alper helped open my layman's eyes to the challenge of adopting older children, children much more likely to have experienced considerable neglect. This book examines the way we assess adopters to ensure we recruit those who, however naive they might have been when first considering adoption, have the necessary qualities to succeed in raising a child damaged by the neglect of those from whom love and stability was expected. We know that those qualities - according to Rushton - include warmth, consistency, flexibility, tenacity and a sense of humour. The challenge is how to identify those characteristics and move away from a parental assessment process which has sometimes been both extremely time consuming and yet superficial and sometimes arbitrary. But this book is also a reminder that adopters, however rich they are in the qualities which are needed, must have support. The pioneering Adoptionplus model which guarantees access to therapeutic support until the adopted child is eighteen must become the dominant adoption model in England. In the past too many courageous adopters of traumatised children have struggled, often been left isolated, and sometimes been themselves criticised for their failure as parents when, in truth, the challenges facing them would have overwhelmed most of us. I warmly recommend this collection of illuminating essays. --Sir Martin Narey, Chair of the Adoption Leadership Board and government advisor on adoption

Assessing Adoptive and Foster Parents is a fantastic, practical and easy-to-read resource for social workers in adoption and fostering services. It brings together the most influential academics; translating theory into practice for busy social workers charged with finding families for our most vulnerable children. --Sarah Carter, Adoption Service Manager, Essex County Council

From the Author:

Joanne Alper is an experienced social worker and play therapist who has worked in local authority child care social work and child protection. In 2006 she was instrumental in setting up Adoptionplus as an Adoption Support Agency and then in 2008 as a Voluntary Adoption Agency specialising in the placement of children with high level needs. Joanne is currently Director of Services at Adoptionplus. David Howe PhD is Emeritus Professor of Social Work at the University of East Anglia, Norwich. He has practised, researched and taught in the field of child and family work, including adoption, for over 40 years.

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9781785921773: Assessing Adoptive Parents, Foster Carers and Kinship Carers, Second Edition: Improving Analysis and Understanding of Parenting Capacity

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