The Adoption Barometer, published by charity Adoption UK, is the largest survey of adopters in the UK. This year’s report found that Wales has made significant progress since last year’s Barometer, with three Welsh policies scoring ‘good’. We are pleased to have this progress acknowledged and would like to thank the staff in the National Adoption Service across the country for their continued hard work.
Here, Rebecca Brooks, Education Policy Advisor at Adoption UK and author of the report, explains more about the survey and its findings.
We started the Adoption Barometer last year to generate a snapshot of the adoption world and receive feedback on what adoption is like for families across the UK, from the first enquiry right up to families who have children up to age 25. We use the survey results to see what the experiences of adoptive families are like across the four nations, and how they’re being impacted by each nation’s policy and legislation.
This year’s survey was sent out in January and closed in March, and we saw almost 5,000 responses from people across the UK, which is an increase on 40% on last year. The survey gets sent out to Adoption UK members, as well as on social media and through adoption organisations in the UK such as the National Adoption Service. We are so thankful for all the families that took the time to complete the survey, and as always, we hope they will help to positively shape the future of adoption in the UK.
When the survey closes, we then look at the enormous amount of data that we receive. It’s fascinating to see what responses we get and is a chance for us to understand what issues adoptive families in the UK are facing throughout the adoption process. We try to use the results to shape our advocacy and campaigning work to ensure we are listening to people’s feedback. For example, last year we found that 80% of respondents said that education was a big factor for them as parents. This gave added impetus to our national education campaign and showed that the campaign was well needed for adoptive families.
We also share our data with each nation, so that if adoptive families in certain areas are highlighting a specific issue, we will incorporate that into our service delivery in that nation but also see what advice and support we can give to agencies.
A big area of the barometer is assessing and scoring the policies that regulate adoption in each nation. It’s important to mention that when scoring these policies, we look at the policy and legislation framework for each nation and use that to develop assessment criteria. We then review the survey results and use all this information to score each area.
From all four nations in the UK, we found that Welsh policies scored best, with three areas scoring ‘good’. Respondents in Wales were also considerably more positive about their experiences in accessing support during 2019 than they were the previous year.
We are pleased to see improvements in some areas across the UK such as the large amount of funding given by the Welsh Government for adoption support in Wales, but it is clear that there is still a way to go before every adoptive family is getting the support they need to thrive. We look forward to continuing our work to improve the adoption sector in the UK.
For the full report findings, click here: www.adoptionuk.org/the-adoption-barometer