Adoption support

The latest material added to the Australian Institute of Family Studies library database is displayed, up to a maximum of 30 items. Where available online, a link to the document is provided. Many items can be borrowed from the Institute's library via the Interlibrary loan system.

Literature review: factors influencing the outcomes of children and young people in out-of-home care.

Walsh P, McHugh M, Blunden H and Katz I
Ashfield, NSW : NSW Dept. of Family and Community Services, 2018.
The report investigates what is known about the factors that influence the outcomes of children and young people in out-of-home care. It reviews the Australian and international literature on pathways into and through care and characteristics such as child age and gender, Indigenous children and culturally appropriate placements or support, birth family characteristics and disadvantage, type of maltreatment, emotional and behavioural problems, placement stability and type, family reunification, adoption, carer characteristics, caseworker support, caseworker training, therapeutic approaches, and contact with birth family. It identifies which factors are known to influence positive or negative outcome, which factors have not been found to have an impact, and the factors where more evidence is needed. This study was conducted to inform the work of the Pathways of Care longitudinal study.

Coaching parents about children's needs and navigating the child protection and other systems.

Ainsworth F and Hansen P
Children Australia v. 43 no. 3 Sep 2018: 181-185
This article reviews developments in the New South Wales child protection system which aim to reduce the number of children in state care. The first development was changes to the Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1988 made in 2016 that created a permanency hierarchy for children who have been removed and not restored to parental or extended family care. Under Section 10A of the Act, guardianship and adoption becomes the priority if restoration is not possible, although Aboriginal children are exempt from adoption to some extent. The more recent development, during 2017, is the purchase by the Department of Family and Community Services (FaCS) of a license for two US models, namely Multi-Systemic Therapy for Child Abuse and Neglect (MST-CAN) and Functional Family Therapy through Child Welfare (FFT-CW). US studies have shown that these models reduce the number of children being taken into care. Related to this effort is the recognition by FaCS that the cost of out-of-home care (OOHC) is increasingly unmanageable given the 16,843 children in care in NSW. Added to this is the knowledge, confirmed by the Minister, that for many children in OOHC the outcomes are dismal. Finally, the article turns to the issue of poverty and seeks to address the established correlation (not causality) between poverty and child abuse and neglect. This remains the key issue that underscores child abuse and neglect that has to be addressed if a significant reduction in the number of children taken into state care is to be achieved.

Post-adoption support services: a critical element in successful and permanent adoptions

Beauchamp T
Silverwater, NSW : Unitingcare, 2014.
Recent legislative changes in New South Wales have placed greater emphasis on adoptions and long term guardianship orders where restoration of children with their birth families is not possible, to provide greater stability for children and young people. However, there is very limited availability of post-adoption support services and the government has as yet made no provision for funding such services. This paper outlines the need and benefits of post adoption support services, focusing in particular on the needs of adoptive families. Sections include: Why is post-adoption support needed?; Research on rates of adoption disruption; Post-adoption support services in the United Kingdom and United States; Research evidence on the benefits of post-adoption services; Recruitment of adoptive families; Promoting family well-being and preventing breakdown of adoption; Key features of quality post-adoption support services; and Post-adoptive support models in other Australian states and territories. The research shows that investing in quality post-adoption services strengthens family functioning and child wellbeing and prevents breakdown of adoptions.

Working with adopted people.

Green S
InPsych: the bulletin of the Australian Psychological Society v. 36 no. 4 Aug 2014
This article summarises the primary practice issues for clinicians to consider when working with clients who have been adopted.

Dark chapters in Australian history : adopted children from the Stolen Generations.

Dudgeon P and Hirvonen T
InPsych: the bulletin of the Australian Psychological Society v. 36 no. 4 Aug 2014
This article highlights how vital it is for psychologists working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to have a deep understanding of the impact of the traumatic history of the Stolen Generations. It discusses the impact of forced removal from families and notes some of the recent developments in healing programs.

Out-of-home care - the ongoing challenge for legal and social systems to enhance children's welfare.

Tregeagle S and Voigt L
Rice, Simon, ed. Day, Andrew, ed. Social work in the shadow of the law. 4th ed. Annandale, NSW : Federation Press, 2014. 9781862879492: 288-304
This text book explores social work practice in different legal contexts in Australia. This chapter looks at strategies in the social work sector to reduce the number of children entering care and to assist children to move from the out of home care system. It advocates intensive crisis support for at risk families and - if unavoidable - the security of open adoption rather than the instability of foster care. The chapter also discusses the problems with the current system, intensive family support, kinship care, and the legislation relating to out of home care.

Lesbian, gay and/or transgender people and the law.

Riggs D and Due C
Rice, Simon, ed. Day, Andrew, ed. Social work in the shadow of the law. 4th ed. Annandale, NSW : Federation Press, 2014. 9781862879492: 252-269
This text book explores social work practice in different legal contexts in Australia. This chapter presents an overview of the federal, state and territory laws that can discriminate against - or serve to assist - lesbian, gay, and transgender people in Australia. It looks at relationship recognition, gender recognition, immigration, superannuation, taxation, employment, social services, assisted reproduction technology, adoption, foster care, surrogacy, and family violence.

The changing context of adoption.

O'Neill C, Ban P and Gair S
Rice, Simon, ed. Day, Andrew, ed. Social work in the shadow of the law. 4th ed. Annandale, NSW : Federation Press, 2014. 9781862879492: 26-46
This text book explores social work practice in different legal contexts in Australia. This chapter looks at adoption. It describes the development of adoption in Australia, the legal and policy context, different types of adoption, and adoption as part of the continuum of out of home care. It includes a case study of traditional adoption practices among Torres Strait Islanders and discusses the issue of access to adoption information by adoptees and birth parents.

Forced adoption support services scoping study

Higgins D, Kenny P, Sweid R and Ockenden L
Canberra, A.C.T. : Dept. of Social Services, 2014
The Government commissioned this study to help improve services for people affected by forced adoption in Australia. In particular, the study proposes service model options that could enhance and complement existing support services. To begin, a scoping study was conducted to: map the current support available for people affected by forced adoption and removal policies and practices; determine how the system currently meets the needs of those affected; and identify any gaps in the service system. Implementation issues were also considered.

Post adoption support: a rapid response survey of local authorities in England

Holmes L, McDermid S and Lushey C
London : Childhood Wellbeing Research Centre, Institute of Education, 2013.
"The Adoption and Children Act (2002) places a duty on local authorities to maintain an appropriate service for adoption support. The adoption support services regulations require authorities to conduct assessments of adoption support needs when requested by an adoptive child, their parents, natural parents or former guardians ... The Childhood Wellbeing Research Centre (CWRC) was commissioned by the Department for Education (DfE) to carry out a fast response survey of local authorities in England. The aims of the study were to look at how post-adoption support teams and services are structured and to identify barriers and facilitators to effective provision."--Government website.

Australian Government response to the Senate Community Affairs References Committee report 'Commonwealth contribution to former forced adoption policies and practices'

Australia., Australia. Parliament. Senate. Community Affairs References Committee. Commonwealth contribution to former forced adoption policies and practices.
Canberra, A.C.T. : Commonwealth of Australia, 2013
In 2011, the Senate Community Affairs References Committee inquired into the role of the Commonwealth Government in contributing to forced adoptions, and the potential role of the Commonwealth in developing a national framework to assist states and territories to address the consequences for the mothers, their families and children who were subject to forced adoption policies. This report presents the Commonwealth Government's response to this inquiry. The Government thanks the Committee for their work, and provides detailed responses to the Committee's 20 recommendations. This report released in conjunction with the Prime Minister's national apology for forced adoption.

Remembering, apologies, and truth: challenges for social work today.

Healy K
Australian Social Work v. 65 no. 3 Sep 2012: 288-294
In a time of national apologies and inquiries into the past treatment of vulnerable families and children, this article reflects on the role and responsibilities of social workers in Australia. In considering the evidence of past social work practices, the article touches on the forced separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families and forced adoptions among unmarried women.

The role of Facebook in post-adoption search and support.

Smith C
Australian Journal of Adoption v. 6 no. 1 2012: 6p
Social media sites such as Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter are key tools for information sharing, connecting, and developing partnerships across the world. This article looks at their use for support and searching by adopted children and biological parents. It summarises themes from conversations from nine Facebook groups from Australia and overseas on the benefits and hazards of using Facebook for searching and for group support, and the desired role for service providers.

Therapeutic parenting : information, skills and support for parents of children with additional emotional and behavioural needs.

Petersen S
Australian Journal of Adoption v. 6 no. 1 2012: 14p
The Post Adoption Support Service (PASS) has developed a Therapeutic Parenting program to help families with adopted children who are displaying emotional and behavioural challenges. The program aims to help parents understand and respond to challenges in attachment and trust, the impact of developmental trauma, pervasive shame, difficulty in regulating emotions, disenfranchised grief and loss, and complicated identity formation. This article describes the impact of early trauma and loss on children, the work of the program, and why commonsense parenting isn't helpful for affected children.

Past adoption experiences : National Research Study on the Service Response to Past Adoption Practices [Reprint]

Kenny P, Higgins D, Soloff C and Sweid R
Australian Journal of Adoption v. 4 no. 1 2012
This report presents the findings of the National Research Study on the Service Response to Past Adoption Practices. It examines the past and current support needs of people affected by past adoption practices in Australia, including adopted persons, mothers, fathers, adoptive parents, and other family members. Drawing on large-scale quantitative surveys and interviews, the study investigated the circumstances of the participants' pregnancy and adoption, the impact of separation and adoption, disclosure of adoption, search and contact, services and supports used over time, and current needs. Many Australian Journal of Adoption readers would have participated in this study, which surveyed 1,528 participants - the majority adoptees - in addition to mothers, fathers, adoptive parents and other family members. The report is re-published here to offer wide exposure to the adoption community.

Past adoption experiences : National Research Study on the Service Response to Past Adoption Practices : executive summary

Kenny P, Higgins D, Soloff C and Sweid R
Melbourne, Vic. : Australian Institute of Family Studies, 2012.
This paper reprints the executive summary of the National Research Study on the Service Response to Past Adoption Practices report. The study complements the recent Senate inquiry into the Commonwealth Contribution to Former Forced Adoption Policies and Practices, by examining the past and current support needs of people affected by past adoption practices in Australia, including adopted persons, mothers, fathers, adoptive parents, and other family members. Drawing on large-scale quantitative surveys and interviews, the study investigated the circumstances of the participants' pregnancy and adoption, the impact of separation and adoption, disclosure of adoption, search and contact, services and supports used over time, and current needs. Interviews with service providers were also included. The study aims to increase the evidence available to governments to address the current needs of individuals affected by past adoption practices, including information, counselling, search and contact services, and other supports.

Past adoption experiences : National Research Study on the Service Response to Past Adoption Practices

Kenny P, Higgins D, Soloff C and Sweid R
Melbourne, Vic. : Australian Institute of Family Studies, 2012.
This report presents the findings of the National Research Study on the Service Response to Past Adoption Practices. It complements the recent Senate inquiry into the Commonwealth Contribution to Former Forced Adoption Policies and Practices, by examining the past and current support needs of people affected by past adoption practices in Australia, including adopted persons, mothers, fathers, adoptive parents, and other family members. Drawing on large-scale quantitative surveys and interviews, the study investigated the circumstances of the participants' pregnancy and adoption, the impact of separation and adoption, disclosure of adoption, search and contact, services and supports used over time, and current needs. Interviews with service providers were also included. The study aims to increase the evidence available to governments to address the current needs of individuals affected by past adoption practices, including information, counselling, search and contact services, and other supports.

Commonwealth contribution to former forced adoption policies and practices

Siewert R
Canberra, A.C.T. : Community Affairs References Committee, 2012.
This inquiry investigated the role of the Commonwealth Government in contributing to forced adoptions, and the potential role of the Commonwealth in developing a national framework to assist states and territories to address the consequences for the mothers, their families and children who were subject to forced adoption policies. This report presents the findings and recommendations of the Inquiry. Sections include: post-war period policies on adoption; mothers' experiences of forced adoption; forced consent; the experiences of adopted people; the impact of previous Commonwealth policies and practices, including social security benefits and adoption legislation; the need for a national framework; the need for an apology for past wrongs; the need for counselling and mental health support services; compensation, grievance procedures, and legal avenues for redress; access to information and birth registration; adoption statistics 1950-2010; and future directions.

Expanding resources for children III: research-based best practices in adoption by gays and lesbians

Brodzinsky D
New York : Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, 2011.
"In keeping with its strategic priority to conduct work that improves children's prospects of living in safe and successful families, the Adoption Institute has conducted a four-year-long research project that culminates in the publication of this report. It reviews what is known about adoption by lesbians and gay men and presents new empirical data about their perceptions, experiences and needs as parents. Based on this knowledge, the Institute provides best-practice recommendations for improving adoption practice and for strengthening pre-adoption and post-adoption services for families headed by non-heterosexual adults."

Helping birth families : services, costs and outcomes

Neil E
London : BAAF, 2010.
The Adoption Research Initiative is exploring the implementation of the Adoption and Children Act 2002 in England and Wales. This book presents findings from the second stage of the study, which focuses on the experiences and supports of birth relatives. It investigates referrals to support services and uptake, the experiences and impact of adoption on birth relatives, compulsory adoption, usage and experience of other supports, the impacts of support services, and their costs. The study drew upon statistics from support agencies and interviews with birth parents and grandparents.

(Re)membering adoption : reflecting on adoption and social work practice in Victoria.

Gair S
Spark, Ceridwen, ed. Cuthbert, Denise, ed. Other people's children : adoption in Australia. North Melbourne, Vic. : Australian Scholarly Publishing, 2009. 9781921509469 : 95-109
Providing a perspective on the role of social work in the adoption process, the author who was a former social worker, uses her vantage point and subsequent training as an historian to reflect on a troubling case she dealt with as a young social worker in the early 1980s. She adds a personal dimension by recounting the case of 'Michael', who was engaged in the search for his mother in the months before Victorian legislation changed to give former adoptees access to their records.

Hearing the voices of social workers in past adoption practice with mothers and their babies for adoption : what can we learn?

Gair S
Spark, Ceridwen, ed. Cuthbert, Denise, ed. Other people's children : adoption in Australia. North Melbourne, Vic. : Australian Scholarly Publishing, 2009. 9781921509469 : 75-94
In this chapter the author asks challenging questions about the role of the profession of social work and social workers in the adoption practice through a series of interviews with social workers practicing in Queensland over a 30-year period. Adding the voices of social workers to the article, her findings reveal an evolving social work practice reflective of emerging social change, by providing the space in which the voices of social workers may be heard and placed on the public record of past adoption practices in Australia.

Post-adoption services: meeting the mental health needs of children adopted from foster care

Freundlich M
St. Paul, MN : North American Council on Adoptable Children, 2007.
Supporting families who adopt children from foster care is an important public responsibility. It promotes child and family health and well-being, keeps adoptive families together, and - what's more - is more cost-effective than long-term foster-care. This paper discusses the issues and calls for increased funding for federal post-adoption services in the United States.

Secrecy within adoptive families and its impact on adult adoptees.

Passmore N, Feeney J and Foulstone A
Family Relationships Quarterly no. 5 2007 3-5
In what ways can openness or secrecy within adoptive families affect the lives of adults who have been adopted as children? For this study, 144 adult adoptees completed a survey that explored the adoptive family's attitude towards discussing adoption, and that looked at attachment and parental bonding. This article presents the results and discusses implications for counselling.

Thinking psychologically about children who are looked after and adopted : space for reflection

Golding K
Chichester, England : John Wiley & Sons, c2006.

Enhancing the well-being of children and families through effective interventions : international evidence for practice

McAuley C, Pecora P and Rose W
London : Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2006.

The use of intensive family preservation services with post-adoptive families

Berry M, Martens P and Prop J
Buhl, Idaho : National Family Preservation Network, 2005.
Intensive Family Preservation Services (IFPS) are designed to support families in crisis, where children are either at imminent risk of placement, or have already been placed outside their homes. The aim is to keep children safe and to avoid unnecessary removal or long separations from family in out-of-home care. This study seeks to determine whether IFPS are effective in preserving adoptive families. Researchers surveyed 10 states to determine the extent to which post adoptive services are offered, and the use of IFPS as a model for service delivery. A more detailed analysis was then done on IFPS services offered in the states of Missouri and Illinois. Findings indicate that both IFPS and similar but less intensive in-home services are very effective with post-adoptive families and that families are highly satisfied with the services provided.

The importance of maintaining adoptive family support groups.

Brown J
Adoption Australia Spring 2005 6-9
For adopted children, issues involving adoption and race may appear to be resolved at one stage, only to resurface and peak later on. This article argues the importance of remaining connected to adoptive family support groups through the middle childhood years and beyond. It considers what makes these groups work, identifies things to keep in mind when forming and sustaining these groups, and recommends seeking advice from younger members when organising groups.

Children exposed to parental substance misuse : implications for family placement

Phillips R
London : British Agencies for Adoption and Fostering, 2004.
"More than half of all child protection cases in several local authorities today involve parental substance misuse. What are the long-term effects on children born to such parents and exposed to such an environment? What must social workers know and do to address the needs of these children? And how can foster carers and adopters be supported in caring for them?"

Stopping the drift: improving the lives of Queensland's children and young people in long-term care: discussion paper.

Queensland. Dept. of Families
Brisbane, Qld : Department of Families, 2003
In June 2002, the Queensland government released a policy statement entitled 'Queensland families: future directions'. As part of the ensuing consultation process this discussion paper seeks input on key issues surrounding the long term care of children, including the rights and best interests of the child, stability in care, the role of the birth family, the role of carers such as family carer, grandparents and foster carers, and adoption. The paper also presents the current situation in Queensland, reviews changes in other child protection jurisdictions and examines current research in the area.
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