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The Moving to Adoption Practice Research study was motivated by concerns that the traditional UK approach to moving children from foster care into adoptive families might not be the most suitable approach for some children and their foster and adoptive families. In some cases, moves are distressing and abrupt for children and highly emotional for adopters and foster carers. Where moves to adoption are difficult and distressing, there may be links to poorer child outcomes and even disruption. Professionals have expressed uncertainty about how to plan and support these moves in a more child focused way.

The aim of this project was to develop and pilot a practice programme for professionals who are supporting children’s moves to adoption.  This practice programme would be informed by theory and research and would address the issues outlined above by promoting some changes in social work practice in this area.  The feedback from the piloting of the practice programme would inform next steps in developing and disseminating the programme in order to achieve a more widespread impact on practice.

The research has now concluded, and AFA Scotland has arranged for one of the project team, Dr Mary Beek, to come to Scotland to present their findings and consider the implications for practice in Scotland. Some of the areas looked at include current practice in moving children from foster care to adoption and how this can be improved, how plans should be directed and how can children be helped to think about and process their feelings about their foster family after adoption. Contact with foster carers after a child moves has also been considered. Key principles for planning a move to adoption have been developed and there is practice guidance to accompany this. 

Mary is a Senior Research Associate at the University of East Anglia and is well known for her work with Gillian Schofield on developing the Secure Base Model.

As well as hearing from Mary, there will be the opportunity to hear presentations from Scottish agencies about work being undertaken locally in this area, including a survey of foster carers undertaken by staff at Scotland's Adoption Register see attached

This issue is currently very "live" in Scotland and the seminar provides an opportunity to consider how we might apply the research and develop practice in our agencies.

If you would like to attend our forthcoming seminar, please download an application form here

AFA Scotland is registered as a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO) - SC046417