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Care-leavers and their children placed for adoption

Roberts, Louise ORCID:, Meakings, Sarah, Smith, Audra, Forrester, Donald ORCID: and Shelton, Katherine ORCID: 2017. Care-leavers and their children placed for adoption. Children and Youth Services Review 79 , pp. 355-361. 10.1016/j.childyouth.2017.06.030

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Young people in and leaving state care are more likely than the general population to become parents at a young age. Relatively little is known about the experiences and progress of care leaver parents and their children, but emerging evidence suggests an increased risk of intergenerational state intervention. Drawing on data from the Wales Adoption Study, this paper examines the prevalence and profiles of care leavers amongst birth parents whose children were placed for adoption. Findings showed that more than a quarter (27%) of birth mothers and a fifth (19%) of birth fathers with children placed for adoption were themselves care leavers. There were no significant differences between care leaver and non-care leaver birth parents in terms of involvement in crime or substance misuse, but carer leaver birth parents were distinguishable from other birth parents by their own experiences of abuse and neglect. Care leaver birth mothers were also more likely than their non-care leaver counterparts to have diagnosed mental health problems and were less likely to appeal the adoption plan. The profiles of children placed for adoption between care leaver and non-care leaver birth parents were similar. The findings presented in this paper strengthen the moral imperative to address the over-representation of care leavers amongst birth parents whose children are placed for adoption. There is an urgent need to revise how children and young people in state care are prepared for parenthood and supported as parents.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0190-7409
Funders: Health and Care Research Wales
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 19 June 2017
Date of Acceptance: 16 June 2017
Last Modified: 08 Nov 2023 04:31

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