• Defining the problem and sourcing the solution: a reflection on some of the organizational, professional and emotional complexities of accessing post-adoption support.

      Harlow, Elizabeth; University of Chester (Taylor & Francis, 2018-05-16)
      In the United Kingdom as elsewhere, children across the age range are now being adopted from care. Some of these children, by no means all, are expressing additional physical, emotional, behavioural and educational needs. In consequence, the government has introduced legislation and attendant policies aimed at providing adoptive families with support. In 2013 in the northwest of England, a specialist post-adoption support service was established, and an illuminative evaluation of its organization and provision was conducted. A key theme emerging from the qualitative data concerned the difficulties parents had encountered in accessing appropriate support prior to the creation of the service. These difficulties have been interpreted as: uncertainty in defining the problems encountered and knowing which agencies and professionals to approach; ambivalence about seeking help; professionals’ uncertainty in knowing how to respond; and the scarcity of resources. This paper illustrates these difficulties, then draws attention to some of the ways in which they are being addressed.