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M. Silver, K. Thirlwall, K Kinkade, J. Tosh, Northampton General Hospital With thanks to Phil Maddock, Maggie Pitts and the Northampton Permanence Team.

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Presentation on theme: "M. Silver, K. Thirlwall, K Kinkade, J. Tosh, Northampton General Hospital With thanks to Phil Maddock, Maggie Pitts and the Northampton Permanence Team."— Presentation transcript:

1 M. Silver, K. Thirlwall, K Kinkade, J. Tosh, Northampton General Hospital With thanks to Phil Maddock, Maggie Pitts and the Northampton Permanence Team Risk and Resilience Factors in Adoptive Matching

2 The process allows professionals to consider the extent to which the familys resources meet the needs of the child In depth assessment of both the child and the potential adopters. The E Form* The F Form* Current Matching Procedure Matching report* Applicants approved as adopters Child approved for adoption Panel approves match* Match is made

3 Completed a detailed audit of all the matches made between April 2003 and April 2005 (n=116). Looked at all the E forms, F forms, matching reports and panel minutes. Collected Social Worker ratings using a Likert scale. 185 variables in total, which gave a pen picture of the people involved, and the way forms are used Statistical analysis to look for significant & predictive factors. Method

4 The E Form: Children Age Physical needs Emotional needs (inc intellectual impairments) Racial/cultural background Family history Why removal became necessary Information regarding family contact

5 The Children 57 boys and 59 girls Mean age 3y 6m (with 26% under a year old, but 16% over 7) 48% removed from parents before 1 st birthday Removed due to poor parenting and other factors:

6 IN CARE THEMSELVES MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEMS SINGLE PARENT FAMILIES ABUSED AS CHILDREN LACKED EDUCATION NEVER BEEN EMPLOYED IN TROUBLE WITH LAW HAD VIOLENT RELATIONSHIP MOTHERFATHER 34 % 56 % 30 % 55 % 44% 29 % 57% 17 % 29 % 9 % 10 % 15 % 36 % 35 % 2 % The Birth Parents

7 Observations Young population Complex backgrounds & presentation –22% behaviour problems –17% developmental delay –21% health concerns –20% emotional or mental health concerns Facts not interpretation (eg impact of relationships) Focus on physical rather than psychological –96% describe childs appearance –65% describe their character –39% describe their attachment history Very little explicit reference to attachment

8 The F Form: Applicants Family make up Culture Medical information Family history Social networks Personal references Values and beliefs Parenting experiences Motivations to adopt

9 The Applicants 49% are in their thirties 56% had been together over 10 years 96% applied as a couple 31% have birth children (often of one parent) 21% have an adopted or foster child already Not being able to conceive was the dominant motivating factor for 78% of the applicants, the rest adopt for moral reasons. 41% wanted to adopt a single child, 51% up to two, 8% up to three children 65% wanted an infant if possible Gender did not matter to 77% of adopters Contact with birth parents was seen as off-putting

10 Adopters Backgrounds: Challenges

11 Observations References and applicants only focus on strengths (70% dont explore weaknesses) Facts not interpretation or reflection (eg again little about impact of own relationships) Matching reports explore –Cultural/religious differences75% –Physical demands of parenting45% –Emotional demands vs needs63% –Support structure around applicants66% –Level of professional support needed71% –Emotional demands of the children67% –Attachment history of the child44% –Attachment history of the applicants20%

12 Type of Match The way the match is made is not a significant predictors of success (Χ 2 =3.02, p=0.07) There is a trend for project matches to be more difficult, but significantly more complex/older children involved (ANOVA: project matched children are older p< and later removed p<0.0005)

13 Adopters Motive Adopters motive is also not a significant predictor of success (Χ 2 =3.30, p=0.07) There is a trend for moral adoptions to be more difficult, but significantly more complex/older children are involved (ANOVA: moral adopters take older children p=0.01 with more behavioural problems p< and emotional/mental health difficulties p=0.004)

14 Results of Correlation with Placement Success Rating Analysis Childs agep< Number of prior placements p=0.003 Birth mothers care statusp=0.006 Birth mother in violent relationshipp=0.013 Birth mother in trouble with policep=0.001 Child harmed by parentsp=0.006 Child has behaviour problemsp< Child has health concernsp=0.005

15 Results of Correlation with Placement Success Rating Analysis Adopters have birth childrenp< Applicants have social supportp=0.011 Applicants support each otherp=0.001 Applicants prepared to make major lifestyle changesp=0.011 Social Workers confidence about the match*p< Social Workers rating of adopters engagement with profs*p< Social Workers rating of how challenging child is*p< * retrospective, so unclear how objective these ratings are

16 Univariate Analysis Results of Factorial ANOVAs If the child is youngerp< If the child has had less prior placements p=0.007 If adopters evidence strong social support networksp=0.003 If adopters evidence mutual support/respectp=0.004 If adopters are prepared to make major lifestyle changesp< If the Social Worker felt confident about the match*p< If the Social Worker felt the adopters engaged with profs*p=0.016 If the child was removed from the birth family youngerp=0.014 If applicants recognise both strengths and weaknesses in each otherp=0.018 MATCHES WERE MORE SUCCESSFUL:

17 If the childs birth mother had grown up in Carep=0.006 If the childs birth mother had been in trouble with policep=0.036 If the childs birth mother was in a violent relationshipp=0.012 If the child had been harmed by birth parentsp< If there were health concerns about the childp=0.005 If there were emotional/mental health concerns p< If adopters have birth childrenp=0.002 If a prior placement broke down due to the childs behaviourp=0.002 If applicant 1 has physical health problemsp=0.010 Univariate Analysis MATCHES WERE LESS SUCCESSFUL: Results of Factorial ANOVAs

18 Multivariate Analysis 1 Results of Multiple Regression Variable Cumulative R 2 Adopters have birth children0.108 Adopters offer mutual support0.176 Childs physical health0.233 Childs emotional/mental health0.275 Birth mother in trouble with police0.318 Number of prior placements0.338 Adopters physical health0.358 Birth mother in violent relationships0.378

19 Multivariate Analysis 2 Results of Multiple Regression Variable Cumulative R 2 Birth mother in trouble with police Childs physical health0.203 Adopters physical health Child behaviour problems0.340 Child involved in decision0.369 Childs mother grew up in care0.403 Birth father in violent relationships0.428

20 Interpretation of Regression Forcing age as first variable accounts for 18.5% of variance Adding other variables listed accounts for 49.5% of variance Risk and resilience relates to both adopters and children, in a complex interplay We match pretty well – 53% highly successful, 28% successful and 10% unsuccessful, 8% undecided

21 Implications Awareness of risk & resilience factors More exploration of attachment –Story stems? –Adult attachment interview? More interpretation of facts Explicit consideration of relationship with professionals, and SW gut feeling


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