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Achieving permanence for disabled children

Year: 2014
Topic: Corporate parenting, Disability, Permanence
Author: The Fostering Network, Quarriers, BAAF, CELCIS

Literature on this subject is found to be varied in type and quality. There are gaps in the evidence base, but it is clear that disabled children fare less well than their non-disabled peers. Key review findings include:

  • More literature from the USA than elsewhere.
  • Included mainly empirical studies & some other sources.
  • Disabled children had poorer outcomes than other children in terms of:
     - reunification
     - adoption chances
     - adoption timing
     - located in local area
     - stability/disruption
  • As far as we can tell: Age matters, Gender matters, Ethnicity matters, Impairment type matters. Most of all the combination matters
  • Different groups of disabled children have different experiences.
  • In services there is a lack of expertise but plenty of pessimism.
  • Disabled children are often excluded from decision making… and research.
  • Providing specialist support is complex.
  • Different types of adopters and carers have different recruitment and support needs.
  • Outcomes can include positive experiences for carers and adopters.