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EMASS Focus Group

childrenFOCUS GROUP: Below is a summary of the EMASS focus group meeting from April 2017.

Adoption and SGO Focus Group Meeting, 25 April 2017

The East Midlands Adoption Support Service (EMASS) hosted its first information-sharing event in Bourne in April. Attendees included:

  • adoptive parents
  • a Special Guardianship carer
  • EMASS and Family Action staff
  • representatives from a wide range of professional agencies across the region.

The group focused on what they thought could help adoptive children and young people to achieve positive outcomes at school, and where there were gaps in the services supporting families. Comments from the group included:

  • 'A lack of consistent support across the East Midlands region.'
  • 'Knowledge of Attachment for teachers.'
  • 'Support for SG carers at home.'
  • 'Advocates for families.'
  • 'Creating a therapeutic environment.'
  • 'An EHCP for all adopted children!'

Discussions also focused on examples of best practice across the region, and where more work was needed. Parents and carers expressed their worries about support for young people after school and how the affects of insecure attachment are life long. Sarah Lepley, Service Manager, says:

'This brought home the importance of supporting parents and carers so they will be able to meet their children’s needs in the longer term, and how important ongoing support to empower young people will be going forward.'

Input from Family Action’s Children’s Therapeutic Service in Leicester provided a welcome clinical perspective on how to meet the needs of this group of families in a bespoke manner; this required the expert input available through the Adoption Support Fund. On a positive note, virtually everyone present was able to identify excellent practice in schools supporting the special needs of pupils who have experienced loss and trauma. There was also an appreciation that through a number of regional initiatives attachment is being made understandable for parents, carers and professionals, to help children and young people fulfil their potential in all aspects of life.

The specific notes from the event have been collated and will be shared widely with partners in the East Midlands to inform how we work and what we do in future.

Thank you to everyone who attended our first focus group meeting. If you have ideas or comments on what is needed to help children, young people, families and carers to have the best possible outcomes, or if you have an example of best practice you would like to share, please email: Sarah.lepley@family-action.org.uk