The Role of the Social Worker in Adoption – Ethics and Human Rights: An Enquiry.
Featherstone, Brid. Gupta, Anna. Mills, Sue.
British Association of Social Workers (BASW). University of Huddersfield. University of London. Royal Holloway.
British Association of Social Workers
Wellesley House, 37 Waterloo Street
Birmingham, B2 5PP, Tel: +44 (0) 121 622 3911
Fax: +44 (0) 121 622 4860
In 2016, the British Association of Social Workers (BASW) commissioned an enquiry into the role of the social worker in adoption with a focus on ethics and human rights. The enquiry considered adoptions undertaken by local authorities across the four UK nations, England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. A total of 105 social workers, 56 birth family members, 44 adoptive parents, 32 adopted people, 15 legal personnel, 24 academics, 24 related professionals, and 13 organizations participated in the enquiry. Following an introduction, Section 1 focuses on the current use of adoption, drawing together responses from participants across the stakeholder groups. Section 2 considers the role of the social worker in adoption from the perspective of social workers and Section 3 explores the role of the social worker from the perspectives of families (birth families, adoptive families and adopted people). The perspectives of other stakeholders, including legal personnel, academics, related professionals and organizations, are discussed in Section 4, and Section 5 discusses the ethical and human rights implications for social workers involved in adoption. The report concludes with the following recommendations: the use of adoption needs to be located and discussed in the context of wider social policies relating to poverty and inequality; UK governments should collect and publish data on the economic and social circumstances of families affected by adoption; the current model of adoption should be reviewed, and the potential for a more open approach considered; there needs to be further debate about the status of adoption and its relationship to other permanence options; and BASW should develop further work on the role of the social worker in adoption and the human rights and ethics involved. 24 references.
United Kingdom; adoption; adopted children; birth parents; ethics; parental attitudes; childs attitudes; human rights; professional conduct; values; socioeconomic influences; social problems; open adoption; permanency; social workers role