Adopted children are twice as likely not to be in employment, education or training (NEET) as their peers, according to the first ever UK-wide assessment of adoption.
The charity Adoption UK today published The Adoption Barometer which recorded the experiences of 3,500 adoptive families across the UK.
While it found that adopted children are comparatively less likely to be in NEET, 16% of them have also had contact with the criminal justice system and 39% have needed help from mental health services.
Adoption UK said that the Government was still not addressing ‘the heart of the challenges faced by adoptive families, and especially families with older children.’
Three quarters of adopted children have suffered significant violence, abuse or neglect in their birth families, with a lasting impact that extends into early adulthood and affects life chances.
The Adoption Barometer found that 70% of adoptive families say they face a continual struggle for support from the Government when it comes to taking care of adopted children.
Around 65% of parents experienced violence or aggression from their child.
Despite the lack of Governmental support, 79% of families still said they would encourage others to adopt and 84% of prospective adopters said their social worker supported them through the process of approvals and matching.
‘These are strong and optimistic families, improving the life chances of some of the UK’s most complex and vulnerable children,’ said the report’s author, Becky Brooks.
‘But for too many families, getting support to help their children overcome their tough start in life is like fighting a losing battle.’