Sex, sexuality and relationships: developing confidence and discernment when assessing lesbian and gay prospective adopters

2.50
Hdl Handle:
http://hdl.handle.net/10547/301911
Title:
Sex, sexuality and relationships: developing confidence and discernment when assessing lesbian and gay prospective adopters
Authors:
Cosis-Brown, Helen;; Cocker, Christine
Abstract:
In the UK, the last 15 years have seen a profound change in the way that lesbians and gay men have been socially and politically located and acknowledged. This is evidenced by recent legislative changes that have given protection to lesbians and gay men and placed a duty on public bodies to provide equitable services. For a number of years lesbians and gay men have been specifically targeted, recruited and utilised as adopters of children in public care. With these changes has come the realisation that a number of complexities in adoption practice have been insufficiently addressed. Brown and Cocker (2008) have argued that in the assessment of prospective lesbian and gay adopters, struggling with complexities is crucial for safe and effective assessment of suitability to be realised. This appreciation of the complexity of practice has been articulated in the Independent Inquiry into the Circumstances of Child Sexual Abuse by Two Foster Carers in Wakefield (Parrott et al, 2007). The report noted that the ‘homosexuality’ of the foster carers became the primary focus of social work anxiety. This happened at the expense of holistic considerations of both the carers’ potential and their actual foster care practice. Although these findings relate to foster care, they are transferable to the adoption field. The authors of the Inquiry emphasised the importance of ‘discrimination’ in practice, arguing that ‘discrimination’ was essential for discerning and analytical assessment, support and supervision. This article by Christine Cocker and Helen Cosis Brown offers a conceptual framework as well as practice tools to facilitate such discriminatory, effective, discerning and comprehensive assessments of lesbian and gay prospective adopters. The paramountcy of the child’s welfare has to remain central to developments in adoption practice. This article maintains this centrality.
Affiliation:
Middlesex University
Citation:
Cocker, C., & Cosis-Brown, H. (2010) 'Sex, sexuality and relationships: Developing confidence and discernment when assessing lesbian and gay prospective adopters' Adoption & Fostering, 34(1), 20-32.
Publisher:
British Agencies For Adoption
Journal:
Adoption & fostering : the journal of the Association of British Adoption and Fostering Agencies.
Issue Date:
17-Jun-2010
URI:
http://hdl.handle.net/10547/301911
DOI:
10.1177/030857591003400103
Additional Links:
http://aaf.sagepub.com/content/34/1/20.short
Type:
Article
Language:
en
ISSN:
0308-5759
Appears in Collections:
Social Work, Professional Practice and the Law

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.contributor.authorCosis-Brown, Helen;en_GB
dc.contributor.authorCocker, Christineen_GB
dc.date.accessioned2013-09-19T12:57:52Zen
dc.date.available2013-09-19T12:57:52Zen
dc.date.issued2010-06-17en
dc.identifier.citationCocker, C., & Cosis-Brown, H. (2010) 'Sex, sexuality and relationships: Developing confidence and discernment when assessing lesbian and gay prospective adopters' Adoption & Fostering, 34(1), 20-32.en_GB
dc.identifier.issn0308-5759en
dc.identifier.doi10.1177/030857591003400103en
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10547/301911en
dc.description.abstractIn the UK, the last 15 years have seen a profound change in the way that lesbians and gay men have been socially and politically located and acknowledged. This is evidenced by recent legislative changes that have given protection to lesbians and gay men and placed a duty on public bodies to provide equitable services. For a number of years lesbians and gay men have been specifically targeted, recruited and utilised as adopters of children in public care. With these changes has come the realisation that a number of complexities in adoption practice have been insufficiently addressed. Brown and Cocker (2008) have argued that in the assessment of prospective lesbian and gay adopters, struggling with complexities is crucial for safe and effective assessment of suitability to be realised. This appreciation of the complexity of practice has been articulated in the Independent Inquiry into the Circumstances of Child Sexual Abuse by Two Foster Carers in Wakefield (Parrott et al, 2007). The report noted that the ‘homosexuality’ of the foster carers became the primary focus of social work anxiety. This happened at the expense of holistic considerations of both the carers’ potential and their actual foster care practice. Although these findings relate to foster care, they are transferable to the adoption field. The authors of the Inquiry emphasised the importance of ‘discrimination’ in practice, arguing that ‘discrimination’ was essential for discerning and analytical assessment, support and supervision. This article by Christine Cocker and Helen Cosis Brown offers a conceptual framework as well as practice tools to facilitate such discriminatory, effective, discerning and comprehensive assessments of lesbian and gay prospective adopters. The paramountcy of the child’s welfare has to remain central to developments in adoption practice. This article maintains this centrality.en_GB
dc.language.isoenen
dc.publisherBritish Agencies For Adoptionen_GB
dc.relation.urlhttp://aaf.sagepub.com/content/34/1/20.shorten_GB
dc.subjectadoptionen_GB
dc.subjectassessmenten_GB
dc.subjectdiscernmenten_GB
dc.subjectdiscriminationen_GB
dc.subjectgay menen_GB
dc.subjectlesbiansen_GB
dc.subjectsexen_GB
dc.subjectsexualityen_GB
dc.titleSex, sexuality and relationships: developing confidence and discernment when assessing lesbian and gay prospective adoptersen
dc.typeArticleen
dc.contributor.departmentMiddlesex Universityen_GB
dc.identifier.journalAdoption & fostering : the journal of the Association of British Adoption and Fostering Agencies.en_GB
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