Education and Skills written question – answered on 5th March 2007.

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Photo of Andrew Smith Andrew Smith Labour, Oxford East

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what research he (a) has commissioned and (b) plans to commission on the long-term effects of open contact arrangements for adopted children.

Photo of Parmjit Dhanda Parmjit Dhanda Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Education and Skills

The Department has commissioned, as part of its Adoption Research Initiative, a study of the management and support of contact arrangements, following placements for adoption, with a particular focus on more complex situations, such as where there are concerns about child protection, domestic violence or a breakdown in the relationship between a child's birth and adoptive families.

This study is being conducted in two phases. The first phase will map the services supporting birth relatives and services supporting contact provided by local authorities, including those provided in conjunction with voluntary adoption agencies and adoption support agencies. An executive summary is due to be published on the research section of the Department's website at on 29 March 2007, and we will ensure that hard copies are placed in the House Library. The second phase, which will evaluate the impact and outcomes of these support services, and examine their costs, is due to be completed in June 2008.

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