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Finally, I'm going to talk about adoption

an effective intervention for children and
young people.
Adoption is widely regarded as an
effective intervention for
children who've been born into families
where there are
considerable risks associated with abuse,
neglect, domestic violence, substance
use are the multiple risks that prevent
adequate parenting.
For children where there is the prospect
of repatriation into such families through
improvements in parenting, fostering or
care can provide a good compromise
However, children who have been fostered
are institutionalized tend to show high
insecurity in
attachments and general delays in
development, suggesting
that this is not the best final solution.
In that respect, adoption provides a much
better option.
Nonetheless we know that adopted children
can have problems afterwards.
They make slower progress at school,
have more behavioral problems during
middle childhood,
and are more likely to be referred
to child and adolescent mental health
In light of this, IJzendorrn et al
a meta-analysis including 230,000 children
who'd been adopted or remained with their
birth families, fostered or
institutionalized to examine outcomes in
height, weight, IQ, self-esteem,
internalizing problems like anxiety
and depression, externalizing or behavior
problems and attachment security.
What they found they described as massive
particularly noticeable in height and
weight, but also
IQ and self-esteem showed no difference
compared to
children who'd grown up in their birth
Externalizing problems were slightly more
Attachment security was lower than that
for birth children, at
47% compared to 60 to 70% in birth family
But that's till twice as high as
children who had been fostered or
They concluded that adoption is a highly
effective intervention, building
resilience, and mitigating against the
risks of an early, challenging, childhood.
Of note, this meta-analysis just lists
adoption as an intervention.
And because it covers lots of studies, we
cancel out the effects of more specialist
or therapeutic interventions.
Therefore what we can see, is that this
relatively low level, non-professional
intervention, has dramatic outcomes for
reducing that risk and increasing
In summary, this week I've talked about
risk and resilience in children and young
I've highlighted that risks come in many
and forms, and at different times in
having different effects, and that
children will bring
different internal and external
susceptibility to those risks.
We've also seen that resilience building
interventions do not need to come
in the form of highly specialized
therapeutic interventions only delivered
by professionals, but
that actually those things that all
children are entitled to in their
are sufficient for children to recover
from early adversity and have good
Next week, I'll be talking about
attachment theory, widely considered to be
the most important theory to explain
psychosocial development in children and
young people.
I look forward to seeing you then.