03/09/2015 – STATEMENT – ADOPTION SOCIAL WORK

October 5, 2015

Speeches, Statements

STATEMENT – ADOPTION SOCIAL WORK

Cheryllyn Dudley MP ACDP

The ACDP acknowledges work being done on amendments to the Children’s Act which includes attention to improving the adoption process.  A process that is currently leaving many adoption social workers feeling frustrated and disrespected.

A spokesperson on the Professional Board for Social Work at the SA Council for Social Service Professions, says all too often the best interest of the child is not the priority and instead it is procedures such as obtaining Section 239 recommendation letters and attending panels at DSD offices that are prioritised causing serious delays.

No consistency between courts on adoption procedure and requirements also causes delays in finalising adoptions despite the the provision in Section 6 that “in any matter concerning a child, a delay in any action or decision…must be avoided as far as possible.”  

Presently a contentious issue regarding proposed amendments stems from Section 1(c) which brings an addition to the definition of adoption social worker, to include a social worker in the employ of the Department. Presently an adoption social worker has to register a speciality at the SA Council for Social Service Professions, to be able to practice and specific criteria are required.  Those concerned are not against social workers from the Department doing adoptions but they feel strongly that being a specialized field, all adoption social workers, regardless of their place of employment, must adhere to the same criteria.

The ACDP calls on the Social Development Portfolio Committee to factor in these concerns during deliberations and to ensure the process of adoption is streamlined for the benefit of the many children waiting to find loving homes.

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