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Children's Socail Care Review has bold ambitions but leaves children adopted from care in the shadows

ADOPTION UK praises the bold ambition in the final report of the Independent Review of Children's Social Care. However, the charity warns the decision to largely leave out adoption means a vital part of the care story is missing and risks creating siloes in the system. It also means thousands of children adopted from care will not benefit from some of the radical reforms being proposed.

The report calls for a fundamental reset of the children's social care system, with an investment of £2.6bn to fund a five-year programme of reform, to include:- more support for struggling birth families, an investment in kinship care, recruitment of thousands of new foster carers, significant reforms to social care training and practice, and the establishment of new Regional Care Cooperatives.

Adoption UK has worked with the adoption community for over a year to input to the review.

Director of Communications and Public Affairs Alison Woodhead said:- "We welcome the call for deep reform, the focus on sustained, loving relationships and the recommendation for a new protected characteristic for care experienced people. Sadly, children adopted from care are in the shadows of the report. Adopted children have the same traumatic start in life, with the same lasting effects and the same ongoing need for support. Until every child adopted from care is thriving, we will not have properly reformed the system."

The call for an overhaul of birth family contact, called for by the adoption community during the review process, is welcome. Contact is a key area of focus for this year's Adoption Barometer, to be published by Adoption UK in June. The Barometer is the only comprehensive annual assessment of adoption policy and practice and is based on a large-scale survey of adopters and adopted people.

79% of young people believe they have missed out at work due to a lack of assertiveness

ACUITY Training questioned 500 employees in a variety of sectors and age groups to investigate questions like how assertive people think they are and the ways they learnt to be assertive in workplace situations. Acuity Training defined assertiveness as individuals feeling like they can reveal their point of view and opinion at work. Their research found that an average of 88% of those surveyed believe that they are assertive at work. If we look at this from the perspective of gender, 80% of women believe that they are assertive at work compared to a whopping 97% of men. The survey also explored the percentage of people who believe they are naturally assertive at work. It was found that almost 1 in 5 people believed that they had always been assertive and therefore haven't had to learn to be more assertive. This figure was the same for both men and women. It was also revealed that the ways people learn to be more assertive, 57% answered that they have naturally become more assertive with age, 18% said through mentoring, 18% replied through practice without external help and finally only 4% have been on a training course. The survey also discovered that 55% of workers believe they have missed out at work due to not being assertive enough. Conversely, 41% answered that they didn't feel this way and finally 4% of those polled were unsure whether they had missed out or not. From looking at age, 79% of young people (under 35) think that they have missed out at work because they have not been assertive enough. On the other hand, 51% of older people (over 45) think that they've missed out. Acuity Training also explored if those polled find it easier or harder to be more assertive during a video call. They found that 54% find it easier to be assertive on a video call whereas 46% of people find it more difficult. 55% of men compared to 52% of women feel it is easier to be assertive on a video call.

Acuity Training's director Ben Richardson said:- "We wanted to explore workers' assertiveness as it's an essential trait for employees because it allows them to get their message across in an assertive way without being viewed as aggressive. Our poll exploring assertiveness in the workplace yielded some interesting results. For instance, we found that 80% of women believe that they are assertive at work compared to a whopping 97% of men. We hope our research inspires more people to be assertive in their place of work because it's essential for all voices to be heard."


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