— UK Prime Minister (@Number10gov) November 2, 2015
The Prime Minister has announced:
- new measures to double the number of children placed with their adoptive family sooner
- children to be placed with relatives who are most able to look after them, and not distant unsuitable relations they have never met
- all council adoption services to be merged into regional bodies so children can be matched with parents more quickly
New measures should result in an increase to the number of children adopted and will further speed up processes. The reforms will challenge councils to double the number of children placed with their new adoptive families at the earliest possible point, halving the time they are waiting in care for the full process to be completed.
In this weeks press release the Prime Minister David Cameron said:
“It is a tragedy that there are still too many children waiting to be placed with a loving family – we have made real progress but it remains a problem.
As Prime Minister I want to make sure that we do everything we can so children are placed in a loving home as soon as possible, giving them the best chance for a happy and fulfilled life.”
The reforms outlined include:
Placing children with their adoptive family sooner
More early placement for adoption, so children move in with their prospective new family sooner, without having to wait for the full process to complete.
Special Guardianship Orders
Changes to existing regulations so councils have to carry out more thorough assessments to make sure children are in the right home, where there is an established strong bond, and relatives they are placed with can look after the child right up until they are 18.
Changes to adoption law
The government is actively considering changes to adoption law, to make sure decisions are being made in the child’s best interests. Ministers will look at proposals so that where adoption is the right thing for children, social workers and courts pursue this.
Regional Adoption Agencies
Under the Education and Adoption Bill, the government will also create new Regional Adoption Agencies that make it easier to match adopters with children needing homes. 140 out of 150 councils have already applied to merge and streamline their services.
The government will use new legislative powers to intervene to ensure that all councils have plans to join regional agencies by 2017 – so that the whole system is in regional agencies by 2020.
Read more: Press Release