Adoption figures fall again

Headline measures

2,000 children waiting to be adopted at 30 June 2016 has improved: 10% decrease from 31 March 2016 when there were 2,210 children waiting with a placement order not yet placed with an adoptive family.

Child timeliness has improved: The time taken between a child entering care and being placed with a family for children who have been adopted (Adoption Scorecard indicator A1) has decreased by 4 months since 2012-13, from 22 months to 18 months in 2015-16, this is unchanged since 2014-15. The latest quarterly data suggests there has been an improvement to 17 months during the first quarter of 2016-17.

At 8 months, the average number of days between placement order and match for children who have been adopted (Adoption Scorecard indicator A2) in 2015-16 has remained the same as in 2014-15. The latest quarterly data suggests that this has stayed the same at 8 months during the first quarter of 2016-17.

Adopter timeliness is declining: The latest quarterly data suggests adopter timeliness has been declining. In quarter 2 2013-14, 50% of approvals made by local authorities were made within 6 months of registration, while in quarter 1 2016-17 this had decreased to 31% of approvals. However this was an improvement on the 25% low in quarter 4 2014-15.

The timeliness of matches has declined. In quarter 4 2013-14, 80% of matches were made within 6 months of approval, compared to 45% in quarter 1 2016-17.

Other Key headlines

  • New ADM decisions and placement orders granted have fallen.
  • Children adopted from care has decreased.
  • Adoptive family approvals have increased slightly and registrations have decreased.
  • Reversal of decision during quarter 1 of 2016-17, 32% were due to the court not making a placement order, the same as in 2015-16.

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