20 Sep 2012
Adoption services in England are set to receive a cash injection of £8 million to help introduce measures aimed at speeding up the adoption process.
The Government funding will be available from this year to help local authorities across the country develop the necessary skills and working arrangements to deliver a programme of reform that will include a new six-month assessment process.
A Government consultation on the proposed measures to speed up the system has also been announced.
Proposals include a fast track process for previously approved adopters and fosterers and quicker assessment processes for new adopters. The Government also wants councils to increase the amount of ‘fostering for adoption’ taking place – allowing prospective adopters to act as temporary foster carers to children that they hope to eventually adopt.
The measures form part of an ambitious reform programme to ensure that more children, for whom adoption is the best option, can be placed more quickly with permanent families.
Edward Timpson, Minister for Children and Families, said:
“I want more children in care to have the opportunity of a stable, loving environment where they can reach their full potential, whatever their start in life. Sadly I have come across too many potential adopters who have given up, frustrated by the system and foster carers exasperated by the bureaucracy required for every day tasks.”
“I want the process to be as hassle-free as possible. Vital safeguards will remain, but no-one benefits from pointless paperwork. By cutting back the rules that only hinder I hope that more and more people will come forward to become adopters and fosterers to enrich their own life, as well as the lives of the many children who deserve a decent childhood.”
The new measures are set for introduction next year after completion of the consultation.
Consultation on adoption and fostering proposals: