Council leaders plan to speed up adoption process
Published: 04.04.13Councils should be allowed to work together to improve the adoption system rather than being removed from it, local authority leaders have claimed.
In a joint submission to the Government, the Local Government Association (LGA), the Association of Directors of Children's Services (ADCS) and the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives (Solace) have set out proposals to increase the number of adopters recruited and speed up the process of finding new homes for children in care.
The measures would see councils work more closely together to help match suitable adopters with children in other parts of the country. Targeted support work would focus on speeding up the process of matching children who had spent the longest in care with adoptive parents. By 31 March 2014, the organisations want to reduce the national adopter shortfall which could be up to 3,000 adopters by 50 per cent.
The measures are being put forward as an alternative to government proposals to remove councils from the process of recruiting adopters altogether.
David Simmonds, Chairman of the Local Government Association's Children and Young People Board, said:
"Removing councils from the process of recruiting adopters would be a reckless gamble that risks making things worse for adoptive parents and children in care.
"We have set out an honest appraisal of what we can do better, and how we will ensure those improvements happen quickly.
"Government needs to play its part by finally delivering on its pledge to reduce the heavy legal burden of care proceedings and ridiculous bureaucracy which causes huge delays that can put some people off adopting altogether. "
Adopter recruitment, assessment and approval: ADCS, LGA and SOLACE commitments to a sector-defined approach to increasing the number of approved adopters