Adoption agencies are to receive government funding from the Department of Education to match families to children placed for adoption.

The funding, worth £ 4.5 million, will transform and streamline the care system by grouping all local authorities into a designated adoption agencies based on their region.

Around 5,000 children were matched with adoptive families in 2014, but more than three thousand are still waiting for their ‘forever families’. Although adoptive parents are readily available, over 50% of the children have spent more than eighteen months in care.
AdoptionRecent research has highlighted that children are suffering harm because of the reluctance of local authorities to find a match beyond their borders, leaving nearly 1 in 3 children in limbo, waiting for a new family.

The councils are intended to act collaboratively as regional adoption agencies to target and recruit people willing to adopt.

They will then collectively develop and implement ancillary services for the benefit of adoptive families to support them in their role as adoptive parents.

The move will no doubt be welcomed, because as our recent article highlighted, ancillary services to support adoptions which run into problems are sorely lacking, often leading the adoptions to break down and the children returning to emergency care.

The government is hoping this measure will give local authorities a reservoir of suitable adopters who can be matched with children in need of a home. It is expected that the cash injection into the care system will encourage adoption agencies to work in partnership to find suitable matches which will reduce institutional barriers, leading to ever greater efficiency, expertise, and specialism

The current concern is that there is an uneven ratio of families to children within the adoption system due to bureaucratic delays which is why the government is attempting to remove this obstacle in order to ensure more children can be placed in caring homes.

The funding will ultimately allow regional adoption agencies greater organisational adaptability and eliminate the restrictions induced by by the rules of the larger organisation that they sit within.


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