The plan called Adoption: A vision for change was unveiled by Nick Morgan, education secretary, and proposes a 4 year strategy that will see children placed with adoptive parents without the delays that are currently being experienced.
By 2020, the government vow to:
- End delay for vulnerable children in care by providing larger local pools of approved adopters by making sure every single council is part of a regional adoption agency by 2020, backed by £14 million
- Transform support on offer for adoptive families by becoming the first country in the world to provide vital therapeutic services to all adopted young people up to the age of 21 – as well as the selfless family and friends who care for them – backed by a new commitment totalling over £49 million
- Make sure social workers have the skills to make the right decisions for adoptive families by clearly setting out how social workers must prioritise adoption where it is in the best interest of the child
- Shine a light on poor performance, and hold councils and adoption agencies to account by introducing scorecards which will be used to hold regional agencies to account for long delays between a child entering care and moving in with their new family
- Encourage local innovation in the way children and adopters are matched by investing £14 million in a new practice and innovation fund, supporting councils and regional adoption agencies to develop new ways of working.
In addition, those vulnerable children will be assigned a designated teacher and a ‘virtual school head’ in order to offer them more education support that the government hopes will improve the educational attainment of adopted children.
Nick Morgan said in a statement, “We cannot stand by while children spend months in care waiting for their new family, when loving parents are available. We cannot preside over a situation where adopted children are less likely to do well at school than their classmates. And we mustn’t fail to take action against stifling red tape that stops councils from matching children with the families that are right for them… This radical new vision will make sure decisions rightly prioritise children’s long-term stability and happiness, so that children are placed with their new family as quickly as possible – helping them fulfil their potential and get the very best start in life.”
To read the strategy document please visit the GOV.UK website.