The last two years have seen adoption rates fall by 50% leading the government to propose drastic changes, making it clear to councils that children must be placed with the person best able to care for them up until their 18th birthday. The updated legislation will prioritise lifelong stability with a loving family by making this a legal requirement, ensuring the child’s lifelong needs are considered.
Education Secretary Nicky Morgan said: ‘Every single day a child spends waiting in care is a further delay to a life full of love and stability – and this simply isn’t good enough. We have a responsibility to transform the lives of our most vulnerable children, making sure they get the opportunities they deserve.’
This change in legislation comes after concerns that councils often do not consider the long term benefit and stability that adoptive families can provide and priority is given to what is best in the short term.
The government will also boost funding by £200 million for the following purposes:
- To speed up of adoptions of harder-to-place children
- To support the creation of new regional adoption agencies to improve the recruitment of adopters – and the matching with children
- To strengthen voluntary adoption agencies
- To ensure social workers have the right knowledge and skills to make robust decisions about the best placements for children
To find out more about this change in legislation, please visit the GOV website.