Robin Walker, MP for Worcester, has welcomed the recent announcement from the

Treasury ahead of tomorrow’s Budget, that children in local authority care who are waiting to

find new parents are to be helped with a £30m package of support.

 

The money will be used to pay fees that local authorities are charged by adoption agencies

or other councils for finding, assessing and matching an adoptive parent and child.

Currently a £27,000 fee is paid for an adoptive parent found from outside a local authority’s

border either by another council or by one of 30 voluntary sector adoption agencies.

Worcestershire County Council will be welcoming the government money to support them to

access a wider range of adopters to provide a stable and loving home for their children in

care.

 

Ministers believe the fee acts as a disincentive to local authorities making a thorough search

outside their borough for potential parents, particularly for children least likely to find a new

home.

 

The Government’s Education and Adoption bill will also include new powers to require local

authorities to merge or outsource services to single regional agencies if they do not do so

themselves within two years.

 

As PPS to the Secretary of State for Education, Robin has been attending the Education and

Adoption Bill scrutiny committees. Despite dramatic improvements during the last

Parliament, which saw a record high in the number of adoptions, the adoption system is still

highly fragmented. The adoption reforms have simplified the adoption system to encourage

more people to adopt and make sure children are placed swiftly with a family where this is in

their best interests. This Bill establishes powers to tackle inefficiencies in the current

adoption system and ensure more children are found loving, stable homes.

 

The measures in the Bill will lead to the consolidation of adoption services and councils

working together as regional adoption agencies. This will give local authorities a greater pool

of approved adopters with which to match vulnerable children successfully first time; make

vital support services more widely available to adoptive families; and ensure recruitment of

adopters is better targeted. It gives the Secretary of State the power to direct local

authorities to consolidate their adoption services by directing one or more local authorities to

have certain adoption functions carried out on their behalf by a named local authority or

adoption agency.

 

Robin said:

“Adoption can provide stable loving homes to children in some of the most difficult and

traumatic circumstances. As Adoption Minister Edward Timpson has brought his great

personal and family experience, coming from a family that both fostered and adopted

children, to support those seeking to adopt and drive improvements in the process.

Speeding up adoption not only makes a real difference to the amount of time that children

spend in care, it also improves the life chances of vulnerable young people. I am very proud

to be working with such a Minister on vital legislation to further improve the chances of

successful adoptions and I warmly welcome the extra funds that have been announced from

the Treasury.”

 

Cllr John Campion, Worcestershire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and

Families said: “Worcestershire has a good record in improving how quickly children get adopted. This

grant is a welcome addition to our efforts and will help us to build further on what is already

impressive performance against the government targets for adoption. The additional funding

will allow us to place more children in a stable and loving home that is the best fit for

everyone involved.”

 

Notes to Editors:

For more information on the regional adoption agencies:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/regional-adoption-agencies-programme

For more information on the Education and Adoption Bill:

http://services.parliament.uk/bills/2015-16/educationandadoption/documents.html

For more information on adopting in Worcestershire:

http://www.worcestershire.gov.uk/info/20028/adoption_and_fostering