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
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
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 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
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
Notes to Editors:
For more information on the regional adoption agencies:
For more information on the Education and Adoption Bill:
For more information on adopting in Worcestershire: