The department of health’s decision to delay the
introduction of new support arrangements for adopting parents has
been welcomed by adoption groups, writes Derren
The six-month delay of the Adoption Support Services Regulations
2003 means the new arrangements will not now come into force until
late October. Following a consultation over the past few months,
the doh decided the original deadline of 28 April was too tight,
and that local authorities needed more time to plan for, and
implement, the changes.
Felicity Collier, chief executive of Baaf Adoption and
Fostering, said she was “delighted the department has listened”
because aspects of the regulations could cause confusion for
“Adoption allowances can vary between authorities and if the one
where the child is being placed is different to that of the placing
authority, or there are budget difficulties with the adoption
allowance, it could leave the adopters in a very vulnerable
position,” she explained.
Collier believes placing authorities should pay for allowances
for the first two years after an order has been made.
The doh still intends to publish the regulations and supporting
guidance later this month.
Jonathan Pearce, new director of Adoption UK, welcomed the delay
saying the initial timescale was “a leap too far” for councils, but
voiced concerns over whether the department was going to have the
time to amend the regulations to take into account issues raised by
The regulations, the first to come out of the Adoption and
Children Act 2002, also require councils to provide counselling,
information and advice services for existing and prospective
adopters and establish support groups and plans for prospective
adopters setting out objectives, key services and a timescale for