New adoption standards and register announced

The government has unveiled new standards for adoption and a
national register, with a commitment to increase the rate of
adoptions by 40 per cent.

Local authorities have also been set targets of ensuring that
the average time taken to make an adoption decision about a looked
after child should be a year and four months, and the average time
from a decision to placement should be seven months.

The register, which will be run by charity Norwood Ravenswood,
will contain the details of all children waiting to be adopted and
approved adoptive families. A team of staff will offer advice on
matches, which will then be considered locally by social workers in
the usual way.

Health minister Jacqui Smith said: ‘The adoption register and
national standards are key to transforming the adoption

‘Once adoption has been identified as the best course of action
we are determined that children are adopted as quickly as
possible,” she said.

* A longer more detailed report will appear

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