Call for more funding to support new national target for adoption

Adoption & Fostering has called for more adoption funding in
response to the government’s announcement of a new national target
to speed up the adoption process.

BAAF has
backed health minister Jacqui Smith’s announcement of a public
service agreement (PSA) target that by the end of March 2005 at
least 95 per cent of looked-after children who are waiting for
adoption should be placed within 12 months of the decision that
adoption is in their best interests.

chief executive Felicity Collier added that it was “vital” for
government to allocate more funding for adoption activity “to
ensure local authorities are able to provide the range of support
services necessary if adopters are to come forward for our most
challenging children”.

is the latest part in the government’s drive to improve adoption
services, which began with the adoption white paper over a year
ago. It has also included the publication of National Adoption
Standards, the launch of a National Adoption Register and the
introduction of the Adoption and Children Bill currently before

described the latest target as challenging and ambitious, but

The rest
of the PSA embraces the government’s commitment to see the number
of children adopted from care increased by at least 40 per cent by
2004-5 – up from 2,700 in 1999-2000.

targets will be monitored on a national basis through a new annual
adoption statistical collection. The targets are supported by the
national standards, which include an expectation that the usual
timescale between the best interest decision and a suitable match
being identified and agreed should be six months, except when this
would not be in the best interests of the child. Local authorities
and adoption agencies have until April 2003 to implement the

estimate that an extra 5,000 families are needed every year to meet
these targets on adoption,” said Collier. “My concern is that
social workers must not be discouraged from making adoption plans
because families are not readily available when greater resources
could make placements possible within the new timescales.”

– Local
Authority Circular LAC(2001)33 available from 

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