Councils not ready for new regulations

Many councils are unprepared for the introduction of the adoption
support regulations this week and are freezing out the voluntary

The government has allocated £70m over three years to fund the
introduction of the regulations but councils are unsure what the
level of demand will be.

Jonathan Pearce, director of Adoption UK, said many councils were
“still grappling with the regulations and guidance” and would not
be ready for their introduction from 31 October “because they are
all starting from different levels”.

The new regulations, introduced under the Adoption and Children Act
2002, place responsibility for the first time on local authorities
to assess the needs of existing and former adopters and adopted
children, and provide a range of services including counselling,
advice and information, financial support, help with contact
arrangements and therapy.

Despite the complex and potentially costly nature of the
regulations, adoption groups said most local authorities had
decided to provide support services themselves rather than
commission them from voluntary adoption support agencies.

Yvette Gayford, chairperson of the Consortium of Voluntary Adoption
Agencies, said: “The reality seemsÉ that the money has gone
into the councils and they have created their own posts because
they think it’s the quickest way of doing something.”

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