The Department for Education has announced an extra £50m to support to the introduction of its adoption reforms in England and the creation of a leadership board to oversee the changes.
“I’ve seen promising progress this year – a significant rise in adoptions and a huge increase in the numbers of adopters,” said children and families minister Edward Timpson, “but I am determined to do everything in my power to ensure the 6,000 children waiting are offered safe and caring homes.
“Our new Adoption Leadership Board will play an important role in ensuring local authorities and adoption agencies stay on track and recruit more adopters – and a further £50m for councils in 2014 will help them put the building blocks in place to implement our reforms.”
The government has also launched enhanced adoption maps for prospective adopters who want to find out more about different agencies and their performance.
Andrew Webb, president of the Association of Directors of Children’s Services, welcomed the announcements: “The creation of a new sector-owned Adoption Leadership Board in conjunction with £50m of funding to support the further implementation of adoption reforms will help to ensure that every child that needs a new permanent family will be matched with one in a suitable timescale.”
Srabeni Sen, chief executive of the British Association for Adoption & Fostering, added: “Establishing a sector-wide Adoption Leadership Board to oversee the progress and sustainability of that work is to be welcome as an important next step.
“Ensuring that local authorities have the funding to maintain and sustain their contribution to this important challenge is equally to be welcomed. 2014 will be a critical year in the delivery of the adoption reform agenda and these announcements should play an important part in ensuring that the resources will be available to enable that.”