This National Adoption Week we have been reminded of all the ordinary people doing extraordinary things, enabling children who most need it to have safe and loving families.
Adoption agencies and the Government can be proud of the progress made since the Adoption Reform Programme was introduced in 2012, in making sure children can swiftly find the placement they need. But now, this is at risk. The adoption system is under severe pressure.
In the face of structural reform and budget contractions, the capacity to assess families is falling well below the level needed. Today the numbers of children waiting outnumber approved adopters by three to one. This is a major concern with serious consequences for these children.
This also represents a growing cost of care which is avoidable: just 25 days delay in achieving adoption costs local authorities £10m a year.
Foster care is a loving and appropriate solution for many children in care, and adoption is and always will be for the few and not the many. But we urge the Government not to lose sight of these vulnerable children and refocus its efforts to safeguard their lifelong stability.
Dr Carol Homden CBE, CEO, Coram
Jan Fishwick OBE, CEO, Parents And Children Together (PACT)
Norman Goodwin CBE, CEO, Adoption Matters
Jim Clifford OBE, Chair to the Board of Trustees, PAC-UK
Maggie Pitts, CEO, CCS Adoption
Alison Miller, CEO, St Francis’ Children’s Society
Terry Fitzpatrick, Director, ARC Adoption
Lynda Fletcher, CEO, Faith in Families
David McGuire, CEO, Diagrama Foundation