£48 Million Strategy to Improve Adoption Services in England Launched

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July 26, 2021 Updated: July 26, 2021

A new £48 million ($66 million) National Adoption Strategy has been launched to improve adoption services in England.

The government said the strategy will aim to better support families when adopting by tackling “the postcode lottery,” and breaking down “barriers to creating permanent, stable, and loving homes as quickly as possible.”

The investment is set to improve the country’s adoption services by removing unnecessary delays, providing more training for frontline staff, and funding targeted recruitment campaigns to better match prospective adopters with children and young people.

A new framework of national standards will also be introduced to end the “postcode lottery” which often sees the quality of adoption services depend on where a child or adopter lives.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “There is no substitute for a loving, permanent family. A stable family unit is key to boosting life chances and there are so many adoptive parents across the country who have opened their homes and hearts to some of our most vulnerable children, often with very challenging backgrounds.

“We are committed to improving adoption services, as well as breaking down barriers so that parents from all walks of life can adopt and to ensure they are not deterred from adopting simply because of their background.

“We have taken steps to ensure these children and young people can be matched with the families that are right for them, but we know there is more to do and this strategy sets out our vision for radically improving systems so that we can be confident that every adoptive family in England is receiving the same high-quality service no matter where they live.”

The strategy was welcomed by leading charity Adoption UK, but chief executive Sue Armstrong Brown stressed strong leadership and scrutiny will be needed to ensure it delivers on its promises.

She said: “There is much to commend in the government’s new adoption strategy. We warmly welcome the emphasis on listening to the voices of adopted people and adopters.

“The commitment to giving families the support they need, when they need it is an important acknowledgment that adoption is only the beginning of healing for children who have experienced trauma.

“Much of the success of the strategy relies on the ability of the Regional Adoption Agencies (RAAs) to make big shifts in mindset and practice. Without the backing of new legislation, this is a leap of faith.

“RAAs will need support, challenge, and scrutiny over the coming years in order to deliver the kind of change that will give every adopted child the best chance of a bright future.”

By John Besley

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