ADCS Response to the Government’s Latest Adoption Announcement

Commenting on the publication of the government’s new adoption policy paper, Alison O’Sullivan, President of the Association of Directors of Children’s Services, said:

“Our members have been working with the government, voluntary adoption agencies and the courts to improve the adoption process and significant progress has been made to date. While there is still more to do our members are committed to ensuring a strong focus on adoption and all other forms of permanence. Every child deserves a loving, stable family and finding the best possible match for each individual child, or sibling group, is a primary concern for our members.

“ADCS welcomes the government’s ongoing commitment to adoption and its recognition of the importance of all forms of permanence in this latest policy paper. Confirmation that government funding for the Adoption Support Fund will continue until 2020 is most welcome, as is the news it will extend to special guardianship orders. Local authorities would however not be able to maintain the current levels of provision in the future if this valuable funding is removed by the government so we are keen to be involved in the early development of a sustainable long term model. We are also keen to improve access to, and the provision of, mental health services for children and young people who have been adopted. These services are in need of significant investment.”

On regional adoption agencies:

“We welcome the government’s additional funding commitment to support innovation during the development of regional arrangements but we are absolutely clear that local areas should be free to put in place the best arrangements to suit local needs.

“Plans for the regulation and inspection of RAAs need careful consideration to ensure that all partners, and the inspectorate, are not overburdened by a duplicative process. We must not detract focus and valuable resources from children and young people to service the process of inspection.”

On the appointment of Andrew Christie as Chair of the Adoption Leadership Board:

“The Association warmly welcomes the appointment of Andrew Christie as chair of the Adoption Leadership Board. Andrew has spent his entire career working with vulnerable children and young people as a social worker and latterly as a director of children’s services. We look forward to working with him to improve services and outcomes for adopted children and young people and adopters. We would like to thank Sir Martin Narey for his hard work to date in this area.”


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