Adoptive parent checks: overhaul planned in Englan
The government is to overhaul the way people in England are checked to see if they are suitable to adopt children.
It has set up a new panel which will work with its adoption adviser, Martin Narey, to draw up plans.
Ministers say the process is “painfully slow” and that many are put off, while others are turned away unnecessarily for being overweight or ex-smokers.
The government has pledged to speed up the adoption system and says it wants more children adopted.
It says children wait an average of two years and seven months to be adopted, while it can take a year for a couple or individual to be approved to adopt.
Earlier this year ministers highlighted figures which showed that of the 3,660 children under the age of one who were in care in England last year, only 60 were adopted.
They say they want a “common-sense” approach.
Children’s minister Tim Loughton said: “The assessment process for people wanting to adopt is painfully slow, repetitive and ineffective. Dedicated social workers are spending too long filling out forms instead of making sound, common-sense judgements about someone’s suitability to adopt.
“Children are waiting too long because we are losing many potentially suitable adoptive parents to a system which doesn’t welcome them and often turns them away at the door.
“We cannot afford to sit back and lose potential adoptive parents when there are children who could benefit hugely from the loving home they can provide.”
The new panel will include representatives from the British Association of Adoption and Fostering, the Association of Directors of Children’s Services, Adoption UK and the Consortium of Voluntary Adoption Agencies.
They have been asked to suggest ways to improve the way would-be adoptive parents are recruited, assessed and trained and to “remove bureaucracy and over-prescription” in information collected about them.
Source: BBC NEWS Website