It’s National Adoption Week and new performance tables released his week show a huge variation in how well local authorities are looking after the children in their care. Currently the average length of time for an adoption to take place is two years and seven months. With only sixty children out of the 3,600 children under the age of one in care, being adopted last year.
The stats are pretty shocking and as a result the Government says it wants to overhaul the care and adoption system to speed it up and improve chances of vulnerable children. While improving the system is something to be applauded I do get the sneaking suspicion that social workers are being blamed again.
It’s easy to say adoption should be speeded up, but in the current climate of redundancies in the public sector it’s hard to see how overworked social workers can make this safely happen, no matter how much we all feel it should.
Alongside this there is also a shortage of prospective adopters and carers, probably put off by off by not-always-true stories of the toughness of the assessment procedure and the idea of who can and can’t adopt or foster. The scope is wider than most people imagine which is why a new recruitment drive has been launched to challenge some of these myths and encourage more of us to come forward an adopt and foster children.
The ‘Give a Child a Home’ campaign has been launched by the British Association of Adoption and Fostering and Fostering Network to emphasis that thousands of children are waiting in the system for suitable families. Parents and foster carers are needed for all children, particularly those who are hard to find homes for, such as sibling groups, older children and black children, .
Lastly the government is very keen to know your views on what might be done to help more people to adopt, as well as speed up the adoption process.
If you have been through the process yourself do let me know your views, or if you have an idea on how to improve the process and encourage more people to come forward post a view on the Department for Education Give a Child a Home Facebook page.