The Children’s Minister, Michelle Donelan, has recently written to Directors of Children’s Services telling them that: ‘ Adoption will therefore be a priority for the new Government and we also wish to see a renewed focus on adoption by all local authorities’
The Minister said adoption would be “a priority for the new government and we also wish to see a renewed focus on adoption by local authorities”. Though she said there were “a number of other options that can offer children permanence and stability including long-term foster care, kinship care and through special guardianship”, she stressed that ministers were “determined to see adoption pursued whenever it is in a child’s best interests”.
The letter added that councils should review their processes and procedures to ensure compliance with legislation – and that social workers understand it and work within it – in order to prevent prospective adopters being turned away as ineligible. She warned against rejecting candidates on the basis of income or marital status and said agencies “should not prioritise trying to find the ‘perfect’ ethnic match”
Children’s services leaders have criticised a government call for councils to prioritise adoption for children in care, saying it relegates other forms of permanence and ignores the impact of austerity.