The Queen’s Speech has outlined further improvements to the adoption system that aim to benefit children awaiting adoption by enabling them to be placed with a family far quicker.
The improvements include specific new powers that will require councils to combine their adoption functions if they fail to join together services under their own steam within the next two years.
At the moment, adoption is happening at too small and localised a scale, says the Government.
With councils working together, the choice of potential matches for a child would increase significantly, giving children a far better chance of quickly finding a permanent family.
Councils will be encouraged to identify their own regional approach that would see authorities uniting their adoption services under one system or outsourcing the delivery of their adoption functions into a single regional agency.
The new powers, contained in the Schools and Adoption Bill, would only be used if councils failed to take action quickly enough.
Last year, more than 5,000 children were found the permanent home they desperately needed - a record increase of 26% in just 12 months. However, more than 3,000 children remain waiting to be matched with their new parents, with more than half having spent 18 months in care despite there being adopters readily available.
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