Thursday, 26 December 2013

50 million funding for adoptions but it`s a reduction for councils

Councils may have reduced budgets and local people may have reduced services but the adoption industry has been given priority and received a boost.

InvestinUK has announced the 50 million Government funding now being made available to drive the adoption industry by way of its public/private partnerships.

Other innovations are now in place. From the website:
Prospective adopters can click onto new maps to see who could help them find a child to adopt - plus more cash for councils - in a package of support announced today [Christmas Eve 2013] by Children and Families Minister Edward Timpson.
For the first time fully interactive, clickable maps have been published to help would-be adopters find out more about agencies in their area and across the country, help them make an informed choice based on performance and help them access the most appropriate recruitment agency for them - wherever it may be.
Publication follows the successful launch of the first ever adoption maps at the start of this year, prompting a surge of enquires to the First4Adoption service. 
It is recognised that adoptions rose by15% in 2013 but Children and Families Minister Edward Timpson believes there is still more work to do next year and the new leadership board will play an important role to help local authorities and adoption agencies recruit more adopters.
An article in the Guardian last year reported on the Government plans to strip councils of responsibility for adoption if they were slow to find new families for children. There was some criticism from the Local Government Association (LGA):

David Simmonds, chair of the LGA's children and young people board, said: "Recent figures show councils have twice the success rate of independent adoption agencies. Removing councils from the process of recruiting and screening potential adopters could adversely impact on the very children and potential adoptive parents the government is trying to protect, and should only be considered as a very last resort."

From CommunityCare:
The government has abandoned plans to give the education secretary the power to remove local authorities from the adoption recruitment process without parliamentary approval.
The controversial proposal, which caused anger when it was announced earlier this year, would have seen responsibility for adopter recruitment and assessment transferred to the voluntary sector.
Local authority social workers would only have been involved in the later stages of adoption, such as matching children with families and providing post-adoption support.
The plans proved deeply unpopular with social workers and council bosses. The Association of Directors of Children’s Services said directors have always "strongly opposed" it, while the Local Government Association (LGA) warned the government risks creating a "confusing and disjointed" system and the British Association of Social Workers described it as "madness".

Still, the drive for more adoptions continues at the expense of other services. From the Telegraph:
... it has been pointed out that despite the lump sum investment this actually represents a drop in funding for local councils.
David Simmonds, chair of the Local Government Association's Children and Young People Board, said: "Increased focus on improving adoption services is a positive move, but this isn't new money. It represents a net reduction in funding for local authorities and could impact on services for vulnerable children. This could include early intervention services which can help councils identify children that could benefit from adoption at an early stage."

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