This morning it was announced that the government are planning on pumping in an extra £16million to help tackle the backlog of children in care waiting for an adoptive family. These funds are to be made available the tail end of this year until 2016.
Ministers are claiming the extra money for charities is part of a wider drive to speed up the adoption process and also encourage potential adopters to come forward, as they believe that the current adoption system is too slow and bureaucratic.
There is concern that potentially suitable adopters are often turned away and others are left waiting up to a year or more to be approved. The government also believes that some councils take too long to put children in care up for adoption.
This isn’t the first time money has been pumped into the adoption process. Ministers have already allocated around £50million to local authorities in order to recruit and support adoptive families. Now ministers want charities to take a bigger role and say that this extra money for voluntary adoption agencies is to ‘explore innovative ways’ of dealing with the issue.
Children and Families Minister, Edward Timpson said: “There are still over 4,000 children waiting to be adopted nationally, and we cannot stand by whilst children’s futures hang in the balance. This is why we are taking a closer look at how we are recruiting new parents by giving voluntary adoption agencies a bigger role.
“We know more than 650,000 people would consider adopting right now, yet more than 700 additional adopters are needed each year to keep up with the growing number of children waiting to be adopted. What is important is that children who are in need of a permanent, loving home are found one as soon as possible – not who delivers the service.”
I welcome the idea that more children need to be given opportunities to maximise their potential and should be able to have a successful future, but speeding up the adoption process does have it’s dangers. I’m sure people have heard of cases of abuse in adoptive families where not enough care and attention has been put in place before that child has been placed there. The risk of speeding up the process is mostly that the danger of the child being placed in an incorrect or unsuitable family for the sake of getting them out of the care system becomes significantly higher, further damaging the child’s future. I do agree that the adoption process is a long winded one but it is one that needs to be carefully adjusted if any speed increases are to be done successfully.