Latest Public Sector News


Adoptive parent checks reform

Adoptive parent checks could be overhauled with new plans in England. A new panel is being set up to draw up proposals to speed up the process, although some are concerned this speed could jeopardise the strict controls needed to protect vulnerable children.

The panel will consist of representatives from the British Association of Adoption and Fostering, the Association of Directors of Children’s Services, Adoption UK and the Consortium of Voluntary Adoption Agencies.

They will suggest ways to improve the recruitment process, assessment and training for prospective parents, in an effort to implement quicker adoption. Children wait on average for 2 years and seven months to be adopted and it can take a year for a couple to be approved.

Children’s Minister Tim Loughton said: “The assessment process for people wanting to adopt is painfully slow, repetitive and ineffective. Dedicated social workers are spending too long filling out forms instead of making sound, common-sense judgements about someone’s suitability to adopt.

“Children are waiting too long because we are losing many potentially suitable adoptive parents to a system which doesn't welcome them and often turns them away at the door.”

Government adviser Martin Narey agreed: “The parental assessment process is not fit for purpose. It meanders along, it is failing to keep pace with the number of children cleared for adoption, and it drives many outstanding couples to adopt from abroad.”

However, the British Association of Social Workers chief executive Hilton Dawson told the BBC it was “essential that the adoption process remains as rigorous as possible”.

He said: “I don’t think that the government should emphasise speed over the quality of assessment. Adoption is for life, this isn’t something that people should enter into lightly.”

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at [email protected]


There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

public sector executive tv

more videos >

last word

Prevention: Investing for the future

Prevention: Investing for the future

Rob Whiteman, CEO at the Chartered Institute of Public Finance (CIPFA), discusses the benefits of long-term preventative investment. Rising demand, reducing resource – this has been the r more > more last word articles >

public sector focus

View all News


Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Bei... more >
How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

19/06/2019How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

Tom Chance, director at the National Community Land Trust Network, argues t... more >


Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

17/12/2018Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

It’s no secret that the public sector and its service providers need ... more >