Parliament: pounds 30m to improve ways to adopt

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The Independent Online
TOUGH NEW targets aimed at improving local authorities' poor record of dealing with adoptions of children in care were announced by ministers yesterday.

The Government will spend pounds 30m this year to develop better adoption procedures and choice of placement for children in care, John Hutton, a Health minister told MPs. There will also be new commissions for standards of care responsible for inspection and regulation of all adoption services.

Mr Hutton said during a short debate on the issue that the targets would be set for the maximum time between entry into care and adoption. "Poor performance will not be tolerated," he stressed.

The announcement followed a long campaign by MPs and The Independent to improve the system under which only 2,000 out of the 50,000 children in care are adopted each year.

Julian Brazier, the MP for Canterbury, who sponsored the debate, said: "This is a very good result. The Independent has a lot to be proud of...there is an over-riding need to break the anti-adoption culture in some councils."