Adoption plan a 'reckless gamble', say councils


Councils have called on ministers to consider fresh proposals for reforming the adoption system after warning that Government plans are a “reckless gamble”.

Town hall leaders admitted there are things “we could do better” when it comes to finding new homes for children – but insisted the Coalition’s overhaul could make the problem worse.

The Local Government Association (LGA) warned earlier this year that plans to strip councils of responsibility for adoption if they are slow to find children new families could be damaging to vulnerable youngsters.

Councils have submitted alternative plans which they claim will “significantly increase” the number of adopters recruited, speed up time taken to find new homes for children, and increase cooperation between councils to find matches for children and prospective parents in different parts of the country.

A letter from the LGA, the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives and  the Association of Directors of Children’s Services also calls on Children’s Minister Edward Timpson to reduce adoption red tape.

Councillor David Simmonds, chairman of the LGA’s Children and Young People Board, said: “Government’s starting point for recruiting more adopters needs to be working with councils, not removing them from the process altogether.”