Government's adoption drive hailed a success as rates rise 10%

 

Social Affairs Correspondent

The number of children adopted annually in England and Wales rose by almost 10 per cent between 2011 and 2012, official figures published tomorrow show.

It is the largest annual increase in adoptions in the 15 years that statistics have been collated. Child welfare experts believe Government pressure on local authorities to increase their numbers and reduce bureaucracy may be behind the rise. More than 5,200 children were given parents in 2012, an increase of 9.8 per cent on 2011.

In May 2012 the Government announced they would be giving local authorities score cards which rated their performance on adoption. Two months earlier, the Coalition published its Action Plan for Adoption, which included the demand that local authorities were much faster at putting children on the register. Some 63 per cent of those adopted were aged between one and four years, up from 62 per cent in 2011. The percentage of children adopted who were born outside marriage has also increased from 82 per cent in 2011 to 85 per cent last year.

The Department for Education last year said it was “determined to see more children considered for adoption, particularly those that were previously overlooked.” Since November it has introduced further measures, including a faster approval process for adopters and a legal obligation for all adoption agencies to refer prospective adopters to the Adoption Register within three months of approval.

Hugh Thornbery, chief executive of the charity Adoption UK, said: “It is encouraging the number of adoption orders increased in 2012. Adoption offers positive outcomes for children from the care system, providing them with a permanent family that many of them might not have if they remained in the care system.”

He warned, however, that if the support wasn’t improved for the increased numbers of adopters coming forward, then the Government might create problems for the next generation of adoptive families. “We need to remain committed to recruiting more adoptive parents but it is important to remember that any focus on recruiting adopters must go hand-in-hand with good support packages, both to encourage new adopters and ensure the long-term success of adoptive placements.”

A Department for Education spokeswoman said: “We welcome any rise in the rate of adoption. In England, too many children are waiting too long for loving, stable families. We are overhauling the system – simplifying the process for parents who want to adopt and giving them clear, independent information. We have also been clear that we expect councils to recruit more adopters and provide children with loving homes swiftly.”

In January the Government introduced a £150m grant for local authorities to spend on adoption recruitment reform and Voluntary Adoption Agencies were given almost £16m last month to expand.

Nick Parkes, adoption manager at Action for Children, said: “We’re pleased to see that more children are finding permanent, loving homes across England and Wales. We now need to build on this, and keep focused on finding the best possible placement for each and every child.”

Case study

Nicola Marshall, 43, from Halesowen, Dudley, adopted three siblings with her husband Ashley.

“The children were four, five and six when we first adopted them and we’ve had them for five years now. The process from applying to adopt to when they came to live with us took three years. It took so long. Thankfully it’s not like that now.

“Some of the reasons for waiting were understandable, but a lot of it was a waste of time. It was bureaucracy, people losing papers and social workers being off and new ones assigned. We had to write a letter of complaint to the local authority because they dragged their feet for so long.

“Once we’d identified the children we were going to be matched with it should have been a smooth process, but it took from November until mid May. That was despite us already knowing the foster carers and having been the only people who expressed an interest.”

News
The Banksy image in Folkestone before it was vandalised
people
Life and Style
tech

Sales of the tablet are set to fall again, say analysts

News
i100
News
Brian Harvey turned up at Downing Street today demanding to speak to the Prime Minister
news

Met Police confirm there was a 'minor disturbance' and no-one was arrested

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
George Lucas poses with a group of Star Wars-inspired Disney characters at Disney's Hollywood Studios in 2010
films

George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios

Voices
Chris Grayling, Justice Secretary: 'There are pressures which we are facing but there is not a crisis'
voices

Does Chris Grayling realise what a vague concept he is dealing with?

Life and Style
A street vendor in Mexico City sells Dorilocos, which are topped with carrot, jimaca, cucumber, peanuts, pork rinds, spices and hot sauce
food + drink

Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets

News
Blackpool is expected to become one of the first places to introduce the Government’s controversial new Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs)
news

Concerns raised phenomenon is threatening resort's image as a family destination

Life and Style
gaming

I Am Bread could actually be a challenging and nuanced title

News
Nigel Farage has backed DJ Mike Read's new Ukip song
i100
Voices
The number of children in relative income poverty is currently 2.3 million in the UK
voices

Environment
A Brazilian wandering spider
natureIt's worth knowing for next time one appears in your bananas
Life and Style
Time and Oak have developed a product that allows drinkers to customise the flavour and improve the quality of cheaper whiskey
food + drink

Sport
football

Peter Biaksangzuala died from his injuries in hospital on Sunday

Life and Style
The final 12 acts will be facing Simon Cowell, Cheryl Fernandez-Versini, Mel B and Louis Walsh tonight
fashion

The X Factor's judges colourful outfit was mocked by Simon Cowell

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Year 5 Teacher

£80 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Year 5 Teacher KS2 teaching job...

Software Developer

£35000 - £45000 Per Annum Pensions Scheme After 6 Months: Clearwater People So...

Systems Analyst / Business Analyst - Central London

£35000 - £37000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Systems Analyst / Busines...

Senior Change Engineer (Network, Cisco, Juniper) £30k

£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ampersand Consulting LLP: Senior Change ...

Day In a Page

Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album
Hugh Bonneville & Peter James: 'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'

How We Met: Hugh Bonneville & Peter James

'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's heavenly crab dishes don't need hours of preparation

Bill Granger's heavenly crab recipes

Scared off by the strain of shelling a crab? Let a fishmonger do the hard work so you can focus on getting the flavours right
Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

After a remarkable conversion from reckless defender to prolific striker, Monaco's ace says he wants to make his loan deal at Old Trafford permanent
Terry Venables: Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England

Terry Venables column

Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England
The Inside Word: Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past

Michael Calvin's Inside Word

Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past