Department of Education announcement today that they will
- change legislation so that local authority and courts when making decisions about the right placement for a child in care, have to give greater priority to
(a) the quality of care the child will need in order to recover from any abuse and neglect they have suffered and
(b) which placements can provide the best care and stability up until the child is 18 and into adulthood.
- invest £200m over this Parliament to support a programme of reform to:
o Support the development of new Regional Adoption Agencies and strengthen Voluntary Adoption Agencies, to improve and accelerate recruitment, matching and adoption support;
o Increase the number of adoptions for harder to place children by continuing to pay the Inter-agency Fee. Over 300 children have been placed as a result of the scheme in the last three months;
o Increase funding for the Adoption Support Fund every year for the next four years, including widening the scope so families can from today receive support from the moment children are placed with them, rather than having to wait until the adoption order is finalised. We have so far used £10m to support over 3,000 children receive therapeutic support using the ASF;
o Develop the workforce to ensure all social workers have the skills and knowledge to make swift and robust decisions about the best placements for children that meet their short and long term needs.