The government’s adoption reform is hailed to increase efficiency and improve the current adoption system and practice. However, the reforms have been strongly criticised by some practitioners. Therefore, on Tuesday (12 June 2012) we will explore the adoption reform and examine some of its pros and cons.
Below are some of the changes that will take place:
- Services must adhere to a 12-month timescale from care plan decision to adoption placement in order to achieve a rating of ‘outstanding’.
- Pre-adoption assessment will be slimmed down to cut through bureaucracy and reduce duplication.
- Race will no longer be a priority consideration when matching children with their prospective adoptive parents.
- Earlier intervention and preventive measures such as added training for adoptive parents to better prepare them for challenges. The intention is to identify and deal with problems earlier and avoid the need for specialist services and support at a later stage.
- There will be greater political backing for earlier identification of problems and for taking children into care at an earlier stage.
- Families adopting children with complex issues will receive support and incentives, including tax incentives and priority access to mental health services. These are intended to encourage more such adoptions and prevent adoption breakdowns.
- KPI (Key Performance indicators) and league tables to benchmark the efficiency of different councils. The measures will include the time taken to place a child for adoption and the number of adoptions per council. Such measurements will be benchmarked against the national average and failing adoption services may be outsourced.
- There will be more research on adoption breakdowns.
Therefore, in today’s debate we wish to explore questions such as:
- What is holding back adoptions? Why is the current system not working?
- Most practitioners admit that the current adoption system is outdated. Why not then welcome this opportunity for change and embrace the government’s proposed adoption reform?
- Is a 12 months benchmarking timescale appropriate and realistic for adoptions?
- Do you agree that racial matching of children and their adoptive parents should not be a priority in adoption process?
- Government proposals offer additional incentives and support to families for adopting children with complex needs. Is this not what everyone wants?
- What are the bureaucracies and duplications that you think can/should be eliminated?
- What are the procedures that can be simplified to increase efficiency of the adoption process?
- Do you agree that a national benchmarking system based on appropriate KPI (Key Performance Indicators) can encourage a more efficient system?
- Where are the inefficiencies and bottlenecks in the adoption process? and how can they be improved?
Join @SWSCmedia debate Today (12-June-2012) at 8:00 PM UK. / 3:00 PM (New York) & share your views.