£16m Extra Funding for Adoption Agencies Welcomed by First4Adoption8 August 2013
First4Adoption has welcomed today’s announcement by the government of £16 million of additional funding for voluntary adoption agencies (VAAs). VAAs will be given extra cash to tackle the shortfall of adopters so children who need them find loving, stable homes more quickly.
The £16 million funding aims to help new and existing VAAs to develop new and creative ways to recruit more adopters, in addition to those recruited by local authority adoption agencies.
The new cash will provide a much needed boost to the recruitment of adopters by VAAs, and could see the VAA sector recruit as many as 2,000 prospective adopters a year by March 2016, according to the Department for Education.
Children and Families Minister, Edward Timpson, who has two adopted brothers himself, said:
“There are still over 4,000 children waiting to be adopted nationally, and we cannot stand by whilst children’s futures hang in the balance. This is why we are taking a closer look at how we are recruiting new parents by giving voluntary adoption agencies a bigger role.
“We know more than 650,000 people would consider adopting right now, yet more than 700 additional adopters are needed each year to keep up with the growing number of children waiting to be adopted.”
There are currently 23 VAAs in England, who have recruited and approved over 600 desperately needed parents for the thousands of children waiting for a stable home in the last 12 months, according to the Department for Education.
Today’s package is the latest in a series of reforms the government has made to tackle the chronic shortage of adopters and reform the way they are recruited, including:
- Providing a £150 million grant to local authorities to increase the number of recruited and approved adopters.
- Introducing a simplified two-stage application process for people who want to adopt or foster a child
- Providing a first point of contact for anyone interested in adoption through First4Adoption
- Introducing scorecards that allow a comparison of the delay for placement of children in care in each local authority
- Introducing legislation that will: give adoptive parents the same pay and leave rights as birth parents from 2015; and allow prospective adopters to access the adoption register directly, subject to appropriate safeguards, so they can play a more active role in identifying children for whom they might be suitable adoptive parents.
Commenting on today’s funding announcement, Gemma Gordon-Johnson, Head of Service at First4Adoption, said:
“We welcome these additional funds for VAAs as the latest in range of reforms to ensure that more, much-needed adoptive families are quickly found for the many children in care currently waiting for loving homes.”
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