£50m funding boost and new interactive maps for adopters launched

24 December 2013

For the first time ever fully interactive adoption maps have been published today by First4Adoption, on behalf of the Department for Education, to help would-be adopters find out more about children waiting to be adopted and adoption agencies in their area and across the country. The new interactive maps follow the successful publication of the first ever adoption maps at the start of this year, prompting a surge of enquires to the First4Adoption service.

The Department for Education has also today announced an additional £50m funding for councils as they prepare to implement reforms and work with Voluntary Adoption Agencies (VAAs) – and each other – to recruit more adopters for the 6,000 children waiting for a loving home.

The new adoption maps give the latest available figures about the number of children waiting to be adopted and how many adopters had been approved in each local area of England in the year up to March 2013 (before the new, faster adopter approval process was introduced). The figures can be influenced by a number of factors including local population size.

Head of Service at First4Adoption, Gemma Gordon-Johnson, commented: “These new maps make it clear that many more adopters are needed for the thousands of children currently waiting for loving homes across England. Many more people can adopt than you might think, so we hope that these maps encourage more would-be adopters to pick up the phone wherever they live and call us to find out more about adopting.”

Building on the successes of 2013, which saw a 34% increase in adopters and a record 15% rise in adoptions, Children and Families Minister Edward Timpson – who has two adopted brothers – said:

“I’ve seen promising progress this year – a significant rise in adoptions and a huge increase in the numbers of adopters, but I am determined to do everything in my power to ensure the 6,000 children waiting are offered safe and caring homes. This Christmas I want anyone considering adoption to look carefully at the information in our interactive maps and consider whether they can offer a child a stable and loving home.”

A Department for Education spokesperson added: “Last Christmas the Prime Minister set out a comprehensive package of reforms to overhaul the adoption system. This year we have taken action to implement these plans, including:

  • launching the First4Adoption one-stop-shop for information and support as would-be adopters navigate the system
  • publishing the Adoption Passport on the First4Adoption website setting out adopters’ rights and entitlements
  • introducing a faster approval process so the majority of adopters are approved within 6 months, and introduced new rules so prospective adopters and children waiting to be adopted are placed on the Adoption Register within 3 months.

In addition to the reform package announced today, in 2014 the government has pledged to:

  • publish updated Adoption Scorecards showing the progress local authorities are making towards our targets on rate and pace of adoption – published in the 2012 Action Plan for Adoption;
  • pilot the new £19.3m Adoption Support fund to ensure successful rollout nationally in 2015;
  • introduce the Pupil Premium for adopted children, and children in care from day one of their placement  – and extending free early education for adopted 2 year olds;
  • offer a series of expansion grants to VAAs to help them grow and recruit more adopters; and
  • implement the package of reforms we are taking forward in the Children and Families Bill.

If you would like to know more about adopting, please give the friendly First4Adoption advisors a call on 0300 222 0022 when we re-open in the New Year.

Return to List