Adoption sector welcomes changes to adoption process and customer care standards

1 July 2013

Organisations from across the adoption sector have joined the Minister for Children & Families, Edward Timpson, in voicing their support for the changes to speed up the adoption process and improve customer care standards, which were announced by First4Adoption earlier today.

Edward Timpson, Minister for Children & Families, said: “For too long children have been left waiting for stable, loving homes – the new two-stage adopter approvals process will speed up the time it takes to approve prospective adopters.”

He added: “I’m delighted that new standards have been developed and agreed for agencies to follow when using the new approvals process. I hope that many other organisations follow the example set by First4Adoption and make these new standards publically available.”

The first of the changes announced today aims to speed up the adoption process via a new two-part assessment process that is designed to take six months until a prospective adopter is told if they have been approved to adopt. New customer care standards for adoption agencies have also been announced today by First4Adoption.

Norman Goodwin, of the Consortium of Voluntary Adoption Agencies, added his support:  “This new first stage will help prospective adopters make an informed decision about whether adoption is right for them, in order to proceed into the next stage with a clear view on what to expect over the coming months.”

Dr Carol Homden, CBE, Chief Executive of children’s charity Coram, and part of the consortium that runs First4Adoption, said: “At Coram we know that a warm welcome and support throughout the adoption journey is crucial for adopters. The two-part process and new customer care standards, along with the service that First4Adoption is providing, are designed to help us all achieve the best possible outcome for adopters and for the many children in the care system who need a loving home.”

Commenting on the new customer care standards, Hugh Thornberry, Chief Executive of charity Adoption UK, and part of the consortium that runs First4Adoption, said: “It is encouraging that steps are being taken to make the adoption system more welcoming to prospective adopters. Adoption UK knows from its membership that many people experience frustration and inconsistency when navigating the current recruitment and assessment system. We welcome the new standards and believe they offer a welcome solution to this problem.”

John Simmonds, Director of Policy, Research and Development at charity British Association for Adoption and Fostering, said: “’The publication of the Customer Care Standards and the implementation of the new adopter preparation and assessment process is intended to convey to all those interested in adoption what they can expect from any adoption agency that they make contact with.  The picture of adoption conveyed in the media is often poor but the experiences of many people who have applied to an adoption agency often reflects a high quality service where what they have to offer is both respected and valued.  BAAF welcomes these two significant changes in reinforcing the message that where adoption is the plan for the child, that can only happen where adopters come forward  to create the ‘forever family’ that these children need.”

If you would like to know more about adopting a child in England, call our friendly trained advisers now on 0300 222 0022.

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