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Adoption shake-up could adversely impact on children and parents

Bridget Robb, Acting Chief Executive of the British Association of Social Workers (BASW), responds to concerns raised by the Local Government Association that adoption reforms in England could remove councils from recruiting and assessing potential adopters:

“At a time when voluntary and private agencies are strapped for cash to deliver existing services, it is madness to put the lives of children in care on hold through a politically driven policy change to take the recruitment of adopting parents out of local authorities.
“This is a divisive tactic for the world of adoption provision, which is already a mix of local authority and voluntary sector organisations.
“Voluntary and private agencies have no better track record of recruiting and supporting adopting parents than local authorities.
“Such a move contributes nothing to solving the current problems of cuts in provision of services, and is clearly not in the best interests of vulnerable children.
“The government is being too interventionist in its adoption policies, and dismissing evidence bases that don't fit with their ideology.
“BASW, however, is interested in working with social workers who are running and working in adoption services in local authorities, voluntary and private agencies to explore more effective ways of recruiting and supporting adoptive parents. Let’s not get so troubled about the legal structures, but focus on providing the best services possible to the public.”