For too long children have been left in care without a family of their own. The adoption process has been too slow, and too restrictive. That is why I am so pleased this Government is committed to reform of the system, and in Education Questions today I took the opportunity to ask the Education Secretary about the steps he has taken on this;
What progress has the Department made on steps to speed up the adoption process.
In May, my Department published scorecards for local authorities to enable them to identify and tackle the causes of delay in the adoption system. My Department will shortly launch a consultation on changes to speed up processes for prospective adopters, and we plan to introduce legislation thereafter.
We know that some 5,000 children have placement orders, but the number of approved parents is less than a third of that figure. Does not this highlight the importance of hammering home to social services authorities the need to welcome prospective adopters and push the process through so that they can adopt children today?
I absolutely agree. One of the most heartbreaking aspects of my job is reading about parents who want to adopt children but who have found that, for understandable reasons, the system has been far too bureaucratic and slow in allocating children to them. Working with the best in local authorities, I am sure that we can all do better.
It has been an honour and privilege to serve as Member of Parliament for Dover & Deal. I hope to be re-elected to serve our community for another term.
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