Following coverage in today's Times newspaper about local authorities being told to'Accelerate adoptions or lose control', TACT has sent a letter to the paper outlining concerns about the method in which local authorities will be judged.
The Government’s desire to speed up adoption processes is commendable. Their approach to doing so is a concern.
It is not the use of scorecards themselves that is mistaken. It is their excessive emphasis on speed that creates problems. Scorecards should be no more than an indicator of where there might be concerns, not a benchmark by which the whole system is judged. As an adoption agency, TACT is aware that children who have multiple and complex needs almost by definition are likely to take longer to place. We hope that councils will not become averse to placing these children for adoption for fear of delays this might cause.
TACT also fears that the driver for speed might have unfortunate long term repercussions. It takes time to get the right match for a child and family to ensure the best chance of success. Adoption breakdown rates are already worryingly high. Too much on speed runs the risk of poor matching with potentially catastrophic results. There is no doubt that the adoption process can be improved and made more efficient for the benefit of children and their new families. We hope that the Government’s desire to achieve this does not have unintended and unfortunate consequences
Executive Director of External Affairs
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