Pointless paperwork that leaves foster carers and adopters "exasperated" will be wiped out under reforms of the system, ministers have said.
Edward Timpson said red tape that means foster parents must call a social worker before taking a child for a haircut or a sleepover will be dropped. The children's minister also pledged an end to delays caused by agencies being unable to share records as he launched a consultation on the Government push to create a "fairer, faster" adoption and fostering process.
Mr Timpson, whose parents fostered more than 80 children and adopted his two younger brothers, said: "I know from my own family that adopting and fostering can transform young lives for the better.
"I want more children in care to have the opportunity of a stable, loving environment where they can reach their full potential, whatever their start in life. Sadly I have come across too many potential adopters who have given up, frustrated by the system, and foster carers exasperated by the bureaucracy required for everyday tasks.
"I want the process to be as hassle-free as possible. Vital safeguards will remain, but no one benefits from pointless paperwork. By cutting back the rules that only hinder I hope that more and more people will come forward to become adopters and fosterers to enrich their own life, as well as the lives of the many children who deserve a decent childhood."
The package includes the "fostering for adoption" scheme announced earlier this year by Prime Minister David Cameron which allows a child to be placed with potential adopters before lengthy legal procedures are finalised. It will go to consultation and is set to come into force next year.
David Holmes, chief executive of the British Association for Adoption and Fostering (BAAF), said: "Adoption and fostering are vital services for some of the most vulnerable children in society. We owe it to more children to make these services operate as successfully as they possibly can.
"BAAF welcomes this consultation exercise which focuses on getting the right balance between safeguards and speed, between necessary checks and unnecessary bureaucracy. We will draw upon the vast experience across our membership in responding to this important consultation exercise."
Robert Tapsfield, chief executive of the Fostering Network, said: "More than three-quarters of the children in care in England live with foster carers, and so ensuring that the system is working well for these children and the families that look after them is essential.
"There is a real need to make sure that foster carers are empowered to take day-to-day decisions regarding the children they foster. Currently too many fostered children find themselves missing out on everyday childhood experiences. And we know that improvements must be made to the process of assessing and approving foster carers."
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