The government has announced a network of new regional ‘adoption leadership boards’ which it claims will help increase adoption rates.
Each local board will be made up of children’s services directors and members of adoption charities. They will extend the work of the national Adoption Leadership Board, which was announced last month. Chaired by former civil servant Sir Martin Narey, the latter works to monitor progress in the adoption sector and advise ministers.
Children’s Minister Edward Timpson said any successes enjoyed by the national board “will rest in large part, on effective regional boards”.
At an event in London examining reforms to the adoption system, the Minister hailed a partnership between the London Borough of Redbridge and children’s charity Coram, which he said had helped to increase the number of adoptions in the borough by a substantial 175 per cent, drawing in “a wider pool of adopters.”
Andrew Webb, a former president of the Association of Directors of Children’s Services (ADCS), has been put in charge of the establishing the regional boards. He said
“It is essential if we are to maintain the momentum currently in evidence in the adoption system, that regional adoption boards are established and go on to develop strong links to the national board, whilst not losing their focus on the local need.”
The membership of these should, he explained, “as a minimum comprise representation from all the local authorities and voluntary adoption agencies”.