Social workers have overreacted to recent High Court judgements, the head of a government adoption organisation has claimed.
Former civil servant Sir Martin Narey was appointed heard of the National Adoption Leadership Board (NALB) earlier this year, in order to improve and promote the adoption system in the UK.
The NALB has now published new guidance for social workers, following high profile court cases which have reportedly discouraged social workers from making adoption applications, despite a continuing government drive to accelerate the practice across England and Wales. The High Court judgements stressed the importance of properly exploring alternatives to the “grave” option of adoption.
Sir Martin said:
“It is clear from my discussions with social workers and managers in local authorities and in voluntary adoption agencies, that there is a belief that the law has been fundamentally changed by a number of court judgements.”
The new guidance would address misconceptions amongst social workers about the current state of adoption law, he explained. It had been written with the full cooperation of Sir James Munby, President of the Family Division, who delivered key judgement Re B-S (Children).
Sir Martin concluded:
“Adoption is not right for every child but where it is, we owe it to them to pursue this option relentlessly.”
Read the new guidance here.