Prime Minister David Cameron has called for a dramatic increase in the number of children adopted from care early.
He claimed that not enough local councils use early placement schemes. These allow children in care to begin living with their adoptive family before all the legal paperwork is completed.
According to official figures, 68 of the 152 local councils in England do not offer early placements and only ten per cent of adopted children are placed using these schemes. Cameron expressed his desire for that number to be doubled as soon as possible. He claimed that doing so would put as many as 500 children in new homes sooner.
The Prime Minister said it was “a tragedy that there are still too many children waiting to be placed with a loving family” and that, despite some progress, it “remains a problem”.
Reforms proposed by the government include a requirement that all local councils reveal how many children they have placed in adoptive homes early and more thorough assessments of relatives who wish to look after children under special guardianship orders.
Dr Carol Homden is the chief executive of the children’s charity Coram. She welcomed the proposals by Mr Cameron as there was “nothing more beneficial” for children in care than an early placement.
“It is well-evidenced that children thrive when they can make a secure bond with people who love them and are willing to commit to them.”
The government also announced that they aim to have all local councils as part of regional adoption agencies by 2017.