There are now more adoptive families than children waiting for adoption, according to the Adoption Leadership Board.
Figures from the ALB suggest that the ‘adopter gap’ has closed, however, there were still 1,770 children with a placement order not yet matched.
The number of children adopted from care has fallen slightly from 1070 in the first quarter of the year, to 1060 in the second quarter.
Registrations to become an adopter have increased by 8% from 740 in quarter 1 2016-17 to 800 in quarter 2 2016-17 although the number of adopter families approved for adoption has decreased slightly from 710 in quarter 1 2016-17 to 700 in quarter 2 2016-17.
The ALB data also revealed that the time taken between a child entering care and being placed with a family for children who have been adopted has decreased by 4 months since 2012-13, from 22 months to 18 months in 2015-16.
Adoption UK chief executive Dr Sue Armstrong Brown said: “The fact that children are spending less time in care before being adopted is really encouraging. We know that the sooner children find permanence in their adoptive home, back with their birth families, or in long-term care plans, the better their outcomes.
She warned that a close eye should be kept on the time it is taking to approve adopters, and gain a better understanding of why it is taking relatively longer to gain approved adopter status now, than it was in 2013/14.
Dr Armstrong Brown attributed the fall in the number of children being adopted and the fact that the number of new placement orders has almost halved from 1,630 between July and September 2013, to 830 in the same period of 2016 to the Re B-S judgement which indicates that local authorities need to show the courts that all alternatives to adoption are considered before seeking an adoption order.
Diane Wills is Consultant Social Worker at WillisPalmer, responsible for quality assuring the forensic risk assessment reports.
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