David Cameron has recently announced an overhaul of the care system which looks to address both adoption laws and social services.
The preference of local authorities to place children with distant family members rather than into adoptive families has had a significant impact on adoption rates, with many more waiting to adopt and fewer children available. This has also had a knock on effect on the number of children then coming back into foster care later in their life meaning that there is currently a huge demand for foster carers in the UK.
Anything the government can do to address this imbalance and to help those children that have been through the care system to attain work and stable lives can only be a positive move.
His proposals for the care system begin with a fundamental change to the adoption process, involving a departure from a trend in the family courts to promote children being placed with distant relatives rather than adopted by new families. While praising the work of foster parents, he cited a near-50% fall in adoption numbers over the past two years and said new laws would “tip the balance” in favour of permanent adoption in the right circumstances even when that meant overriding family ties. Cameron said he was “unashamedly pro-adoption” and the move would be vital as greater importance would be attached to “long-term stability and better outcomes”.