I enjoyed catching up with Adoption UK to discuss the Government’s new National Adoption Strategy which will inject £48 million’s worth of investment into adoption services to help place more children with a loving family. Following the introduction of the Adoption Support Fund in 2015, over 36,000 children have been supported by more than £200 million’s worth of support. It is pleasing to hear that the average wait time for adoption is decreasing and that support is increasing but there is still work to be done.
I had a useful meeting with Alison Woodhead, Director of Public Affairs and Communication, and Katharine Slocombe, Policy and Public Affairs Adviser, to hear their thoughts on the new strategy. It was encouraging to hear so much support for the vision set out by the Government to improve the adoption system. The strategy was underpinned by comprehensive evidence produced by Adoption UK’s Barometer 2021 surveys which asked adopters and adopted people about their lived experiences.
We discussed Adoption UK’s recommendations in great depth, including trauma training in schools and developing mental health services, as well as what the new strategy will set out to achieve. A new framework of national standards will be introduced to end the ‘postcode lottery’ that too often means the quality of adoption services are not deterred from pursuing adoption because of their background. This is consistent with the Government’s overall approach to level up society so that all children are given an equal chance.
I look forward to the launch of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Adoption and Permanence in September of which Adoption UK are joint secretariat.