Children in care will be supported to find permanent homes faster through a new multi-million-pound scheme, it has been announced.
The initiative – launched by the Department for Education (DfE) – comes after the publication of the landmark National Adoption Strategy last year.
According to the latest statistics, the number of families approved to adopt in 2021 increased by 23 per cent, from 1,930 in September 2020 to 2,370 in September 2021.
But the processes involved are complex and cumbersome, often forcing children in care to wait for unnecessarily long periods.
The Government says it will invest some £160 million over the next three years to remove barriers and reduce delays for “thousands more children still waiting in care, so they can be matched more quickly with the right family”.
As part of this scheme, adoptive families will also receive cognitive therapy, family support sessions and activities to help children recover from earlier traumas like abuse or neglect.
Research shows that boys aged six to 18 and adopted girls aged 12 to 18 saw “significant improvements” in their conduct and aggressive behaviour after permanent adoption.
Commenting on the move, Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi said: “The importance of a loving, stable family cannot be overstated, no matter what shape it takes. Family are crucial in giving children the warmth, background and opportunities they need to succeed in life.
“We launched our National Adoption Strategy last summer, and I’m really encouraged to see it is already having a meaningful impact on the adoption system across the country, as waiting times for children in care reduce and they find the loving homes they need.
“Whether it’s through investing in adoption and our expanded Family Hub network, or looking into the findings from the upcoming Care Review, it is my mission to make sure that family stays at the heart of our policy.”
Click here to learn more about the National Adoption Strategy.