CVAA response to the government’s adoption funding announcement (03/03/2022)
The government today announced adoption funding of £160 million to find permanent homes for more children and to support new adoptive families as they begin their new lives together. This total includes £144 million for the government’s Adoption Support Fund and £19.5 million to strengthen the work of Regional Adoption Agencies, improve national matching between parents and children, and focus on recruitment of prospective adopters from all communities.
The CVAA welcomes this major investment over the next three years which will ensure that more adopted children get the support they need to thrive. The Adoption Support Fund is a lifeline to many adoptive families, and has enabled voluntary adoption agencies to consistently deliver excellent support to children who need it. We are also delighted that more people have come forward to adopt, and provide loving, stable homes for some of the most vulnerable children in our society.
However, we remain extremely concerned about the fall in the number of children who have adoption as their permanency plan. Adoption rates have fallen dramatically in recent years, decreasing year on year since 2017/18 and the latest data confirms that permanence orders have decreased by 5% compared to the previous year. Andrew Webb, Chair of CVAA, commented:
“Despite studies consistently showing that adoption gives children the best life chances of all forms of care, fewer children are being offered this opportunity for a positive future. We are really worried about what is happening to the children who would have previously been adopted – is a life in care really in their best interests? More attention urgently needs to be given to care planning to ensure children can access the families for life which VAAs provide.”
The announcement of funding to improve matching between children and adopters is also very welcome. Far too many children who have adoption as their plan are stuck in the system, often during the formative early years of their lives. This is especially true for children with complex characteristics or in sibling groups. In 2020/21 65% of the children placed by VAAs had at least one such characteristic and we look forward to working with the Government to streamline the process of linking children up with the right adopters, who are ready and waiting to welcome children into their lives and families.