The latest figures from the Department for Education (DfE) show that there were more adopters in England during 2014 than any time since 1992.
The DfE noted that 5,050 ‘looked after children’ were adopted during 2014. This represents a 26% increase on 2013 and a 58% increase since 2010. This is a huge improvement, which is testament to the great work the adoption agencies are doing in recruiting new adopters and a change in emphasis from the government in trying to achieve permanence for children through adoption. This is a very important aspect.
Education watchdog Ofsted, reported that for sibling groups put up for adoption, 77% of them were placed together. Although high, this figure has dropped slightly from 2013 where the figure was at 80%. So some improvement needs to be made in this area.
The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Children and Families, MP Edward Timpson recently gave a speech to the Centre for Adoption Support where he highlighted the fact that there were still thousands of children waiting to be adopted. He went on to say that the only way that we can alleviate the adoption situation is to recruit more adopters.
The total number of ‘looked after children’ (meaning those who are subject to care orders, placement orders or who have been provided with accommodation for a continuous period for more than 24 hours), has increased to 68,840 in 2014, an increase of 1% from 2013. The DfE has said that this number has increased steadily in the past 5 years. Of this number, 5% more children started to be looked after by a local authority for the first time than in 2013. This makes the total of newly looked after children in England to 30,430.
If you would like to read the full DfE statistical release, then please visit the GOV.UK website.