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Children and Families Bill; a missed opportunity?

TACT, the fostering and adoption charity, has responded to the publication of the Children and Families Bill, seeing it as a missed opportunity.

The Bill contains a range of measures intended to improve and speed up the adoption process. Some of these, such as the introduction of improved leave and pay for adopters and increased use of personal budgets, are to be welcomed. Measures specific to children in care, such as requiring local authorities to provide Virtual Heads for children in care, are also welcome but could go further.

However, TACT believes the Bill is a missed opportunity to introduce wholesale improvement to the care system.

In particular, measures to improve permanence outside of adoption, such as through the creation of an order similar to the Scottish Permanence Order for children in long term foster care, have not been considered.

Neither is there any measure to improve the support offered to children and young people leaving the care system due to age. This is despite the Government’s frequent acceptance of the need for improvement.

Even the focus on adoption does not properly address concerns over the lack of on-going support given to adoptive families.

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