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Adoption scorecards v stable adoption

16 March 2012

Local authorities will need to ensure that quality is not compromised as the new adoption scorecards are introduced, the first of which is due out in the next few weeks. Under the scheme local authorities will be scored on how long it takes to find adoptive parents for children in care. In principle this is a good idea, but in reality, will speed of adoption now trump the suitability of the placement?

Scorecards should be a step in the right direction, but they would be a more complete and useful tool if they also acted as an indicator of performance by taking account of adoption breakdowns. This would serve as encouragement to place children, not just promptly, but also appropriately and measure what is important – the success of the placement. A delay in placing a child for adoption can be damaging, an adoption break down can be devastating.

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