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ethnic matching is not the primary cause of adoption delay after all!

3 April 2012

Ofsted’s latest report Right on time has concluded that the most significant cause of adoption delay was not unrealistic searches for ethnic matches, but the length of time it took to get children through the necessary court proceedings.

Practitioners will not be surprised to read that although there were some delays caused by issues such as a lack of suitable adopters or weak planning, these were generally not as significant as those identified by the report.

Helpfully Right on time also cites good practice; pointing to those areas where parallel planning took place, so that parents and family members who did not co-operate with assessments did not simultaneously delay their birth children’s chances of an early placement with long term permanent carers.

Where Council’s are seeking “outstanding” Ofsted ratings the courts will no doubt expect the concept of parallel planning to be raised in almost all cases concerning babies and young children and those where permanent removal from the birth family is being sought.

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