Current assessment for adoption is extremely lengthy and intrusive and can take social workers away from children at risk; whilst children to be adopted have very little assessment and usually no psychological report – they are therefore badly prepared and sometimes misrepresented to adopters. Cut social work hours spent with prospective adopters in order to better assess looked after children who need adoptive placements. Stop being unnecessarily intrusive with adopters – it puts people off adoption. Let people foster with a view to adoption – at present these are 2 separate assessments, and prospective adopters have to promise 'forever' to a child they have never met.   Combine the foster and adoption assessment and allow people to be joint approved, so they can have a trial period of meeting a child – this way fewer adoptions would break down; more people would be confident to adopt, especially if the process was less intrusive.  More social work hours would be spent with children instead of  spending a year working out whether CRB checked prospective adopters (who are often parents or who work in responsible jobs with children) are secret paedophiles!  Cut the red tape and let social workers make sensible decisions without the need for hundreds of forms.  Allow adopters to meet the prospective child before promising them 'forever' then they can promise forever with integrity.  The present system is so full of red tape that it has forgotten about integrity and common sense, and has lost the plot!  Stop treating prospective adopters as prospective criminals, or idiots who can't make decisions.  Stop lying to and about prospective adoptees – let them have a say!!! Let children and adopters meet each other!  Stop trying to control it all to a ridiculous degree! Why did David Milliband adopt from America?  Our system is rubbish.

Why is this idea important?

It would encourage more people to adopt.  Adoption has a really bad name at the moment – let's change that.  It would allow social workers to concentrate on working with children instead of being intrusive with adopters.  It would stop so many adoptions breaking down.  It would treat prospective adopters as adults, not idiots or criminals.  It would take into account the views of looked after children, instead of dictating to them. It would put integrity and care back into a system which has become paranoid towards adopters and neglectful of children.

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