Clause 115: Adoption and Children Act Register

Adoption and Children Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at on 21 November 2001.

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Broadly speaking, we welcome introduction of the Register. Although as an Agency whose services focus very specifically on the needs of children awaiting adoption who are currently in Public Care, we feel it will have only a minimal impact on the families we approve for adoption, as it is exceptional for anyone to wait for a placement if they have applied to adopt through the Catholic Children's Society, Nottingham, and we feel this applies to most Voluntary Adoption Agencies. Nevertheless, we feel it has an important role, not only in the linking of children and families, but also as a mechanism for accessing data about the patterns, time-scales and trends in adoption placements. In common with other Voluntary Adoption Agencies, this Agency has a wealth of experience in placing children at a distance from their Care Authority and we would suggest that a major training initiative be considered for those organisations and individuals who will be working in these ways as a result of the Register, but whose experience may not lead them to be aware of the subtleties and complexities, not just in the immediate, but in the medium and longer term of moving children at a distance from their originating Authority. These longer term implications include the effective design and delivery of contact arrangement for children and their families post-placement and post-adoption. The provision of both a multi-disciplinary and a multi-Agency nature, and particularly in the longer-term, ie, reaching eighteen, the implications for access to records and the need for adopted adults to be aware of Agencies where their histories, in terms of their birth records, are held, and also their rights to access those records.