2 Requirement of Local Authority to provide support services

Adoption and Children Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 12:00 pm on 21 November 2001.

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We would wish the government to be clearer in detail about the requirement of local authorities to provide support services not just to the right to request an assessment of need in order to access services when difficulties arrive. In order not to pathologize parties touched by Adoption support services need to be there as a matter of right, not as assessment. After Adoption has provided Post Placement services from the point of placement for families in five local authorities. Early research into these services shows a significant lower breakdown rate and a higher satisfaction rate for both children and families.

We are pleased that Clause 4 appears to extend the duty to carry out an assessment of need for people involved in existing adoptions, not only those in the future. This duty to provide an assessment needs to extend to a duty to provide services both proactively and reactively.

We are concerned that Clause 4 (9) does not go far enough to address the problems caused by multi-agency need for support. Clause 4 (9), requires health or education authorities to be notified for the need for a provision of services but does not detail a requirement on behalf of these authorities to comply with the request.