Special Guardianship Orders

Department for Education written question – answered on 14th February 2019.

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Photo of Toby Perkins Toby Perkins Labour, Chesterfield

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 1 February 2019 to Question 211708, on Special Guardianship Orders, for what reason the Government does not record disruption rates of adoptions and special Guardianship orders, and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Nadhim Zahawi Nadhim Zahawi The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

The number of children returning to care who had previously had a permanence arrangement, including adoption and special guardianship, can be found in table C1 of the statistical release ‘Children looked-after in England (including adoption)' for the year ending 31 March 2018 at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/children-looked-after-in-england-including-adoption-2017-to-2018.

The department does not collect or publish information on breakdowns of all adoption orders or all special guardianship orders. This is partly because it is impossible to use available administrative data to link a child’s pre- and post-care histories, as the child’s social care, NHS, and pupil number changes after an adoption order is made. Furthermore, after the making of an adoption order, agencies are under no obligation to keep in touch with adoptive families and some adoptive parents wish to cut ties with Children’s Services. We collect data about children returning to care but where an adoption or special guardianship order is disrupted and the local authority is not working with the family, that data will not be available. Data underpinning previous permanence arrangements as described above is based on self-declaration only.

A research report ‘Beyond the adoption order’ was published in 2014 and gave a one-off insight into adoption breakdown. It can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/beyond-the-adoption-order-challenges-intervention-disruption.

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