Department for Education
Adoption Reform Update – February 2014


In this month’s update, we are trailing our forthcoming consultation. Please let us have your views when this is published.

Children's and Families' Bill

The Bill is in its final stages. The House of Lords has completed its scrutiny and returned the Bill to the House of Commons for consideration of amendments made during the Lords' stage, which took place on Monday 10 February. We anticipate Royal Assent to follow shortly.

Forthcoming Consultation

We will later this month be launching a six week consultation on draft Regulations, new statutory guidance on adoption and a revised outcome for NMS 13 that will come into force in early summer 2014. Your views are important to us so please look out for the consultation document. We look forward to receiving your comments.

ARG Allocations for 2014-15

A further £50m Adoption Reform Grant will be allocated to local authorities in 2014-15 to continue to support the work to improve adoption services. The grant will not be ring-fenced and has been allocated using a similar formula to last year. Local authorities will be able to use the funding at their discretion in order to meet local need. Further information, including a list of individual local authority allocations is available on GOV.UK

Adoption Support Fund

The Adoption Support Fund prototype has now begun its design phase in 10 local authorities across the country. Regional key link advisors are working with LAs to help design and prepare approaches which will start delivering money to adoptive families in the 10 local areas from April/May.


First4Adoption has seen lots of calls, emails and web traffic following the Channel 4 documentary ‘Finding Mum and Dad’. F4A has seen an increase in activity in general adoption enquiries as well as enquiries about the children featured in the programme. It also secured a very supportive article on the ‘Best’ magazine website about adoption activity days (

First4Adoption has been working with an organisation to take forward the Kindred research published by the Department in 2013. This work examines the attributes, motivators and drivers of potential adopters to help agencies to better understand who to target with their recruitment work. F4A is planning to hold a series of workshops in March which we would encourage all agencies, particularly marketing and recruitment specialists, to attend. The workshops will be held on 7 March in London, 10 March in Birmingham and 14 March in Manchester (all will begin at 11am and finish by 3pm). Please contact Gemma Gordon-Johnson at F4A for further information and to book a place (

BAAF Training update

DfE has contracted with BAAF to run free seminars to support the adoption reform programme. A limited number of places will be available at each of these sessions to all adoption agencies and adoption support agencies in England.

The third tranche of training will run between April and June 2014 and will focus on Effective and Evidence Based Report Writing.

The aims are:

• To consider the current legal framework and relevant Judgements underpinning child care reports to the Court and in adoption cases

• To consider analysis and evidence required in effective report writing

• To identify and explore key issues in the assessment of children and young people that will support timely permanence planning

• To consider the role and function of the CPR in effective linking and matching of children in adoption

• Seminars will also provide information reflecting changes on ethnicity and contact. These will be reflected in revised statutory adoption guidance which the Government will shortly be consulting on.

It is suggested that to make best use of these sessions local authorities use their two free places for either Childcare Managers and Supervisors, Independent Reviewing Officers, or Training Officers across the organisation, who can then disseminate materials to children's social workers.

Seminar Three Dates below:

Tuesday 8th April 2014 – BAAF Leeds Office

Wednesday 9th April 2014 – BAAF Head Office, London

Wednesday 16th April 2014 – The Heatons, Manchester

Friday 25th April 2014 – BAAF B'ham Office

Thursday 1st May 2014 – BAAF Head Office, London

Tuesday 13th May 2014 – BAAF Head Office, London

Tuesday 13th May 2014 – The Heatons, Manchester

Monday 19th May 2014 – CCS Adoption, Bristol

Tuesday 20th May 2014 – BAAF B'ham Office

Thursday 22nd May 2014 – BAAF Newcastle Office

Thursday 22nd May 2014 – BAAF Leeds Office

Thursday 5th June 2014 – CCS Adoption, Bristol

Monday 9th June 2014 – BAAF Leeds Office

Friday 13th June 2014 – BAAF Head Office, London

Thursday 19th June 2014 – The Heatons, Manchester

Thursday 19th June 2014 – BAAF B'ham Office

Monday 23rd June 2014 – BAAF Head Office, London

Tuesday 24th June 2014 – BAAF Newcastle Office

Details and registration forms can be found on the BAAF website at and any enquiries can be sent to

Keeping You In Touch

We are sending this update to those we have contact details for and look to you to disseminate this bulletin more widely among your colleagues and members. If you do not wish to receive this update please reply to this email and we will ensure your details are removed before any further updates are circulated. If any of your colleagues would like to be added to our circulation list they should send their name, email address, job title and contact details to

If you have any suggestions as to how we might make these updates more useful to you – or items you would like to see – please let us know by contacting the email address above.

Adoption Reform Team
Department for Education
February 2014