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SOCIAL SERVICES DIRECTORS PUT FORWARD PLANS TO IMPROVE ADOPTION WORK

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Directors of more than 150 English and Welsh social services authorities are today promising to take personal charg...
Directors of more than 150 English and Welsh social services authorities are today promising to take personal charge of adoption work and to put it at the top of their agendas.

The Guardian (p4) reports that they also plan jointly to assist councils which are struggling to succeed with adoption. One idea is to set up support teams to help them learn from best practice elsewhere.

The plans were agreed at a private conference in Liverpool last week - as a group of MPs called on the Department of Health to send 'hit squads' into councils performing poorly on adoption.

Under the directors' plan, they will review their departments' adoption services and advise their councils to strengthen arrangements and increase investment in them.

This will include providing extra resources for social workers once a child has been identified as ready for adoption; moving towards a targeted strategy for recruiting adoptive parents; improving support for new adoptive parents; and making adoption allowances more available.

Moira Gibb, vice-president of the Association of Directors of Social Services, said: 'The action we have agreed to take ... will go some way to dispelling the myths and letting emerge a more balanced understanding of this terribly delicate and sensitive area of work.'

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