Reform of the care and adoption system

Care Inquiry 2013

EIGHT LEADING charities joined forces to conduct an inquiry into what works best in achieving permanence - including stability and a positive sense of identity and belonging - for children in care and on the edge of care. More information about the Care Inquiry as well as the Inquiry's final report 'Making not breaking: building relationships for our most vulnerable children' is available here.

Children and Families Act 2014

The Children and Families Act is the most far-reaching child welfare legislation to be considered by Parliament for decades. We have looked closely at its details and considered the potential implications for children and families. This dedicated section of our website contains our proposed amendments and suggested new clauses. It also suggests ways in which you can join our campaign.

Read Family Rights Group Chief Executive, Cathy Ashley's response to the new Children and Families Bill 2013 in the Guardian online 'Adoption reforms fail to prioritise family members'.

Our latest policy and campaign briefings on the care and adoption system and our response to consultations by Government and other agencies. We describe the reforms that we believe are necessary and draw upon findings set out in our research publications.

Welfare Reform and Work Bill 2015

Family Rights Group is promoting an amendment to the Bill which would mean that care leavers aged under 25 years old who are parents would receive the same standard allowance as parents who are over 25 years ago.

Currently under income support and job seeker's allowance, single young parents receive the same standard allowance as those over 25 years old. However, the Government's universal credit plans means they would get a lower rate, which is £780 less over the course of a year, than lone parents of that age receive under the current regime. We are particularly concerned about how this will impact on young parents who are care leavers.

The attached briefing sets out our concerns and our proposed amendment.

Submission by Family Rights Group on behalf of Your Family, Your Voice Alliance to the Government's Children's Residential Care Review being conducted by Sir Martin Narey, December 2015.

The submission makes recommendations including the following:

  • To change the law so that young people who have been cared for in residential care who have reached the age of 18 years could 'stay put' in a placement linked to their residential placement and thereby maintain links with their key worker(s), until the age of 21.
  • That measures in the Immigration Bill to remove leaving care support from young people leaving care whose asylum or other claims to stay in the country have failed, are withdrawn.
  • That measures in the Immigration Bill to withdraw support for university fees from all migrant teenagers leaving care, are withdrawn.

The Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 Part 6 (Looked After and Accommodated Children) Regulations and Code of Practice – Family Rights Group’s response. We welcome the aspirational nature of the Act, but feel that significant improvements are required to the draft Care Planning, Placement and Case Review (Wales) Regulations 2015 and Code of Practice in order that the Act’s aims and objectives are fulfilled. It is disappointing that in some important aspects, such as kinship care and children returning home from care, the Regulations and Code are less robust and comprehensive than recent English regulations and guidance on these issues.

Family Rights Group’s response to the Government consultation on fostering for adoption and on sibling placements entitled ‘Adoption: Getting It Right, Making It Work’, 11 April 2014. 

Our submission, which is endorsed by a number of organisations and individuals, sets out our concerns that the proposed Regulations and associated guidance could result in children who are accommodated in local authority care with the voluntary agreement of their parents, being placed with potential adopters without any court decision & without the parents being first notified or having legal advice and despite there being potentially suitable family members. We also fear proposals that seem to introduce an underlying presumption against siblings being placed together. We set out safeguards to ensure fair process and ensure the child’s welfare needs, including their identify and right to family life are central.

Family Rights Group's Response to the Department for Education’s consultation on Improving Permanence for Looked After Children including children returning from care, 4 December 2013.

Family Rights Group’s submission to the government’s proposed ‘foster for adoption’ policy. We express fears that the policy risks militating against the best interests of looked after children, 7 December 2012.

Our response to the proposal to change contact arrangements for children who are looked after or adopted, August 2012

Our response to the proposals about separating siblings who are being placed for adoption, August 2012

The Kinship Care Alliance’s submission to the House of Lords select committee on adoption legislation, July 2012. This submission was drafted by Family Rights Group and is endorsed by BAAF, Buttle Trust, The Fostering Network, The Grandparents’ Association, Grandparents Plus, Mentor UK and The Who Cares? Trust

Our submission by Family Rights Group supplements the Kinship Care Alliance's one which focuses on family and friends care. This submission highlights the importance of fair process, the child’s, parents’ and wider family’s human rights, post adoption support and contact.