Right to an assessment for adoption support services (clause 4)

Adoption and Children Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am ar 20 Tachwedd 2001.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

4. The White Paper Adoption: a new approach, published in December 2000, included a commitment to ``give all families adopting children, especially those who have been looked after, a new right to an assessment by their council for post-placement support''. Clause 4(1) of the previous version of the Bill underpinned this new right to an assessment for adopted children and their adoptive parents. It was intended that other people affected by adoption, such as birth parents and adopted adults, would continue to be able to approach their local authority and request adoption support services, as under the existing arrangements.

5. Concern was expressed by adoption stakeholders during Select Committee that the rights of everyone affected by adoption to have their needs for adoption support services considered should be made clear on the face of the Bill. In response to these concerns, clause 4(1) of the new Bill places local authorities under a duty to carry out an assessment of the needs for adoption support of all those listed in clause 3(1). The right to an assessment therefore now applies to children who may be adopted, birth parents and guardians of such children, prospective adopters, adopted children and adults, adoptive parents, birth parents and former guardians of adopted people.

6. It is anticipated that different types of assessments will be appropriate for different parties. The details of the various types of assessment will be set out in regulations made under clause 4(7)(b). These assessment procedures will be determined in consultation with stakeholders, as part of the work on the new framework for adoption support promised in the White Paper. Detailed proposals for this framework covering the range of services to be put in place, including financial support, as well as arrangements for assessment, are to be published for consultation in the spring.