Unusually, this month sees the emergence of a system that creates an disincentive to adoption for Local Authorities, if this report on Family Law is correct. It suggests that as a result of the target being drawn so as to require all children for whom the plan is adoption to be placed within 12 months, Local Authorities will shy away from adoption, and look more favourably on other options like Special Guardianship with extended family.
Most often we see adoption targets being cited as evidence of the pro-adoption corruption of the system, but in this instance they appear to be susceptible to the opposite criticism. What remains unclear is the extent to which targets ever have or ever will sway social work care planning decisions on the ground be that in one direction or the other.
It will be interesting to see how effective these targets are and how long they last.