Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted)
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Court delays keep children waiting for adoption

A report published yesterday by Ofsted found that the most significant cause of delay for children needing adoption is the length of time it takes for cases to be completed in court. The average time taken to complete care proceedings in the cases inspectors examined was almost 14 months.

The report also found that although there were some delays caused by issues such as a lack of suitable adopters or weak planning, these were generally not as significant as those caused earlier by delays in initiating and concluding care proceedings.

The Right on time report explores the many critical points that can cause delay in a complex adoption system and some of the ways in which local authorities and their partners are working to overcome those barriers. The report surveyed nine local authorities, tracking 53 adoption cases in detail, and a further 36 cases were randomly sampled. Inspectors also spoke to 23 approved adopters.

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