Plans to allow would-be adopters to search videos and photos of children remain in limbo because security issues that emerged last year have yet to be resolved.
Adoption activity days give prospective adopters the opportunity to spend time with “harder to place” children. Picture: Jason Bye
In November, CYP Now revealed that the Adopter Access Pilot, which was designed to allow people who have been approved to adopt to search the national Adoption Register and was due to launch in September, had been delayed amid concerns about the safety of children’s data.
The Department for Education has confirmed that the trial is on hold, although it is unclear for how long.
It is understood that Education Secretary Nicky Morgan is unwilling to allow the pilot to go ahead until she is convinced the system is secure.
Sue Brunton, director for child placement at the British Association for Adoption and Fostering (BAAF), which is due to run the pilots on behalf of the DfE, said the organisation is “working extremely hard to ensure the safety and security of children’s data”.
“We are excited to offer the adopter access pilot and our paramount concern is the protection of children,” she said.
“We will be announcing a launch date in due course.
“This will be once we have completed all of the accreditation process for this level of sensitive data.”
Under the pilot, which is due to run for nine months, 29 councils and voluntary adoption agencies will be able to allow people who have been approved to adopt to search the national Adoption Register.
They will be able to see pictures and videos of the children as well as find out about their hobbies, likes and dislikes.
It is hoped that opening up the Adoption Register to approved adopters could make it easier to find a home for children who are traditionally more difficult to place – either because they are older (above the age of four), are part of a sibling group, have a disability or come from an ethnic minority background.
By allowing prospective adopters to see pictures and videos of the children as well as find out about their hobbies, likes and dislikes, it is anticipated that adopters may be attracted to children who, on paper, they may have been reluctant to consider due to a belief they may not be suitable.
Brunton said that children who are referred to the Adoption Register tend to be those that will wait longest to be matched with a new adoptive family.
“We know from the matching services we already provide for harder to place children [such as adoption activity days and adoption exchange days] that these children are more likely to be matched when adopters have an opportunity to see a range of information presented in different ways or indeed from having direct contact with adopters,” she said.
“For example over one-in-four children who attend a BAAF-run adoption activity day will be matched with a new family as a result.”
for more information see: http://www.cypnow.co.uk/cyp/news/1149097/adoption-reform-delays-continue-security-concerns?utm_content=&utm_campaign=100115%20daily&utm_source=Children%20%26%20Young%20People%20Now&utm_medium=adestra_email&utm_term=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cypnow.co.uk%2Fcyp%2Fnews%2F1149097%2Fadoption-reform-delays-continue-security-concerns#sthash.cKPnYZT1.dpuf