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Housing rules should help those wishing to foster and adopt

One reason social workers are often resistance to adoption is that they dislike the prospect of children from council estates being pleased with middle class households. Yet they also say that children being adopted should have their own bedroom. While the housing department says council tenants can't move to a bigger property until they have the child. As the cliche goes "catch 22."

Thus it is hard for council tenants to adopt while - social workers, clinging to their ideological prejudices, are filled with horror at the "social engineering" of rich people adopting (they might even send the kid to a private school.) So the child languishes in care. A bit more "joined up Government" between the housing departments and the children's services departments is needed.

Housing Minister Grant Shapps has called on councils to help prospective adoptive parents and foster carers. New guidance will make clear that councils will be expected to consider how their actions could help people in their area who are looking to adopt or foster a child in need of a stable, loving family.

Grant Shapps said:

"It is a tragedy that we live in a society where bureaucracy and red tape can prevent children from being adopted or fostered into a stable home. I want the dreams of prospective foster carers and adoptive parents and the dreams of children in care to be realised.

"I want councils to be creative with the powers and flexibilities we have given them: if a family is willing to take the brave step of adopting or fostering a child, we should aim for a housing system that supports them rather than getting in the way. The wider social benefits of bringing children out of care and into a stable and loving home are too great for them to be stymied by council departments working in silos.

"I will also be looking at any way, we, in Whitehall can make the process smoother for prospective foster carers and adoptive parents. Over the next few months we will be undertaking a wider trawl of housing and local government red tape and looking to amend anything that might be preventing people from coming forward to foster or adopt a child."

Children's Minister Tim Loughton added:

"We urgently need more people to come forward to adopt and foster children. We must make sure that when people do come forward, local authorities are doing everything they can to make the process easier. Issues around the number of bedrooms in a home should not be preventing children from finding safe, loving placements with families.

"We want to see more local authorities using their common sense on these issues. New housing guidance is a welcome step forward, and will give local authorities more flexibility in how they handle housing applications for prospective adopters and foster carers."


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