Ofsted and Adoption
I have a response from Ofsted as to what they are doing now about encouraging councils to have more children adopted from care. They say:2059SC - PAF CF/C23: Number of looked after children adopted
during the year as a percentage of the number of looked after
children at 31 March (excluding unaccompanied asylum seekers)
who had been looked after for six months or more on that day (BVPI
Notes on Interpretation:
This indicator is designed to give some data on the effectiveness of the end of
the adoption procedure and seeks to encourage the use of adoption.
For most children the best place to grow up is with their birth parents. Where
this is not possible, society has a clear responsibility to provide children with
stability and permanence in their lives. The Government believes that more
can and should be done to promote the wider use of adoption which offers
the only legally secure placement for children unable to return to their birth
families. This does not mean that adoption is appropriate for more than a
minority of children.
This is a complex indicator. Very important contextual data for this indicator
is the actual trend in numbers of adoptions in each council. This is because
an improvement in numbers of adoptions is not always evident in the final
indicator value. Small numbers in this indicator can also lead to some
variability in the indicator value year on year. This volatility means, therefore,
that the data needs to be treated with some caution.
Consideration should be given to the age at adoption, as older children with
more complex needs are more difficult to place, as are sibling groups,
disabled children and children from black and ethnic minority groups. Other
factors worth considering are the proportion of placements for adoption
ending in adoption; the trend in numbers of children looked after for more
than 6 months; the numbers of children returning to own families; the
numbers of children looked after for fairly short periods; the number of
adoption breakdowns and the numbers of special guardianship orders in the
A high figure is, generally, considered good performance and a low figure
poor performance. Comparatively low rate of adoptions may suggest: delays
in permanency planning and care planning; failure to consider adoption as an
option for every child not returning to parents; insufficient adopters to meet
need, lack of interagency budget to purchase placements outside the council;
court delays. The figures may be low, though, because of the prevalence of
factors, already discussed, which can militate against a higher score, but over
which the council has little of no influence.
A very high figure, particularly sustained over some years, should prompt
further enquiry. It may be the result from the prevalence of factors assisting
a council to achieve a high figure, but it may also be a result of a council
placing children inappropriately.
Consideration should also be given to other indicators on adoption (2058SC),
placement (2043SC PAF CF/A1, 2067SC PAF CF/D78, 2068SC PAF CF/B79),
distance from home (3085SC PAF CF/C69).
And then there is a table which says below 3 is red, 3<5 is amber, 6,7 is yellow and 7<8 is light blue. 8<25 is green (ie ok).
Then there is a table I shall try to upload. Graphical rather than numerical sadly.