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Dividing £2,156,586 by 205 would give an average payment of £10,519.93 per child placed for adoption.Even without details for the costs of all social workers involved in a case, plus legal representatives at court – usually for both the local authority and the family involved – plus court time, plus foster carers, it is clear that any money paid in the form of a bonus does not come close to covering the cost of removing a child from their family and placing them for adoption.The British Association of Adoption and Fostering (BAAF) is another useful source of statistics.There is no evidence that this is happening in the UK.The Government publishes statistics (‘Adoption scorecards’) showing how local authorities place children for adoption, so you can check the figures there.
Even if your social worker decides that you are not currently able to look after this baby, they need to have evidence to support this conclusion.Your social worker cannot just refer to the fact that you have had a previous child taken into care, and they need to get an independent judge to agree that there is a sound reason for removing this baby.Section 1 of The Children Act 1989 creates a statutory obligation to put the needs of the child first.If birth parents believe they have had their child taken into care unfairly, they should lodge a formal complaint with their local authority. I certainly do not believe children are systematically being taken into care to meet adoption targets.Although the amounts of money paid to local authorities who meet their targets for placing children in their care and for assessing adoptive parents can be large – scroll down to the bottom of this page to see figures from September 2007 – they do not exceed the cost of the care proceedings.
This doesn’t mean that your social work doesn’t care about the impact this would have on you, but that they are obliged to put the child first and foremost. There are a number of reasons why plans might change, including if you can demonstrate that you are willing and able to make the necessary changes to address the concerns that led to adoption being considered as an option for your child.