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Page last updated at 09:30 GMT, Wednesday, 14 March 2012

'Reel in red tape' on adoption

The organisation which represents councils in England and Wales has criticised government plans to introduce a scorecard system as a way of highlighting councils that are under performing on adoption.

Councillor David Simmonds, chair of the Local Government Association (LGA), said that they feared this proposed system "may encourage people to meet target rather than so what is best for that child".

He went on to say that this focus on targets in order to speed up the adoption process will mean that easy to adopt children will be pushed through while more difficult children will be left behind.

Children's Minister Tim Loughton insisted that the new measures on adoption were "absolutely not about targets".

He said it was important to question why there was a differentiation in the speed of adopting between various local authorities and added that some local authorities perceive adoption as an "add-on" rather than making it a priority.

He went on to say that showing "where we've got good practise and where we have poor practice" is important to keep a "spotlight" on adoption.

David Simmonds agreed, adding that there is a "bulk of bureacracy, that needs to be swept up".

"Reeling in the red tape and ripping up the regulation books" is what the government is working towards, said Tim Loughton.

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