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Adoption system failings harm children’s life chances

The adoption system in England is not working for children. There is overwhelming evidence that adoption is an excellent permanence option for children who had the toughest of starts in life. Yet, despite record numbers of looked-after children, only 2,870 adoptions were made in 2020/21 compared with 5,360 in 2015.

Asylum age assessments are unethical

The Home Office is clearly ramping up the use of age assessments for unaccompanied asylum-seeking children, making inflammatory suggestions that predatory men are abusing the system by pretending to be children, and talk of new “scientific” methods of determining age.

Justice system needs to recognise impact of care

Intersectionality is a concept to describe the interconnected nature of social categorisations as they apply to a given individual or group, which create interdependent systems of discrimination or disadvantage.

We must do more to support adolescents at risk

In October, the Nuffield Family Justice Observatory (FJO) published a set of papers on the theme of adolescents in care proceedings that incorporated a blend of qualitative and quantitative studies, with one notable headline finding: the number of 10- to 17-year-olds subject to care proceedings rose by 95 per cent between 2011/12 and 2019/20.

Make permanency work for older children

The latest Covid-19 arrangements will have long-term impacts on many of our most vulnerable children, not least those who have entered the care system during the last year.

Care experience central to England review

The new government has committed to conduct a review of the children’s care system. We are at a pivotal point: 30 years on from the game-changing 1989 Children Act, this review will either go down in history as being another major turning point or a damp squib.