The adoption targets and scorecards are for local authorities to stop children waiting so long to be adopted and being stuck in the care system. They do not incentivise an increase in adoption numbers.

The aim is to improve local authority practice and reduce the time that children remain in care, once a court has decided that a child should be placed for adoption. Thousands of children who are unable to safely return to their families remain unadopted for too long. It’s not surprising that as children wait longer in care they become increasingly angry, confused and dejected – often resulting in challenging and difficult behaviour. These children need a special kind of adopter, which means they wait even longer until the right adopter can be found. That is why there is a great need for adopters with the energy and resilience to care for often challenging children.