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Children and Families Minister quizzed by peers on adoption

Edward Timpson MP, Minister for Children and Families, will appear before the House of Lords Select Committee on Adoption Legislation on Tuesday 4 December, in the final evidence session of the Committee's inquiry.

Mr Timpson has personal experience of adoption and fostering, having two adopted younger brothers, and given that his parents have fostered 87 children.

Having heard from an array of experts in the adoption process, including social workers, birth family support groups, adoption agencies and members of the judiciary, the Committee will question the Minister on issues including:

  • how social workers can be freed from the constraints of targets and bureaucracy;
  • whether the number of organisations involved in the adoption system needs to be reduced;
  • how the Government will ensure that local authorities, courts and CAFCASS have enough resources to handle the continued increase in care proceedings;
  • how the Government expects to reduce the time it takes for a child to be adopted;
  • whether the Government is concerned that its proposals to remove explicit consideration of ethnicity when making adoption decisions might send the wrong message to social workers; and
  • whether the Government would support a change in the law to impose a statutory duty on local authorities to provide post-adoption support for children and families.

Following on, at 11.30am, the Committee will hear from the following representatives from the NSPCC:

  • Julie Taylor, Strategic Lead for Physical Abuse in High Risk Families; and 
  • Matthew Forde, Head of Services for Scotland.

The Committee will be exploring the extent to which the views and wishes of children are taken into account in placement and adoption proceedings, and considering whether social workers are sometimes  governed by a ‘culture of optimism'.

The evidence sessions will begin at 10.15am on Tuesday 4 December in Committee Room 3A of the House of Lords and will be webcast live at

The evidence session is also open to the public. Journalists wishing to attend should go to Parliament's Cromwell Green Entrance and should allow time for security screening.

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