Posted: 24th January 2017
Author: Emily Bower

Latest Figures on Adoption System Performance

holding hands

The Department for Education has published an update from the Adoption Leadership Board showing performance figures for the adoption system for April to June 2016. The key findings were as follows:-

  • There has been a 10% decrease in the number of children waiting to be placed with an adoptive family. As at 30th June 2016, there were 2,000 children with a placement order not yet placed with an adoptive family compared to the 2,210 children waiting as at 31st March 2016.
  • There has been a decrease in the time taken between a child entering care and being placed with a family for children who have been adopted. The latest quarterly data suggests there has been an improvement to 17 months during the first quarter of 2016-17.
  • The latest quarterly data suggests adopter timeliness has been declining. In quarter 2 2013-14, 50% of approvals made by local authorities were made within 6 months of registration, this decreased to 31% in quarter 1 2016-17.
  • The number of children adopted from care has decreased. In 2015-16, there were 4,690 adoptions, an increase of 35% from 2011-12; however, this was a decrease of 12% from 2014-15. Quarterly data suggest that there were 1,060 children adopted in quarter 1 2016-17.
  • New ADM decisions and placement orders granted have fallen. Quarterly data suggests that the number of new decisions has decreased by 42% compared to previous quarters and. The number of new placement orders have also continued to fall.
  • Adoptive family approvals have increased slightly and registrations have decreased. Registrations to become an adopter have decreased by 13% from 840 in quarter 4 2015-16 to 730 in quarter 1 2016-17. The number of adopter families approved for adoption has increased slightly by 1% from 700 in quarter 4 2015-16 to 710 in quarter 1 2016-17.

The Department for Education believes that the “adopter gap” has closed, and we now have more adoptive families than children waiting.

See the Family Law Week article at

For the full data from the Department of Education, see the Adoption Leadership Board headline measures and business intelligence Quarter 1 2016 to 2017 update by following the link below.