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Adoption: Babies

Volume 463: debated on Tuesday 17 July 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether her Department provides financial incentives to local authorities to increase take-up of adoptions of babies under the age of six months. (149433)

The Department for Communities and Local Government and the Office for the Deputy Prime Minister before it has since 2000 provided a system of performance incentivisation for local authorities in England across a range of service areas. This system operated via the local public service agreements, which have since been merged with local area agreements. These agreements offered a reward grant to local authorities who could deliver outcomes over and above the level of performance Government would otherwise expect.

Sixty one local authorities chose to include in their LPSA or LAA a measure performance on adoption and/or stability of placements for looked-after children, though the targets would not refer specifically to babies under the age of six months. Reward would be payable to local authorities and their partners for achievement of these particular targets, and in a number of cases this has now been claimed. Details on each target have been made available in the Library of the House, though we do not have data on the age of the children adopted in local authority areas.