Huw Irranca-Davies, Minister for Children, Older People and Social Care
Following recent consultations concerning the regulation and inspection of fostering, adult placements and children’s statutory advocacy services, I am pleased to share with you links to the consultation in respect of adoption services, which launches today (4 September 2018).
This consultation forms part of phase 3 of implementing the Regulation and Inspection of Social Care (Wales) Act 2016, which is due to come into effect in April 2019.
Views are sought on the draft Adoption Services (Service Providers and Responsible Individuals) and Local Authority Adoption Services (Wales) Regulations 2019 which, in summary:
• place new requirements on regulated adoption service providers and responsible individuals in relation to those services under sections 27 and 28 of the 2016 Act
• place similar requirements, where applicable, upon local authority adoption service providers and their managers, under section 9 of the Adoption and Children Act 2002.
Also published for consultation is draft statutory guidance for regulated adoption service providers and responsible individuals under the 2016 Act and a code of practice for local authority adoption service providers and their managers under the Social Services and Well-Being (Wales) Act 2014. These have been developed, and combined within a single document, to complement the draft regulations and further clarify how the requirements can be met.
The consultation also invites views on the options for the future of independent reviews of determinations for adoption, with equivalent options for fostering having been consulted upon earlier this year.
As previously highlighted, the overall approach to developing the requirements for phase 3 services has been to draw from and, wherever appropriate, equate them with the standards that we as a Government and an Assembly put in place at phase 2 (April 2018), for services such as care homes and domiciliary support. However, the draft requirements have been tailored to ensure the best fit with how adoption services work in practice without compromising overall expectations.
The draft Regulations have been scoped and developed with the assistance and advice of a stakeholder technical group, to whom I am very grateful. I now welcome further views on the proposals and would encourage all those with an interest to respond by the closing date of 27 November 2018.
Finally, I would like to advise that we will be consulting on a further set of regulations in respect of adoption services – that will establish a two-stage process for the approval of prospective adopters – starting later this month.
This statement is being issued during recess in order to keep members informed. Should members wish me to make a further statement or to answer questions on this when the Assembly returns I would be happy to do so.