Consultation (England): Revising the National Minimum Standards (NMS) for Adoption, Children's Homes and Fostering

I received this from The Consultation Unit Department for Children, Schools and Families The following consultation(s) published by the Department for Children, Schools and Families may be of interest to you: * Revising the National Minimum Standards (NMS) for Adoption, Children's Homes and Fostering Visit the Department for Children, Schools and Families e-consultation website at for more information.


The basics

From what I understand, the basic values, principles and standards for foster care and adoption are essentially the same.  All of it reads, quite lovely, too.  Unfortunately, it's my strong belief, (based on evidence that proves poor choices are made, bad placements take place and children are neglected and abused and suffer, as a consequence of poor-placement), far too often, what is written on paper is NOT what a child receives.  It's my hope all children placed within "the system" are valued and cared for/about as much as the following list suggests -- perhaps if they were, and members of the system were doing their job, as it's outlined, cases like THIS would never have to be seen or heard.

The values statement below explains the important principles which underpin these Standards:




·               Children are entitled to grow up as part of a loving family which can meet their developmental needs during childhood and beyond.  Where possible this should be with their birth family, but where this is not consistent with their welfare every effort will be made to secure an alternative stable home where the child will feel loved and valued.  


·               Adopted children deserve the best experiences in life, from excellent parenting and education to a wide range of opportunities to develop their talents, skills and interests, in order to have an enjoyable childhood and successful adult life.  Stable placements, emotional wellbeing and support are essential elements of this success. 


·               The child’s welfare, safety and needs will be at the centre of the adoption process. 


·               Children’s wishes and feelings are important and will be actively sought and fully taken into account at all stages.


·               A sense of identity is important to a child’s well-being.  To help children develop this, their ethnic origin, cultural background, religion and language is fully recognised and positively valued and promoted.


·               Disabled children and children with complex needs may have particular needs which should be fully recognised and taken into account.


·               Delays in making decisions and in placing children with a family who can meet their developmental needs can have a severe impact on the health and development of the children and should be avoided wherever possible.


·               Where a child cannot be cared for in a suitable manner in his or her own country, intercountry adoption may be considered as an alternative means of providing a permanent family. 


·               Safeguards and standards applied to intercountry adoption are in line with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child 1989 and the Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and Co-operation in respect of Inter-country Adoption 1993.


·               Children, birth parents/guardians and families and adoptive parents and families will be valued and respected.


·               A genuine partnership between all those involved in adoption is essential for the National Minimum Standards to deliver the  best outcomes for children; this includes the Government, local government, other statutory agencies, VAAs and ASAs.


How the Standards fit with the Every Child Matters Outcomes


The Government’s aim is for every child, whatever their background or their circumstances, to have the support they need to:


  • Be healthy
  • Stay safe
  • Enjoy and achieve
  • Make a positive contribution
  • Achieve economic well-being


Ofsted’s inspection of adoption agencies and ASAs against the provisions of the adoption regulations and standards will be carried out within the context of the five Every Child Matters Outcomes.  When assessing the fitness of a provider, consideration will be given to whether the service ultimately contributes to helping children meet these outcomes.



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