Data shows that there has been a 25% fall in the number of placement orders granted by courts in England between 2013-14 and 2015-16. There has also been a corresponding decline over the same period in the number of decisions to pursue plans for adoption for children in care.
The is seen to be a response to the Supreme Court judgement (Re B (A Child)  UKSC 33) followed by the Court of Appeal Judgment Re B-S (Re B-S (Children)  EWCA Civ 1146). A key issue in both judgements was that of ‘proportionality’ in permanency decision making, with the use of an overarching phrase that adoption was only to be pursued ‘where nothing else will do’.
The decline in adoption numbers has coincided with an increase in the use of special guardianship, especially for family and friend carers. Research identifies that many kinship care placements, especially those that are well prepared and supported, have good outcomes.
See the full report here.