Almost 4,000 children in care were adopted in 2012-13 – an increase of 15 per cent on the previous year. 3,980 children were adopted between April 2012 and March 2013, up from 3,470 the previous year. This is higher than in any year since 1992, when comparable records began. You can see how your own local authority has got on here.

Edward Timpson, Children and Families Minister said:

“It is hugely encouraging that the number of children adopted from care has risen to the highest level yet – but too many children are still waiting too long for stable, loving homes.

“More needs to be done to recruit adoptive parents. That’s why we have made the £150million Adoption Reform Grant available for local authorities to spend on recruitment reform, and this summer I gave voluntary adoption agencies a further £16million to expand and recruit more adoptive parents. I hope to see this funding deliver results.”

So half a cheer. Yet the Government rest on the lazy mantra that adoption “is not the right approach for every child.” Of course it isn’t. But it is the right approach for most of the 68,110 children who were in the care system in England as of April 1st this year.

The scandal is that most of them will remain stuck in care. Or they will be sent back to their birth mother (over 10,000 a year) despite the high risk of facing further abuse or neglect and then being returned to the care system with he disruption of a different foster carer.

The work needed to sort out this mess has only just begun.