Friday, 17 January 2014

County Among The Best In England For Meeting Adoption Targets

Cambridgeshire is one of only a few local authorities to meet demanding targets for speeding up the adoption process for children needing a permanent home.

Statistics published by the Government show the County Council is consistently ranked amongst the highest in the country – and is one of only 36 to exceed performance thresholds.

Since April 2013 the authority has placed 24 children with their adoptive families, and is progressing well to place more children for adoption than the 39 children placed in the previous year.

In 2011, Cambridgeshire began working with leading children’s charity, Coram, on adoption to help reduce delays and make improvements to the adoption process.

The Council has been successful in placing a number of larger sibling groups together and children who have had difficult starts in life.

Other key achievements include:

  • The average time between a child entering care and moving in with its adoptive family, for children who have been adopted – Cambridgeshire is ranked  9th nationally
  • The average time between a local authority receiving court authority to place a child and the local authority deciding on a match to an adoptive family – Cambridgeshire is 8th nationally
  • 16% of Cambridgeshire's children leave care to be adopted - above the national average of 13% 
  • With the help of adoption agency Coram, Cambridgeshire has also placed 3 children in concurrent placements (ie being adopted by its foster family) whilst court proceedings progress - and make the decision whether they should stay with these carers or return to their birth families. This helps ensure stability and minimise the amount of moves for vulnerable babies, whatever the outcomes of the court’s decision.

Cllr David Brown, Cambridgeshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People’s Services said: ““I am extremely proud of the work the County Council’s Adoption Service and Children’s Units have done for children in Cambridgeshire in need of a family.

“Despite the hugely challenging financial times we face, I am particularly pleased that our performance is improving. Targets will become more challenging in the coming years, but I am confident we have the expertise and dedication to continue to provide a quality service to children and parents.”

Jeanne Kaniuk, Coram’s Head of Adoption and lead for the partnership added: “Adoption offers a forever family to children who are truly in need of a permanent, loving home.

“Cambridgeshire and Coram are committed to sharing expertise and building our services to make transformational changes in their lives.

“We must avoid delay where we can, but we must also make decisions about children’s futures with the greatest of care to ensure their future stability and happiness.”