Cambridgeshire: County Meets Adoption Guidelines

A new report shows Cambridgeshire has again met timescales for getting children needing adoption with their new families.

The county is doing better than the national average with 65 per cent of children in Cambridgeshire waiting less than 21 months between entering care and moving in with their adoptive family, compared to the national average of 56 per cent of children waiting less than 21 months for an adoptive family.  Its average length of care proceedings over two years is a week longer than the national average.

* In the first six months of this year 16 adoptive families have been approved (35 families were approved last year)
* 19 children have been placed for adoption in the first six months of the year, compared with a total of 22 children placed last year. 17 of the 19 children were placed with Cambridgeshire adopters
* 13 adoption orders have been granted since April 2012 (32 adoption orders granted last year)

The Government introduced the Adoption Scorecard earlier this year to measure adoption performance of local authorities to be published annually.

The scorecard measures Local Authority adoption performance against timescales highlighting key indicators for how swiftly local authorities place children in need of adoptive families.

Two key threshold indicators are measured in the scorecard. The first of these relates to the overall experience of a child who is adopted, measuring the average time it takes for a child from entering care and moving in with his or her adoptive family. The second key indicator measures the average time it takes between court authorising placement for adoption (granting a Placement Order) and a child being matched with an adoptive family,  identifying the proportion of children who wait longer for adoption than they should.

Cambridgeshire's partnership with Coram - a national children's charity and specialist voluntary adoption agency - was set up in September 2011 in response to the Government's call for local authorities to improve their adoption services, and is now well established. 

Cllr David Brown, Cambridgeshire County Council's Cabinet Member for Children and Young People's Services said: "Based on the score card information, Cambridgeshire as an adoption agency is doing well currently, but we are not complacent and will continue to monitor our performance rigorously. Our practice is becoming more child-focused and we are very pleased at being able to recruit prospective adopters who are able to meet the needs of children waiting for adoptive families. We will continue to work closely with Coram to further reduce delay for children and for prospective adopters."

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