Appeal to find families

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AN appeal has been made by Cambridgeshire County Council this week for more families to come forward and offer a home to children waiting to be adopted.

Figures released show that 80 per cent of looked after children in Cambridgeshire who were adopted during the year were placed within 12 months of the decision being made.

Government statistics also show that 14 per cent of looked after children in the county were placed for adoption last year, ranking Cambridgeshire 62nd out of 149 local authorities.

Cambridgeshire’s success is partly down to a partnership agreement signed in July with Coram - a national children’s charity and specialist voluntary adoption agency - in response to the Government’s call for local authorities to improve their adoption services.

Cambridgeshire County Council is looking to intensify its efforts to recruit more adopters for vulnerable children waiting for adoptive families.

The Council’s adoption service particularly needs to find more families who may be able to parent children with more complex needs.

In Cambridgeshire there are currently 51 children waiting to be adopted - 34 single children of various ages and 17 in sibling groups of two or three whom the Council wish to keep together.

Most of the children have complex needs such as developmental delay, physical disability and uncertainty about their long term development resulting from complex family backgrounds of mental ill health, substance abuse during pregnancy, neglect and domestic violence.

Cllr David Brown, Cambridgeshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People’s Services said: “I am pleased with these figures. They illustrate our commitment to securing positive outcomes for young people in Cambridgeshire. But we are not complacent, and believe that with improved planning and decision-making we can reduce delays even further.

“An important initiative towards achieving this was the partnership agreement the County Council signed in July with Coram - a national children’s charity and specialist voluntary adoption agency. We are confident the partnership will result in improved practices and fewer delays. I would urge anyone interested in adopting to come forward.”

As part of national Adoption Week this week, the County Council is urging people to come forward to offer a home to children waiting to be adopted. Anyone interested should call 0800 052 0078. An adoption social worker will be available to give information and answer any questions about adoption.