CAMBRIDGESHIRE will be among the first authorities in the country to put new Government proposals on adoption into practice.
The Prime Minister has announced that babies taken into care will be looked after by the families who hope to adopt them.
The move is part of Government plans to reduce the disruption that many children under the age of one suffer in early life. It aims to make fostering by approved adopters standard practice for the youngest infants.
Ministers want to see more infants and children becoming part of a permanent family sooner so they can benefit from growing up in a stable and loving environment.
Cambridgeshire County Council is already set up to implement the proposals following its ground-breaking partnership with national children’s charity and specialist voluntary adoption agency Coram a year ago.
Coram has a long-established reputation as a national centre of excellence for adoption and for sharing best practice with other organisations. The charity has particular experience in the region through Coram Adopt Anglia, which finds adoptive families in Cambridge and East Anglia.
The main purpose of the new partnership with the County Council is to further improve decision-making and minimise delays in the adoption process. The ultimate aim is to give more children and young people in care in the region a secure and stable future with an adoptive family, long term foster carers or legal guardians.
Carol Homden, Chief Executive of Coram said: “Coram is working to ensure best practice models for early ‘foster first’ placements, through measures such as a subscription scheme to concurrent planning for local authorities, training and case consultation and specialist preparation groups.
“Cambridgeshire is leading the way as the first partner, focusing on short and long term planning to give even better care to looked-after children. They are ready for carers who wish to do concurrent planning to come forward and find out about this very child-centred scheme.
“The people who come forward take a risk that would otherwise be placed on the child. They are special people, but the rewards this scheme can offer are immense.”
Cllr David Brown, Cambridgeshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People’s Services added: “I am delighted with Government’s announcement this morning. It embraces everything we in Cambridgeshire have been working towards ever since we joined forces with Coram last year.
“Staff in Cambridgeshire are suitably trained and ready to put the new proposals into practice. We would urge anyone interested to contact us as soon as possible. With their help we can radically improve the lives and opportunities for these vulnerable young children.”