11:21 Tuesday 31 December 2013

Adoption funding boost welcomed by councils

Written byLAURA HAMMOND

ADOPTION bosses in Burton and South Derbyshire have welcomed a national funding boost for services.

The Government’s Children’s Minister Edward Timpson announced that councils would share an extra £50 million grant in 2014 to assist the drive to recruit more would-be adopters.

It follows further grants earlier in the year, which were aimed at streamlining the adoption process – something which has been particularly effective in Staffordshire, with the amount of time it takes to adopt a child slashed significantly.

Councillor Alan White, cabinet member for care on Staffordshire County Council, said: “In Staffordshire, we are working very hard to find loving homes for our children in care and to encourage more adopters to come forward. We are also making good progress in reducing the length of time it takes for a child to be adopted.

“We are pleased with the Government’s announcement of the extra funding being made available to local authorities adoption services Any additional support which helps us improve our adoption service would be welcome.”

A spokesman for the authority said there are around 60 children currently awaiting adoption, and the council was particularly keen to hear from prospective adoptive parents for little ones over the age of three, and sibling groups.

Further information is available at www.staffordshire.gov.uk.

Over the border in Derbyshire, a council spokesman said the extra slice of funding would increase the success which the adoption service has enjoyed over the last year.

He added: “More Derbyshire children are already being adopted with the county performing well above the national average according to a national report. We’ve been recruiting more adopters, too. From April to September last year we approved 28 new households and hope to meet our target of 50 households by March 2014 – up from 38 households in 2012/3. The national report shows that in comparison to many other local councils, Derbyshire recruits, trains and assesses adoptive parents quickly and efficiently.

“Anyone thinking about fostering or adoption can Call Derbyshire free on 0800 083 77 44 or visit derbyshire.gov.uk/adoptionandfostering”

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