Greater efforts needs to be made to recruit new adopters, a government organisation has claimed.
The Adoption Leadership Board was established in 2014 by the then Coalition government to promote the practice and encourage uptake across the country. In a new briefing note, the Board has now said a continuing fall in the number of completed adoption orders may be linked to council efforts to recruit new adopters undergoing a “substantial contraction”.
The note declares:
“The latest available data suggests that there are more approved adopters waiting than children. However, we should not conclude that this means there are enough adopters on a simple numerical calculation.”
In June last year, the number of prospective adopters who had been approved but not matched with a child still exceeded the number of children on waiting lists (approximately 2,000): but the former total – 2,890 – reprsented a distinct fall from the previous year, when there were 3,510 prospective adopters available to waiting children. The Board believes this fall can be directly attributed to the “contraction” in recruitment efforts.
More than a quarter of the children last yer – around 560 – had been on waiting lists for 18 months or more.
The Leadership Board insists that:
“… more still needs to be done to ensure the system recruits, approves and supports adopters who can care for children with the needs that are well known and all too familiar – children with complex health needs or disabilities, children from minority ethnic, cultural, religious and language backgrounds, older children and sibling groups.”
The briefing note is entitled What does our data tell us about what is happening in the adoption system?
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