Children's Minister announces new adoption agency

Published: Friday 4th April 2014

A new voluntary adoption agency to help more children find loving adopted homes is being launched in Cambridgeshire by UK children’s charity Coram with Cambridgeshire County Council

Coram Cambridgeshire Adoption will bring together the best skills, expertise and resources from both the voluntary and public sectors to help find more adoptive families for the growing number of looked after children.

It is among three new voluntary adoption agencies, based in different parts of the country, created with Government funding to encourage more people to adopt.

Children and Families Minister Edward Timpson said: “It’s great to see three new agencies opening their doors today as a direct result of the government’s investment, finding and helping up to 300 potential adopters across the country.With more than 6,000 children still waiting for a loving home, it’s vital we continue to do all that we can to recruit new parents and give voluntary adoption agencies a key role in boosting the number of adopters further.”

Coram Cambridgeshire Adoption will use its combined expertise and capacity to find and prepare greater numbers of prospective adoptive parents who can best meet the needs of children in care, whether from Cambridgeshire or other parts of the country.

Working across Cambridgeshire, East Anglia and the M11 corridor, CCA aims to offer the best possible support and preparation to adopters. Adopters will benefit from the expertise of a wide a range of staff, from careful adoption preparation right through to ongoing post adoption support.  Parenting skills groups for adopters, based on the Coram model, will be developed as part of ongoing post adoption support for younger children aged three to eight years.*

Carol Homden, Chief Executive of Coram, the UK’s children charity which runs a leading voluntary adoption agency, said: “We all need to think innovatively if we are to meet the challenge of finding more adoptive families for the increasing number of children who so desperately need them.  By bringing together the best of voluntary sector and local authority expertise for the first time in one voluntary adoption agency, we can ensure that we can rise to meet this challenge.”

Cllr David Brown, Cambridgeshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People’s Services said: “I am delighted we have extended this already successful partnership with Coram. The new agency will build on the excellent outcomes already achieved in Cambridgeshire, and I am confident we can use our combined expertise and experience to extend that good practice further.”

Coram has been working closely with Cambridgeshire’s Adoption Teams since September 2011.  In that time the number of children placed for adoption has increased by 110 per cent. CCA will build on this work - which has seen Cambridgeshire ranked as one of the fastest local authorities in England - to match children needing adoption and also on Coram’s expertise in concurrent planning, a practice which provides greater stability for very young children in care while their long-term future is being decided.**

The other agencies announced today are ARC Adoption North East, based in Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, and Adopters for Adoption, based in the Midlands. Each of the new has committed to recruit over 100 adopters in three years, finding stable, loving homes for vulnerable children who are waiting to be adopted – particularly those children who are harder to place.

There are already 25 VAAs in England, which in 2012-13 recruited and approved over 600 desperately needed parents for the thousands of children waiting for a stable home. VAAs work alongside local authorities in recruiting and assessing prospective adopters, before creating a match with a child who is waiting for a loving home.

Research published last year by the Department for Education shows that there could be up to 4 million people in England likely to consider adopting at some point in the future.Of these, over 650,000 say they are actively considering adopting imminently, yet up and down the country we know there are still 6,000 children waiting to be adopted. Last summer the government made over £16 million available to help voluntary adoption agencies expand in order to address the shortfall of adopters and place children who need stable homes more quickly.

Coram Cambridgeshire Adoption website

Ends

Notes to editors:

  1. Media wanting further information should contact Sue Massey at Coram's press office on 020 7520 0346 or Simon Cobby at Cambridgeshire County Council's press office on 01223 699281.
  2. *Coram's parenting skills' programme, validated by The Centre for Excellence and Outcomes in Children and Young People's Services (C4EO), is specially tailored for adoptive families to support their particular needs and circumstances.
  3. **Coram has pioneered Concurrent Planning in the UK since 1999. A child under the age of two is found suitable foster carers who are ready and willing to adopt them later, if adoption is decided to be the best long-term option for them. While the courts reach their decision, the birth parent/s are helped to address key issues affecting their ability to parent. If the courts decide the child cannot return to its birth parent/s, it remains with the concurrent cares who go on to adopt them, avoiding unnecessary disruption.