Statistics published by the Government rank Cambridgeshire as the 8th fastest local authority in England to match children with prospective adopters after receiving an adoption court order. Cambridgeshire is also one of only 36 local authorities to exceed performance thresholds.
In 2011, Cambridgeshire began working with Coram on adoption to help reduce delays and make improvements to the adoption process. Since April 2013 the authority has placed 24 children with their adoptive families, and is progressing well to place more children for adoption than the 39 children placed in the previous year.
The partnership has been successful in placing a number of larger sibling groups together and children who have had difficult starts in life.
Other key achievements include:
- The average time between a child entering care and moving in with its adoptive family, for children who have been adopted – Cambridgeshire is ranked 9th nationally
- Placing three young children in concurrent planning placements, where they live with a foster family (whilst court proceedings progress) who can also adopt them if the courts decide adoption is in their best interests. This helps ensure stability by minimising the number of disruptive moves they experience whilst in care.
- 16% of Cambridgeshire’s children leave care to be adopted – above the national average of 13%
Jeanne Kaniuk, Coram’s Head of Adoption and lead for the partnership said: “Adoption offers a forever family to children who are in great need of a permanent, loving home.
“Cambridgeshire and Coram are committed to sharing expertise and building our services to make transformational changes in their lives.
“We must avoid delay where we can, but we must also make decisions about vulnerable children’s futures with the greatest care to ensure their future stability and happiness.”
Cllr David Brown, Cambridgeshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People’s Services said: “I am extremely proud of the work the County Council’s Adoption Service and Children’s Units have done for children in Cambridgeshire in need of a family.
“Despite the hugely challenging financial times we face, I am particularly pleased that our performance is improving.Targets will become more challenging in the coming years, but I am confident we have the expertise and dedication to continue to provide a quality service to children and parents.”