The new package of support announced by Edward Timpson Children and Families Minister includes £50m to help local authorities work more closely with voluntary adoption agencies like Coram. Coram was the first voluntary adoption agency to partner with local authorities on adoption, and works in partnership with Kent, Harrow, Cambridgeshire and Redbridge to share expertise aimed at improving services so more children can be placed with adopters. Kent County Council was praised by Ofsted earlier this year for making ‘significant progress’ in reducing delays in placing children for adoption. 110 per cent more children were placed by Kent with adoptive families in 2012-13, compared with the previous year.
New maps were also launched today on the First4Adoption website to show the number of children waiting for adoption in each local auhtority area and the number of adopters approved by both local authorities and voluntary adoption agencies. First4Adoption is jointly run by Coram Children’s Legal Centre, Coram and Adoption UK. The maps show that Coram, as a voluntary adoption agency, approved 66 adopters in the past financial year. Data published by Ofsted earlier this month showed that, in the last financial year, Coram placed the third highest number of children of all voluntary adoption agencies in England.
Edward Timpson said that nationally there had been much success, with a 34 per cent increase in adopters, and a 15 per cent rise in adoptions, but there “remains more work to do” in the coming year.
Jeanne Kaniuk, Coram’s Head of Adoption, said: “Coram is proud to have contributed to the national rise in adoptions, having placed 17 per cent more children with adoptive families in the past year compared to that of the year before.*
“However, we also know that an increasing number of children are waiting for adoption so we hope that with more resources, and by working with our local authority partners, we can together ensure many more children can find happiness and stability with a permanent, loving family in 2014. That’s why we would absolutely urge people considering adoption to come forward in the New Year to find out how they could make a lasting difference to a child’s life.”
‘Coram – the living embodiment of London’s Christmas spirit’
Dr Carol Homden, Coram’s Chief Executive, was interviewed about the developments on Sky News and on BBC Radio London. Welcoming the plans, Dr Homden reiterated that while progress has been made, more adopters are needed for the 6,000 children currently waiting for adoption. BBC Radio London presenter Penny Smith said she had heard about Coram’s heritage, and told listeners that Thomas Coram set up the Foundling Hospital in the 1700s to provide a home for children otherwise abandoned on London’s streets. Co-presenter Paul Ross described Coram today as ‘the living embodiment of London’s Christmas spirit.”
*The Consortium of Voluntary Adoption Agencies (CVAA) announced in November 2013 that Coram placed 17% more children in 2012 compared with the previous year.