Latest figures (1 April 2013 to 31 March 2014), show that at the end of a very busy year 145 adoption orders were granted, compared to 105 in 2012/3. A further 170 children were placed with families, a 19% increase on 143 last year.
While Kent County Council has seen considerable success in finding permanent homes for growing numbers of children, there is an urgent need to find a broader range parents who have the skills to care for older children, those in sibling groups and children with more complex needs.
The number of adopters approved by the Council has nearly doubled to 167 in 2013/14, compared to 87 in 2012/13. The Council is appealing to people who are looking into adoption to broaden their minds when considering the sort of child who might become part of their family.
Jenny Whittle, KCC cabinet member for specialist children’s services, said: “We are very proud of the great strides we have made in the past year in finding loving homes for children in Kent and I would like to thank staff and managers for their hard work.
“We are still looking for people from all sorts of backgrounds to consider adoption of older children and sibling groups. We know from experience that when faced with the paper profiles of children with more complex needs, it can appear daunting to a prospective parent. However, we also know that when families meet those children, many of those fears melt away. For example, we know from our adoption activity day that people who were looking for very young children felt an instant connection with a much older child and that has led to some wonderful matches.
“It is so important for people to realise they are not alone and that there is so much advice and support for adopters throughout the process which continues when they become parents to help them meet their children’s needs, whatever they are. Giving these children a stable, permanent home really can change their lives.”
The Council says its partnership with Coram has been so successful, it has been extended to build on the improvements made and face the new challenges. After the success of Kent’s first Adoption Activity Day last year, another is planned for this summer.
To find out more about adoption with Kent County Council, visit www.kentadoption.co.uk