Bi-borough councils join London’s first regional adoption agency
Published: Tuesday 10th March 2020
Today the bi-borough councils of Westminster City Council and the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea* have joined other local authorities across London to become part of Coram Ambitious for Adoption, the capital’s first Regional Adoption Agency (RAA).
Launched in June 2019, Coram Ambitious for Adoption is a partnership between the UK’s oldest children’s charity Coram and several local authorities in London, bringing together expertise to match more children waiting to be adopted more quickly with their new adoptive families.
Coram Ambitious for Adoption is the first port of call for adoption enquiries on behalf of participating local authorities** and provides access to adoption support for all of its adoptive families. Coram, which is judged Outstanding by Ofsted and has over 40 years’ experience in finding permanent loving families for vulnerable children, delivers the service and is the only voluntary adoption agency led RAA in the country.
The government has been introducing RAAs across England to simplify the adoption process and ensure that the voluntary sector and local authorities are collaborating as effectively as possible to speed up matching of children and approved adopters.
Today’s announcement comes at a time when prospective adopters across the capital are urgently needed to come forward. The latest published data shows that there are over 300 children currently awaiting adoption across London, outnumbering approved adopters in the capital by two to one***.
Sue Lowndes, Managing Director of Coram Ambitious for Adoption said: “We are delighted to work in partnership with Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster councils, whose dedication to achieving the best outcomes for children is demonstrated by their recent outstanding Ofsted review.
“The partnership will allow us to combine our skills and resources to enable the timely matching of children and adopters, and ensure all families have access to high quality adoption support. At a time when adopters are urgently needed, we would encourage anyone considering adoption across London and surrounding areas to get in touch to find out more about the process and the support we can give you throughout your journey to becoming a family and beyond.”
Cllr Tim Barnes, Westminster City Council Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, said: “Our new partnership will continue to help children in Westminster find a loving family and a comfortable home. I hope this news encourages those who are considering adoption to take the next step and start a very rewarding journey.”
Cllr David Lindsay, Kensington and Chelsea Council’s Lead Member for Families, Children and Schools, said: “A stable home-life is something every child needs and deserves. This partnership will help ensure we can work with those considering adoption to bring prospective families together in a more thoughtful and effective way.”
Coram Ambitious for Adoption hosts free monthly information events in London for those interested in adoption to find out more about the process. Upcoming events take place on 6 April, 22 April and 29 April and places can be booked at coramadoption.org.uk/adoption-events.
*Westminster City Council and the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea have worked together since 2018 to deliver services to children and young people
**Coram Ambitious for Adoption also provides adoption services for Hillingdon, Bromley, Waltham Forest, Harrow, Redbridge and The City of London councils
***Adoption data published by the Adoption and Special Guardianship Leadership Board in December 2019: cvaa.org.uk/asglb/data-on-adoption/