Coram works with the London Borough of Harrow to help improve its service to children needing adoption.
The project, the first of its kind, involves Coram's experts working with Harrow Council to provide early intervention and “permanence planning” for children in the borough with a focus on:
- Improving care management and decision-making
- Maintaining a strong child-centred focus
- Increasing performance outcomes across adoption service indicators
- Making savings in the council’s total care budget
- Ensuring quality outcomes including for children with complex needs
Since the partnership began in 2006, the vast majority of children referred have found a loving, supportive adoptive family.
In 2006, Harrow Council found adoptive homes for 4% of its looked-after children. After a 10 year partnership with Coram, the proportion of children exiting care with adoption or Special Guardianship Orders has increased substantially to 14% in 2014/15.
Today, residents interested in adopting a child will be referred to Coram if they contact Harrow.
Coram’s positive partnership approach enabled the introduction and evaluation of a unique and acclaimed model that focussed on activities related to:
Impact and acclaim
The project was independently evaluated by Julie Selwyn of the School of Policy Studies at the University of Bristol and management consultants KPMG. Their findings showed:
- All children were matched by Coram staff within the stipulated target of six months from the adoption recommendation (the average time is four months)
- For each child adopted, Harrow saved £24,076 a year in foster-care expenditure. This equates to a saving for Harrow of £440,000 a year
Download the full Coram-Harrow Partnership Evaluation Report from the menu to the left for further details.
Coram's work with Harrow was validated by the fomer Centre for Excellence and Outcomes in Children and Young People's Services (C4EO), as an example of promising practice.
The partnership was also praised by Martin Narey, the Government's Adoption Adviser. In his comprehensive adoption report for The Times in July 2011. He said,
"The Coram approach is 100% successful in Harrow." - Martin Narey, Former Chair of the Adoption Leadership Board.