Coram-Kent adoption partnership
Coram’s innovative delivery partnership with Kent County Council’s (KCC) adoption service began in early 2012. 150% more children are placed with adoptive families through Coram’s partnership with Kent per year.
KCC had carried out a thorough review of its adoption service following a disappointing Ofsted and in response to a national shortage of adopters. As a result, it formulated an action plan, which Coram has worked with KCC colleagues to implement.
Kent County Council Adoption Service continues to thrive with 182 children adopted in 2014/15 compared with 70 in 2011/12 before the partnership started.
Coram has now been in contract with Kent for three full years. In this period, improvements have meant that KCC has avoided expenditure of £1.6 million on children in care.
To achieve this, the partnership has:
- Doubled the number of information days for prospective adopters
- Worked with voluntary agencies to widen the pool of adopters
- Substantially grown its family-finding team
- Streamlined a process for recruiting adopters which had previously been deterring some would-be parents
The partnership, which the Minister for Children and Families Edward Timpson cited as an example of how fresh thinking can boost adoption rates*, has so far resulted in some significant improvements to the adoption process which is benefiting children and adopters alike. This progress, and improved care planning, was recognised in Ofsted inspections in 2013.
“… a very positive and productive partnership with Coram, whose involvement is described by staff as ‘inspirational and incredibly energising’.” - Ofsted, Kent County Council Adoption Service, March 2013
In February 2014, Councillor Jenny Whittle from Kenty County Council won a Partnership Achievement of the Year award from the Local Government Information Unit for her role in forming the partnership. Judges said they were impressed by Cllr Whittle’s fresh approach and leadership on the issue.
The partnership tries out innovative ways of finding families for children. For example, it recently held its first adoption activity day, bringing together in a safe and fun environment prospective adopters and children who might otherwise be overlooked. As a result, nearly a quarter of children attending found potential new parents. Watch a short video below and find out what an adoption activity day is like.
Coram and KCC have extended the partnership in order to build on what has been achieved so far.
Watch this four-minute clip to find out more about our partnership with Kent
*Minister for Children and Families Edward Timpson to an audience of leaders in children and adult social care services (NCAS Harrogate Conference 18 October 2013).