16/Apr/2014 - Last News Update: 08:58

Adoption map launched to encourage would-be adopters

Category: England

Published: 11th Jan 2013 01:39:04

A new map showing the number of children waiting to be adopted in different parts of England is being published by the government.

It is part of a shake-up aimed at increasing numbers of adoptions and speeding up the process.

A hotline for people who want to adopt also opens on Friday.

Both initiatives are aimed at helping people who want to adopt find the information they need.

There are many more children waiting to be adopted than there are people coming forward to adopt and there are wide regional variations.

Ministers want to make it easier for those who are considering adoption to navigate the system.

Children's Minister Edward Timpson said: "We know many potential adopters out there can provide children with loving, stable homes but simply don't know where to start.

"These new tools will give many more people support in taking the first steps to adopting a child and giving them the chance to succeed in life."

The information on the map has already been published on government "scorecards" that list adoption statistics for each council, but the government hopes the map will make it easier for people to get clear information on children waiting to be adopted in their home area and elsewhere.

It shows the numbers of children who have been "approved for adoption" in different parts of England.

The telephone hotline - which opens on Friday - is funded by the Department for Education but run by a group of three charities - Coram, Coram Children's Legal Centre and Adoption UK.

Staff will advise people about routes they could take to adopt a child, groups they could speak to and the support available.

Later this year a national "Gateway for Adoption" website will be launched, which is designed to be a single point of entry to adoption agencies for people wanting to adopt.

The people in charge of adoption and other children's services in England's councils - the Association of Directors of Children's Services (ADCS) - say the map is a "crude measure... which cannot be used to judge 'good' or 'bad' authorities".

Local councils have previously criticised the adoption scorecards as misleading, saying they do not give the full picture.

Andrew Webb, vice president of the ADCS, said: "The map does not give a full illustration of a complex and moving picture, but we hope it will help illustrate that there are still children waiting to be adopted in every part of the country and encourage those who are interested in adoption to come forward".

The information line is 0300 222 0022.

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BBC News, 2013. Adoption map launched to encourage would-be adopters [Online] (Updated 11th Jan 2013)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1474731/Adoption-map-launched-to-encourage-would-be-adopters [Accessed 16th Apr 2014]

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