Adoption report shows progress but more work to do
Wednesday 10 October 2012
Enquiries about adopting children in Coventry have risen by more than 30 per cent over the last two years.
But despite the progress, Coventry City Council's Adoption Service is determined to increase the figures further.
In the financial year 2009/10, 169 initial enquiries were received which rose to 221 in 2011/12 - an increase of 30.7 per cent.
But the number of children adopted during that time remained nearly static, with 23 adopted during 2009/10 rising to 25 last year.
The figures reinforce Councillor Jim O'Boyle's belief that more needs to be done to speed up the adoption process.
The statistics are part of an adoption annual report that will be presented to Cllr O'Boyle's Cabinet Member for Children and Young People on 16 October.
Cllr O'Boyle said: "The report shows the challenges we face and also why it is so important to keep adoption at the top of our agenda.
"I think it shows that we are improving and that we should have every confidence that the service is going in the right direction.
"But the static number of children adopted when we have far more enquiries suggests that the current service is not moving quickly enough and I have heard of individual cases where parents are frustrated by the length of the adoption process."
The length of time adoptions take are now recorded on a national scorecards that look at three main indicators including how swiftly they and adoption agencies deal with prospective adopters.
The scorecard shows that Coventry is in line with many of the national targets apart from the average time a child is in care before being placed for adoption (835 days compared to 625 nationally) and the average length of court proceedings (70 weeks compared with 52 weeks nationally).
Councillor O'Boyle added: "What the scorecard highlights in particular is the delay in court proceedings which is one of the things we are already concerned about.
"I have spoken about this in the past as it is important this area in particular improves otherwise the other areas we have improved will count for nothing.
"But despite our current success, I know we are not complacent and will continue to improve all of our procedures to ensure that all the children in our care can find the loving secure homes that they deserve as quickly as possible."