Local adoption services praised by the Government

Release Date: 06 September 2017

Local services for adopting children and supporting families have been praised by Government Minister for Children and Families.

Robert Goodwill MP has praised Richmond Council and Achieving for Children for its work to reduce the average time it takes from a child needing to be adopted and identifying a suitable family.

In his letter, he congratulated the service on their “continued focus on improving services and outcomes for children in local authority care”.

The improvements are a direct result of an enhanced consortium set up by Richmond, Kingston, Sutton and Merton councils to improve practice and speed up the process of adoption.

By working together since its launch in 2014, the four councils have been able to share information, develop good practice and participate in joint advertising and recruitment campaigns.

In addition, AfC has locally established a talented Adoption and Permanency Team. The team have demonstrated that they are able to support the children, their families and adopters throughout their journey. This includes training and preparation for adopters and subsequent support.

This has not only resulted in a reduction in the amount of time it takes for children to be adopted, but also a rise in the number of adopters who have agreed to consider fostering as part of the process.

Cllr Susan Chappell, Richmond Council Cabinet Member for Children’s Services and Schools, said:

“Ensuring that all children live in a safe and loving environment is one of the most important responsibilities of any council.

“I am pleased that the Government has recognised the improvements we have made in this area.

“The Adoption Consortium ensures a joined up approach across boroughs – searching across a wider geographical area for potential families. By sharing skills and best practice across all the local expert teams we have been able to reduce the time it takes to identify families – whilst supporting the children, their families and the adopters throughout.”

For more information about adoption or fostering, visit the South West London Fostering website.

Notes for editors

If you are a journalist and would like further information about this press release, contact Elinor Firth on 020 8487 5159.

Reference: P413/17

Updated: 2 October 2017