Adoption will be made easier

PEOPLE who want to adopt children are going to get more help from the government next year.

The Department for Education is giving £50million to councils nationwide to extend a special 'Adoption Reform' grant into 2014.

Cumbria County Council has welcomed the announcement.

The money will help towards work to find more families for children in need of adoption; including the 51 children waiting for a loving home in Cumbria.

Last year's grant has been used in Cumbria to set up a specialist team whose responsibility it is to look after babies as soon as they hear about their arrival.

Cumbria County Council said this applied to instances where there have been concerns with the parenting of the older children and where parental responsibility has been awarded to the authority's Children Services department.

It says the team then work to assess changes to their sitution and parenting capacity but at the same time will be able to consider adoption.

The grant has also funded a 'family finder' post to seek families for older children.

In addition the grant has enabled the adoption team to launch the successful “Be Our Someone” recruitment campaign in October.

It has achieved over four times the average number of hits on the website.

The county says November was the best month the team had ever had in terms of telephone inquiries from those who want to adopt.

It said more than 40 per cent of this year’s inquiries have been since October 1 and the adoption team have already approved 25 applicants in 2013 and are assessing a further 20 – a stark contrast to just 21 approved applicants last year, said the council.

Coun Anne Burns, cabinet member for children’s services at Cumbria County Council, said: “We need more people to consider adopting. There are currently 51 children in Cumbria waiting for adoptive parents.

“They are of all age groups, including babies. I’d encourage anyone interested to get in touch and find out more.

“Adoption is a big decision but people can be confident that we will be there for them throughout.”

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