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Targeted adoption approach revealed
Bradford Council is to introduce a new system within its adoption service to provide a more targeted approach for recruiting carers.
It follows a Government initiative aimed at giving new support to adoptive parents in a bid to help find more volunteers.
Just before Christmas the Government said that potential adopters will be given a more active role in selecting a child and granted the same maternity and paternity paid leave arrangements as biological parents.
Now a Council report into the quality of adoption services in the district has highlighted that with the use of the adoption support grant and additional Council funding, they aim to improve further on its good performance and start to implement the Government reforms.
Julie Jenkins, assistant director of children’s specialist services at the Council, states in the report: “In order to improve and keep to timescales we will be introducing an electronic tracking system to enable us, as required, to track and monitor the child’s journey from entry into care to the point where they are adopted.
“The system will identify and highlight key points in the timeline of the journey so that potential delay can be quickly addressed.”
She continued: “Additionally, a new system will be introduced with a more targeted approach for the recruitment of carers. “This will aim to strengthen our matching options at an earlier stage with specific campaigns for placements for children by age range, complex health needs, siblings, disability, and so on.”
It comes as the latest figures show that the adoption team is currently finding families for 51 children, and so far this financial year, the service has recruited 39 adoptive carers, which is an improvement on the two previous years.
This is the result of 119 initial inquiries – although the figures could be boosted in the coming years as three more social workers have been recruited to the adoption service with a view to increasing the number of carers and getting them to panel approval even quicker.
In addition the report goes on to say that as of March 2012 there were 671 approved foster placements, with 111 new applications received last financial year and 80 households being approved during that same timeframe.
The report will be discussed by councillors at a meeting of the corporate parenting panel to be held on Wednesday, March 6, at 3.30pm in City Hall, Bradford.