Positive steps show that regional adoption approach is working

A regional approach to adoption is working, councillors believe.

By John Greenwood - Local Democracy Reporter
Saturday, 23rd October 2021, 11:00 am

Michelle Rawlings of One Adoption West Yorkshire – which since 2017 has been delegated the adoption functions for Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield – said as of March 31 this year 118 adoptive families have been approved and 107 families have been matched with children, 105 of these being with children from the West Yorkshire region.

Overall she said the performance this last year has been really positive and it is clear that the staff in the agency are extremely committed, passionate and well-motivated in their work, and focussed about improving outcomes for children in the region.

The agency are aware of the need to increase the diversity of available adopters able to meet the needs of children who wait longer to be matched with families and strategies are in place to address this, she told Calderdale Council’s Children and Young People’s Services Scrutiny Board.

Sign up to our daily Halifax Courier Today newsletter

Board Chair Coun Colin Raistrick (Ind, Hipperholme and Lightcliffe)

Board Chair Coun Colin Raistrick (Ind, Hipperholme and Lightcliffe) said latest national figures showed there was a longer gap between adopters adopting and children available for adoption, and asked why that was?

Ms Rawlings said there were periods every few years when there were more adopters than children but it was cyclical and the situation would change.

And it was still harder to place children who had special needs, children who were family group, or older children, she said.

A big concern for adopters was sometimes whether they felt they could meet the needs of the children and so waited until they could adopt a child they felt they could meet the needs of, said Ms Rawlings.

Coun Raistrick asked if agencies needed to recruit smarter adopters and she agreed there was a need to put in places measures to make people feel more confident that can care for the children.

Nationally what could be done was being looked at collectively to increase the numbers of adopters, said Ms Rawlings.

Coun Raistrick said he found the report much more positive than previous ones and the regional approach definitely was working.

“The outcomes are looking really good. Obviously there is work to do, there is always room for improvement, but in general this is very positive,” he said.

* Support your Halifax Courier by becoming a digital subscriber. You will see 70 per cent fewer ads on stories, meaning faster load times and an overall enhanced user experience. Click here to subscribe