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Data released by the government yesterday shows Cumbria County Council is among the top 10 per cent of local authorities in England in terms of the percentage of children who ceased to be looked after who were adopted.
Figures for 2011 show 20 per cent of children who ceased to be looked after were adopted, placing Cumbria 11th in the national league table of 149 local authorities and 8 per cent above the national average. This comes hot on the heels of a recent Ofsted inspection of Cumbria’s adoption service which rated the service as 'good'.
Cllr Anne Burns, Cumbria County Council's cabinet member for children’s social care, said: "I'm proud the good work of the council’s adoption service is reflected in the figures released yesterday. In Cumbria we make sure we take the time we need to make good decisions; ensuring children are placed appropriately and in good time. This is all about ensuring we achieve the best possible outcomes for all children in Cumbria.”
Government’s publication of this data follows announcements of a forthcoming government green paper that will set out new minimum standards for the proportion of children who should be adopted from care each year and impose time limits on the process.
The council will wait to see the details of the paper before it comments. However, the council is clear that the needs of the child must be put first in any adoption decision and that no two adoptions are ever the same. The council would therefore be keen to ensure that time limits did not put unnecessary pressure on the adoption process that may have a detrimental impact on outcomes for the child.
The publication of the data coincides with the launch of National Adoption Week. The week aims to raise awareness of adoption and encourage more people to consider becoming adoptive parents. The council’s adoption services staff are running a series of recruitment events across the county this week where they are handing out leaflets and providing more information to shoppers on how they could possibly help turn a child’s life around by becoming an adoptive parent.
Recruitment events are taking place at the following locations:
Tuesday 1 November – Penrith, Devonshire Arcade
Wednesday 2 November – Kendal, Westmorland Shopping Centre
Thursday 3 November – Keswick, Packhorse Court Shopping Centre
Friday 4 November – Barrow, Indoor Market