Adoption services performing very well

Published Thursday, 24th December 2015

An adoption annual report to be discussed by the council’s cabinet early next year shows how Southend-on-Sea adoption services continues to beat national measures in a number of areas.

The report highlights how Southend-on-Sea is significantly better than the national average for the average time between entering care and moving in with an adoptive family and the average time between Placement Order and matching, and that these figures continue to reduce.

Anne Jones, Executive Councillor for Children and Learning, says:  “Southend has an on-going commitment to finding adoptive families for our children, and our staff work exceptionally hard to achieve that.

“Of those children placed since April 2015, who will begin to be reported as part of future scorecards, the average time between placement order and matching with adopters has reduced from 180 days to 117 and between entering care and being placed for adoption, from 380 to 329. Compared to the national averages our figures are very favourable.

“This is a fantastic achievement by all involved and means that Southend children are being placed into their new families much quicker, preventing undue delay and getting an excellent service from those working in adoption.”

The report shows how 33 adopters were approved in 2015, 37 children were referred for adoption, 19 children were matched with new families and 24 adoption orders made.

The report also highlights a number of areas that the service has been working on, including post adoption services, training and assessment and work with schools.

Adoptive families are also benefiting from an innovative new group created for children aged seven to 12 who are in need of therapeutic support.

The group, which is paid for through the Adoption Support Fund, was launched in September 2015 with a weekend away for the children and their parents at an outdoor pursuits centre.  Southend-on-Sea Borough Council’s adoption team had become aware of what it believed was an increasing need for therapeutic attachment support.

The team made an application to the Adoption Support Fund for the creation of a therapeutic support group for children aged seven to 12. All children who attend the group come from a background of trauma and poor care and all have experienced loss prior to their placement for adoption.