Southend-on-Sea Borough Council has responded to today's media interest in a sensitive adoption case.
Cllr Anne Jones, Executive Councillor for Children and Learning, said: “While we cannot comment upon individual cases, we should highlight that despite many national media stories suggesting otherwise, age is not the deciding factor in our assessments of prospective carers.
“We have a duty to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the children in our care and to act decisively in the child’s best interests. This often involves intervening in complex family issues and taking tough decisions on behalf of the child. We work with partner agencies and consider all evidence available to us as to the history and capability of prospective carers and their suitability to raise children.
“Though placing children in the care of relatives is our preference in all cases, we can only do so when this is consistent with the welfare of a child. In all our work, our ultimate aim is to provide a caring, stable and permanent home for all children in our care.”