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Agenda item

Adoption Service and Adoption Panel Annual Report 2017/18

Minutes:

The Panel considered the report of the Strategic Manager, Looked After Children and Permanence which provided Members of the Panel with an executive summary of the Adoption Service and Adoption Panel Report 2017/18 (for copy of report see file of minutes).

 

The Strategic Manager for Looked After Children and Permanence advised Members that is was national adoption week and that work is underway to recruit additional adopters to meet increased demand.

 

The DFE has approved the proposal for Durham County Council Adoption Service, Cumbria County Council Adoption Services, and Sunderland Now Together for Children registered as a voluntary adoption agency, along with the four adoption agencies of After Adoption, Barnardo’s, ARC and DFW adoption to establish a Regional Adoption Agency to be known as Coast to Coast.

 

Councillor Bainbridge referred to the disparity between children who have a Placement Order and those who are matched with adopters.

 

The Legal Services Manager responded that the local authority cannot place a child for adoption unless a Placement Order has been made by the court. This means there are a small number of children whose plans change after the order is granted and the child is not adopted.

 

Councillor Grant asked for an age breakdown of the young people waiting to be adopted. The Strategic Manager for Looked After Children and Permanence responded that there are currently 7 sets of siblings, 3 sets of twins and advised that children tend to be under the age of 7.

 

Cllr Grant also asked if it is easier for babies to be adopted.

 

In response the Strategic Manager for Looked After Children and Permanence advised that this is usually the case, however there has been a lot of success within DCC with older children too.

 

Councillor Darkes asked if there was a social theme influencing the increase in numbers. The Head of Children’s Social Care provided details of the reasons why children were removed, including problematic use of drugs and alcohol, mental health issues, non accidental injuries to children and young people as well as families who have repeat cases of children being taken into care, and advised that Durham was no different to the national statistics.

 

Resolved

 

That the report and the Annual Report of the Adoption Service and Adoption Panel Report 2017/18 be noted.

Supporting documents:

 

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