Council plea for adoption help

Sir,

Nottinghamshire County Council is urging more people interested in adopting children to get touch with them.

We need to find permanent homes for around 45 more children each year who are currently being looked after by foster carers.

Of the 750 looked-after children in Nottinghamshire, around 170 have adoption plans at any one time.

But at any stage of the adoption process, the council is finding homes for around 45 children it just doesn’t have approved adopters for.

Looked-after children and young people are those of all ages and backgrounds, some of whom have suffered significant harm, and are temporarily or permanently unable to live with their birth families because no family member is able to care for them.

We have relatively little difficulty placing babies or recruiting families willing to take them. Our challenge tends to come in other areas such as placing siblings, older children and those with development delays, or uncertainty.

In Nottinghamshire, there has been a rise in the number of children both being looked after generally, and in those needing adoptive families and being placed, so we need to do more.

We will have approved 25 new families as adopters by the end of 2011, but we need ideally to double that figure.

We want to encourage people wanting to know more about adoption to get in touch with us even if their interest is tentative or still in the very early stages.

We welcome hearing from a wide cross-section of the population too.

Our approach to adoption is that it’s very much a lifelong experience. We have a team of social workers dedicated to adoption support, including financial help, and also offer lifelong support to the children we place as well as the adopters and birth families.

Council adoption manager Shelagh Mitchell