Cheshire East Council is ahead of the game when it comes to forward-thinking approaches to adoption.
In partnership with Manchester, Salford, Trafford and Stockport councils, Cheshire East has become part of only the second regional adoption agency to be formed in the UK. The service will be called ‘Adoption Counts’ and is launched on Monday (3 July).
This comes three years ahead of the time set by government for when it expects all adoption services to be delivered this way.
The key aims of Adoption Counts are to provide the right adopters at the right time, reduce the delay in matching and placing children, innovative in working for children who have waited the longest to be placed and to establish better links with key partnership agencies.
The agency will be based in three locations: Middlewich; Wythenshawe; and Salford and will be responsible for recruiting adopters, finding families for children and providing support to adoptive families.
Councillor George Hayes, Cheshire East cabinet member for children and families, said: “Following the ‘good’ rating of our adoption services at the last Ofsted inspection, where the strengths of our relationships with partner local authorities were highlighted, this agency partnership is another very positive step forward.
“I am very proud of my colleagues in the adoption team for embracing this way of working and for doing so well ahead of the government expectation. Continuing to work together with our partner colleagues will allow us to access the expertise that bit more quickly and find better solutions for children when they are at their most vulnerable.
“We are also aware that some would-be adopters get frustrated by the level of bureaucracy that can be involved in the adoption process. Adoption Counts is working to reduce that, focussing our attention on the children and the adoptive families, who make such an incredible contribution to many young people’s lives.”
Sue Westwood, regional adoption agency manager for Adoption Counts, said: “I am really excited to be leading one of the first regional adoption agencies in the country.
Adoption Counts will be a new and improved way of finding permanent homes for our most vulnerable children.
“It has been really exciting to bring together the best of our existing practice and to develop new services across such a large area.
“We are committed to not just to finding new families but supporting these families into the future, helping them to give children the security they need.”
For more information on adoption counts and how to adopt, please visit: http://www.adoptioncounts.org.uk/