New agency looks to attract more adoptersMon 14 Oct 2019
It is National Adoption Week (14-20 October), and Adopt London West started operating on 1 October 2019.
Previously, every London borough had its own adoption service. But four new, joined-up agencies have been set up for the north, south, east and west regions of the capital. It came after a government reform that meant every local authority had to become part of a regional adoption agency by April 2020.
The new approach pools the resources and experience of each region together in one place.
Ealing Council will host the new agency and work in partnership with Brent, Hounslow and Hammersmith & Fulham councils. Adopt London West is also part of a wider collaboration of 23 London boroughs working together across the capital – called Adopt London.
Despite the national shortage of adoptive families over the past few years, the councils forming Adopt West London have still provided support to more than 500 families in the past year.
While children seeking adoption can be any age or background, typically these children are older than two years, are from minority ethnic backgrounds and some are siblings. Children with disabilities and children with an uncertain developmental future tend to wait longer for a family.
Yvonne Johnson, deputy leader of Ealing Council and cabinet member for schools and children’s services, said: "Ealing Council is pleased to be leading this regional adoption group."
"With this new agency, we'll be able to streamline adoption services and work together to more quickly match prospective adopters with children who are waiting for a home."
Cllr. Tom Bruce, Hounslow Council’s cabinet member for education, children and youth services said: "Every child deserves a loving, stable family. It’s a sad reality that some children cannot live with their birth parents for a variety of reasons. It’s vital that these children are placed into safe and loving homes as quickly as possible and that’s the aim of Adopt London West."
Cllr. Mili Patel, Brent Council’s Cabinet Member for Children’s Safeguarding, Early Help and Social Care said: "This new regional way of working will enable us to work more closely with our neighbouring boroughs to help find suitable homes for children and young people who need them."
Debbie Gabriel, head of service for Adopt London West, said: "If someone wants to find out more, having all of the local agencies together under one roof at Adopt London West will make it simpler for anyone in the region to do so – and means there is more expertise to draw on. We look forward to hearing from them."
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