Civics back cash boost

Chris Simmons
Chris Simmons

COUNCILLORS have welcomed a £169,000 cash boost to help speed up the adoption process.

The government is making £100m available after a national crisis was highlighted in the numbers of children waiting for adoptive placements.

Hartlepool Borough Council has a good track record of placing children swiftly but councillors say they welcome the funding boost.

A report to the council’s finance and policy committee said the first part of the grant allocation is £100m, of which Hartlepool’s allocation is £169,978.

It added: “The grant allocation had been calculated based on a mixture of the under five’s population, deprivation, and a scarcity to allocated money.”

Labour councillor Chris Simmons said: “In Hartlepool, we have a very good track record, we were third best in the country for adoption places at one point, but I welcome the additional funding.”

Between 2008 and 2010, the council managed to place 95 per cent of its children in care with an adoptive family within 12 months putting the town third in a national table.

The council will use the one year grant funding to create a dedicated Family Finder post to strengthen practice in searching for families for children, provide additional social work capacity within the adoption team, create a part time development post and create another part time post to lead further development.

It will also create an extra newly qualified social worker post.

It was proposed that workers were seconded into the one year posts from within the existing team and members asked the back-filling arrangements be reported to the children’s services committee.