Praise for adoption agency finding homes for children in Hartlepool
Councillors have praised the progress of the adoption agency looking to find homes for children in Hartlepool and across the Tees Valley.
Adoption Tees Valley came into being in May 2018 and has delegated authority to carry out statutory adoption functions for Hartlepool, along with the other four authorities in the Tees Valley. Staff from the agency told the Hartlepool Borough Council Children’s Services Committee in its bi-annual report for 2018/19 they are increasing the number of adopters registered.
Council officers noted generally only 10% of initial inquiries resulted in people following through to become adopters.
Louise Maddison, team manager at Adoption Tees Valley, said it comes as the areas see an increase in demand for places.
She said: “We are aiming to drive change, we are aiming to recruit 60 adopters this year.
“We are well on our way, we are up to 40 at last count. However, the demand for places has also risen.”
She also gave an update on the progress and challenges faced by the agency in recent times.
Hartlepool specific figures showed the agency has helped decrease the time children wait from entering the care system to moving in with an adoptive family.
In 2018/19 in Hartlepool the process was on average 427 days, and for the most recent quarter of this year it was 325 days.
This year 12 children in Hartlepool up for adoption have been matched and placed to date, including children classed as “harder to place”.
In total in the Tees Valley the number of children adopted has increased to 83, an 18% increase on 2017-18 numbers and a 38% increase on 2016-17.
As of May 2019 the agency is family finding for 48 children in the Tees Valley, including 37 children considered “hard to find families for” due to complex health and emotional needs.
Coun Brenda Harrison said: “I can honestly say I think the coming together of various authorities has worked very well.
“I can only praise the team for the work done so far, which will hopefully continue to progress.”