Make better use of voluntary agencies

Many councils could make better use of voluntary adoption agencies to find adoptive parents for hard-to-place children, according to a charity boss.

Baaf Adoption and Fostering chief executive Felicity Collier said 58 per cent of the 277 children placed this year by its Be My Parent service went through voluntary agencies.

The service finds parents for children whom local authorities are unable to place, including large sibling groups and disabled children.

Collier, speaking at the start of National Adoption Week (7-13 November), said the success of voluntary adoption agencies in placing so many hard-to-place children proved their value.

Some local authorities already used the agencies well, she added, but others baulked at spending the £19,000 interagency fee, not realising that stable placements could lead to long-term savings.

Baaf Adoption and Fostering also launched a poster campaign this week to illustrate the damage children suffer when they do not have a permanent family. Billboards were unveiled in London, Manchester, Cardiff and Glasgow to coincide with adoption week

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