A second council has followed Harrow’s lead in partnering with the charity Coram to improve adoption rates and reduce delays.
The move follows the government’s appointment of Martin Narey, a former chief executive of Barnardo’s, to become an “adoption tsar” and work to stem the tide of falling adoption rates across the country.
Cambridgeshire County Council has negotiated a two-year deal with Coram which will see the charity provide a manager from September responsible for the county council’s adoption team and focus on improving practice across the system.
A similar scheme in the London borough of Harrow was praised by children’s minister Tim Loughton after it saw adoption rates increase from 3% in 2006 to 20% in 2009, alongside savings of about £440,000 a year. Revised adoption guidance, published this year, encouraged local authorities to work with specialist adoption agencies like Coram.
Nicola Clemo, service director, Cambridgeshire Children’s Social Care, said: “Cambridgeshire’s adoption service was rated as ‘good’ in our most recent Ofsted inspection, but this is about striving for excellence by working with a partner with an excellent reputation in the field.
“We intend to engage with local judges, children’s guardians’ service (Cafcass) and social workers in our own teams in identifying the blocks and barriers to moving children through the process as quickly as possible.”
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