BAAF adoption at record levels

The number of families adopting hard-to-place children through the British Association for Adoption and Fostering has hit record levels, according to new statistics released this week.

More than 500 children were placed with families in the UK in the year up to March 2009, a 38% increase over the previous year.

The figures include adoption arranged through the Adoption Register for England and Wales, a scheme operated by BAAF on behalf of the government and the Welsh Assembly. Between April 2008 and March 2009 279 children were matched with prospective adopters, compared with 109 children matched in the first year BAAF took over the register.

BAAF’s services specialise in matching parents with children who usually have to wait the longest to find a placement, including black and minority ethnic children, older children and those with disabilities.

The charity’s schemes include an online matching service, using video clips of children to show prospective adopters, and “exchange days” where approved adopters can meet representatives from adoption agencies.

Mo O’Reilly, director of child placement services, said: “It’s been a great year for BAAF’s family finding services. However, there are still lots of children waiting and we must find new ways to find them the right families. In the forthcoming year we hope to introduce new family finding initiatives and expand schemes like our online video project.”

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