Adoption is taking longer in Calderdale, but agencies aren’t giving up trying to find homes for the children, advisers said

But this is because the agencies do not give up looking for a home for children who, for example, may have different needs, who are older or who are part of a sibling group, explains a regional agency.

Rhian Benyon, service delivery manager for One Adoption West Yorkshire, said: “We don’t give up – it impacts our timelines.

“We usually succeed, few children fail to find a family,” she said.

Generic photo of a family

The indicative national figure is 426 days, but Calderdale takes an average of 540.

Agencies are always looking for families willing to adopt children.

Nationally, there are more adopters available than children up for adoption, but figures in West Yorkshire are described as ‘stable’.

“We work very hard to get as many people as possible to consider adopting our children,” Ms Benyon said.

Campaigns to encourage this are taking place and support is being given to adoptive parents.

Counselors asked about children with special educational needs and disabilities, issues around crucial GP assessments for adopters, placement and why it took longer for some children to be adopted that others.

At the end of March 2022, in Calderdale, there were 18 children with an adoption plan who were not currently placed and required adoptive parents, with three of the children over the age of five and part of a group of siblings.

Whenever possible, siblings are kept together when adopted.

Between April 1, 2021 and March 31, 2022, 15 Calderdale children had an adoption plan approved.

In West Yorkshire, 2021-22 saw 112 adoptive families approved and 106 families matched with children. Of the 112 households, 206 people were approved.

Only ten per cent of adopters are from ethnic minorities, similar to 2020-21, indicating a continued need to increase diversity of adopters, Calderdale Council’s Child and Young People’s Services Review Panel has heard .

Although in the first half of 2022-23 there has been a surge in the number of West Yorkshire families making formal applications to begin stage one adoption processes, in stage two the number remains consistent with previous annual averages.

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