Adopted children find a new family in around a year

Most adopted children in Sheffield find their forever home around a year after entering care.

By Lucy Ashton
Tuesday, 15th October 2019, 2:48 pm
Updated Friday, 18th October 2019, 5:15 pm
Adopted children find a new family in around a year
Adopted children find a new family in around a year

Forty children were adopted last year and the council has to meet government targets on how quickly they go through the adoption process.

The national target is 426 days and Sheffield’s process was 351 days from entering care to adoption.

Paul Dempsey, assistant director of provider services, told a council meeting that the priority was the child not the timescale.

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“Our primary concern is getting the right plan for the child so the time is a secondary consideration. Not all children have adoption plans because it’s not right for them, some stay with family members or stay in local authority care.

“We have special guardianships for a lot of children and some were secured a permanent fostering match. I can assure you we don’t change a child’s plan to keep timescales down.

“Some of the children have gone through quicker than 351 days and some have taken a longer time according to their needs if they are more complex.

“It isn’t good for the child to have an unnecessary delay as the younger a child is, their ability to attract a forever home is enhanced.”

Coun Jackie Drayton, Cabinet member for children and young people, said it was important to get the right plan for the child.

“The government doesn’t measure the breakdown of adoptions and we have tried to make sure we don’t have any breakdown.

“We try really carefully to make sure the home is a forever home and the right home for them.

“We never give up on children if we think adoption is the right place. That may take a bit longer to keep a sibling group together or for a child with disabilities.”