More people needed to adopt children

Council chiefs are hoping Black History Month will help them find new families willing to adopt children.

Tuesday, 15th October 2019, 2:51 pm
Updated Friday, 18th October 2019, 5:15 pm
Coun Jackie Drayton, Cabinet member for children and young people

There was a 50 per cent increase in the number of adopters approved in the last year with 31 people being successful. A recruitment campaign also saw an increase in people enquiring about being adopters.

The council is always in need of foster and adoptive parents and is particularly keen to hear from black and Asian families. It’s hoping to make links with people through events for Black History Month this October.

About 60 per cent of children coming into care are white British and the next biggest group are mixed race dual heritage. There is also a higher proportion of black children than Asian.

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Paul Dempsey, assistant director of provider services, told a council meeting: “We are striving to find adopters from all communities – white, black, Asian, single people and members of the LGBT community. We are looking for anyone who can offer a child a home.

“We have a range of children with different needs and their ethnicity is one of their needs. We aim to provide a placement that’s as close to their ethnicity and cultural match as possible.

“It’s not always possible to match exactly and we have to weigh up the best thing for that child. We don’t leave a child in a situation where there’s ongoing delay because we can’t find an exact cultural match.”

The council is also talking to people going through the adoption process about taking on siblings. Mr Dempsey added: “We want to widen people’s ideas about adoption and open their eyes to looking after more than one child.

“If we can make sure people feel supported, they may feel more able to take on a sibling group or a child with additional needs as they know the council is there supporting them through that child’s life. Happy adopters also tell other people that adoption is great.”

Coun Jackie Drayton, Cabinet member for children and young people, said babies were adopted more easily than older children.

“Boys over a certain age are less likely to be adopted than a girl and it’s heartbreaking. We need more people to adopt and we are looking regionally and nationally so we don’t just have a pool in Sheffield.”