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Progress made on adoptions
A REPORT on adoption services in Wiltshire has highlighted improvements already made while detailing plans to keep it on track for the future.
Wiltshire Council leaders considered the report at a cabinet meeting this week as part of their role to ensure adoption services are effective and achieving good outcomes for children and young people.
Wiltshire has a permanency and adoption improvement plan in place to carry on with improvements already made and has been acting on a raft of measures put forward after being part of a national pilot study on completing adoptions in a timely way.
Currently the majority of children assessed as needing adoptive families are between the ages of 12 months and 10 years. The report states that Wiltshire reflects the national picture where it can be difficult to place sibling groups and children with complex health or challenging behaviour.
A dedicated home-finder has been in post since September, acting as a key point of contact through the adoption process. The home-finder helps improve the systems around the adoption process and to identify placements for sibling groups and children where placements may be limited due to health, disability or challenging behaviour.
In spring last year the council agreed to be part of a pilot for an adoption diagnostic assessment, which helps councils pinpoint how to complete adoptions in a timely way. The assessment suggested measures that, along with the council’s own plan, has moved things forward.
The adoption scorecard, a national comparative chart introduced in 2011, shows the changes are making an impact as Wiltshire has made improvements across the board.
Council leader Jane Scott said: “This report shows there is a lot of good work going on and there is evidence improvements are being made.
“At the centre of everything we do is the child or young person who needs a family to provide a secure home for them. This is at the forefront of every measure we put in place.”