Brent Council has second slowest adoption process in England
Government names and shames failing local authorities
Brent Council is the second worst performing local authority in England at finding a permanent home for a child within a year of them being put up for adoption.
According to figures released by the government on Monday, just 52 per cent of children were adopted within a year of a decision being made to place him or her with a permanent family.
The figure comes a week after the Brent & Kilburn Times revealed that just one child under the age of 12 months had been adopted in Brent in the last year.
In the last 12 months, a further 21 children between the ages of one and five and three youngsters aged from six to 16 had been placed in a permanent home.
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In an effort to speed up the adoption process, which can take up to two-and-a-half years, the government has introduced a charter which bars council from ruling out prospective adopters who smoke, are single, or are overweight.
Prime Minister David Cameron has also vowed to get tough on councils by stripping them of their right to process adoptions and using outside agencies instead.
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The charter has been launched to coincide with National Adoption Week which starts today (Monday).
Children’s Minister Tim Loughton said: “For too long, children in care have been let down by local authorities and the family justice system.
“We simply will not tolerate continued failure when that failure means a child’s future put at risk.”
A council spokeswoman said they had already identified the timescales of adoption as a key area for improvement in the borough.
She added: “Significant progress has already been made and in the current year, there are only four children awaiting adoption who are outside of the 12 months indicator.
“However, whilst timeliness is important, it is equally the case that children need to be placed with carers who have the skills to meet their needs to ensure that the placements are sustainable.
“Brent is always keen to recruit more adopters and in particular those who can offer adoptive placement to older children, sibling groups and children with complex needs.”
The worst performing council in the country was Hackney in east London with 43 per cent and York had an unblemished 100 per cent rate.
Anyone interested in adopting should call 020 8937 4525 or visit www.brenbt.gov.uk/adoption