Just one baby was adopted in Brent in the last year

Council is appealing for more families to come forward

Just one baby under the age of one was adopted in the borough in the past 12 months, figures have revealed.

Brent Council and other local authorities across the country are calling for more families to take in a child in care as part of National Adoption Week which starts next Monday.

Figures released by the council shows that in the past year the 14 remaining children under the age of one who have been in care, have been placed in foster care.

Out of the 63 children aged between one and five who have been in care, 21 have been adopted and three children aged between six and 16 – out of 238 – have been placed in a permanent home.

According to the council, it is harder to find a permanent home for an older child.

A spokesman said: “Adopters often want young children or babies and older children do not always want to have another permanent family member.”

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There are currently 11,000 children in care in London and in the past year just 60 children have been adopted in the city.

Jonathan Pearce, chief executive at Adoption UK, said: “The reasons for this include limited funding and staffing for social services, high staff turnover rates and high vacancy levels, delays in planning for children and delays in the court system.”

Adding that the process to adopt a child can take up to a year, he added: “It is not always an easy or straightforward task to find adopters to take on such a rewarding, but challenging role.

“To do so, adopters will need a lot of support.”

Hilary Brooks, from Brent Council, told the Times the best option is to reunite children with their natural family so they will look at adoption after all other avenues have been explored.

She added: “We believe children have the right to a good quality, permanent home.”

Anyone interested in adoption should contact 020 8937 4525 or visit www.brent.gov.uk/adoption.

A special feature on adoption and fostering is in this week’s Brent & Kilburn Times which is out tomorrow (Thursday).