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Adoption map criticised in Lancashire
2:00pm Saturday 12th January 2013 in Blackburn
AN ADOPTION ‘map’ has been criticised by local authorities in East Lancashire.
Bosses at Lancashire County Council said they felt the diagram, which shows how many children are waiting to be adopted in each local authority, did not fairly represent their performance.
The map, which has been put together by the Department for Education, splits each local authority in England into four categories - those with 17 or fewer children waiting to be adopted, those with 18 to 27, those with 28 to 47 and councils with 48 and more in March last year.
Blackburn with Darwen fell into the 29 to 47 category and Lancashire County Council the 48 and over.
Current figures actually show that Lancashire County Council has around 115 children waiting to be adopted, while Blackburn with Darwen Council is looking for families for ‘more than 50’ youngsters.
County Coun Susie Charles, cabinet member for children and schools at Lancashire County Council, said: "The map published by the Department for Education provides information on how many children have a care plan of adoption, but should not be mistaken for any kind of local performance guide.
"Adoption is a complex and sensitive process which cannot adequately be represented by purely numerical data.
“Figures for Lancashire will appear to be higher than other authorities, as we are one of the largest councils in the country.
“Adoption is primarily about finding parents for children, not the other way around.
"We are very active in seeking potential adopters and have success in doing so, although of course we always need more and would be glad to hear from anyone considering adoption."
Coun Maureen Bateson, executive for childrens services at Blackburn with Darwen Council, said: “Adoption is a complex area of work and we are never complacent and are always striving to make sure the right decisions and matching processes are in place for some of our most vulnerable children and young people.
“The council has recently launched a campaign to encourage more people to seriously consider adoption.”
To find out more about adoption, visit www.lancashire.gov.uk/love, or call 0800 0286349 if you live in Hyndburn, Ribble Valley, Burnley, Pendle or Rossendale.
If you live in Blackburn with Darwen, visit www.blackburn.gov.uk