Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 11°C

min temp: 5°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Essex: County’s most vulnerable face longer-than-average wait to be adopted

06:00 06 December 2012

ESSEX’S most vulnerable children are suffering long delays while they wait to be adopted, new figures have revealed.


Adoption scorecard data released by the Department for Education show county youngsters wait 689 days to be placed, on average.

The comparable figure for England over the same period (2009-2012) was 636 days.

Unison has called Essex County Council’s figures “extremely disappointing”, while an adoption charity urged authorities to “re-double” their efforts.

But Essex County Council said its record on adoptions was strong and highlighted the importance of finding the right family for each child.

John Simmonds, director of policy research at the British Association of Adoption and Fostering, said: “At the heart of the scorecards are children in the most vulnerable of circumstances. Fifty years of research has established that children need a secure, stable and loving family as quickly and as early in life as possible.

“There are many hurdles to ensuring that this happens where adoption is the plan and this has become the focus of considerable recent activity both in local authorities and the courts to address this.

“There is clearly some way to go and the publication of new scorecard data must re-double our efforts to overcome these hurdles.

“At the end of the day it is the child’s needs that matters.”

Nalin Cooke, Unison spokesman at the county council, said: “It’s extremely disappointing to hear that kind of data because the council has an obligation to try and make this transition as quickly as possible - that is what is best for children.

“My experience is hundreds and hundreds have lost their jobs and this impacts on services. I know staff morale is low and people are working quite long hours and this will have an impact on outcomes.”

Ray Gooding, cabinet member with responsibility for children’s services at the council, said: “Essex has a strong commitment and track record on adoption. Ofsted earlier this year rated the service as good with outstanding features.

“We are proud to get it right for children first time when we move them to an adoptive family. 20% of adoptions nationwide are reported to disrupt whilst none of the 46 children placed by Essex since April this year have disrupted.

“The service has already identified that it wants to improve its adoption timescales and it is already doing so.”



Vicky Ellis

More than £3,500 will be presented to the Colchester hospital chemotherapy unit in memory of a woman who died of cervical cancer aged just 25.

Annual Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre

Organisers behind one of Suffolk’s largest annual events, Bury St Edmunds’ Christmas fayre, are hoping today’s drizzly weather won’t dampen spirits on the last day of the event.

Domestic violence reports increase

Domestic violence reports soared by 12% in Suffolk last year with more than 2,000 recorded incidents involving male victims, police have said.

Festive Forest Challenge in aid of St Nicholas Hospice Care. Festive Forest Challenge, at West Stow Country Park

More than 260 people headed to West Stow yesterday for the annual Festive Forest challenge in aid of St Nicholas Hospice.

Felixstowe mayor Doreen Savage switches on the lights helped by Elise Gorski, Peggy Osborne, and Ash and Lila Tadjrishi.

It’s a problem faced by millions of families across the country every year.

The close-knit Smith family in 2006: Matt, Wendy, Nikki and Barry

It can be upsetting and lonely having a child with a disability, but Wendy Smith would rather shout about the many positives. Steven Russell hears how love and kindness trumps any anger and bitterness

Woman conned by bogus caller (Stock photo)

A Hadleigh woman who lost £2,500 in a police scam has warned others to be alert to the crime.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder

Property search

e.g. Oxford or NW3
Powered by Zoopla

Digital Edition

Read the East Anglian Daily Times e-edition today E-edition

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24