Numbers of Wakefield children put forward for adoption up 75 per cent

A total of 56 Wakefield children were given an adoption plan by the council last year, compared to 32 the previous year.
A total of 56 Wakefield children were given an adoption plan by the council last year, compared to 32 the previous year.

There's been a "massive increase" in the number of children being put forward for adoption in Wakefield.

A total of 56 youngsters had an adoption plan signed off by Wakefield Council between April 2018 and March 2019, compared to 32 in the previous year.

The council's corporate parenting committee were given the figures at a meeting on Wednesday, and were told the rise may be linked to issues with the authority's children's services, which was rated inadequate last year.

The local authority is advertising for more adoptive parents and foster carers to come forward.

Sarah Johal, who presented a report to the committee on the issue, said: "The numbers have gone up by 75 per cent last year, which is a massive increase.

"That's something we have to keep an eye on.

"It may be as a result of the changes and difficulties children's services have been through."

More than half of those who were given an adoption plan last year may have to go through a long wait before being placed with a new family.

Ms Johal said that groups of siblings spent longer without adoptive parents because of a desire to keep them together.

Older children, as well as those with disabilities and from ethnic minority backgrounds also tend to wait longer.

Ms Johal said that children were often placed with parents from a different ethnic group to themselves, but that the local authority had to be sure that a child's religious background would be catered for.

The council said last year it was hoping to recruit more foster carers from the district's Asian community.

Local Democracy Reporting Service