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Nottinghamshire children on adoption waiting list facing two month delay compared with national target





Nottinghamshire children are waiting two months longer to be adopted than a set national target, although the delay is even longer in many other counties.

It takes an average of 188 days to place a Nottinghamshire child with an adoptive family after a court order is made, county council figures show.

There were 39 children on the waiting list at the end of March 2024.

County Hall. Credit: LDRS
County Hall. Credit: LDRS

Nottinghamshire County Council says reaching the national target of 121 days “can be challenging for some children who may be older or have complex needs, or where siblings need to be placed together”.

Legal challenges can also lead to delays while orders go through court systems.

However, the county council is performing better than its neighbours Nottingham City Council, Derbyshire County Council and Derby City Council.

And the average waiting time across England is 199 days — nearly seven months.

A total of 46 placement orders were granted in Nottinghamshire during the 12 months leading up to March, an increase on the previous year.

During that time, 25 children were placed with adoption families.

The latest figures were set to be discussed by the council’s Corporate Parenting Panel on July 2.

There has been a recent national shift towards Special Guardianship Orders, in which children are placed with new families but their parents are kept involved in major decisions.

A review by the Department of Education showed that children with these orders left school with better qualifications than those who were adopted.

Fifty-one Nottinghamshire children were given one of these orders in 2022-23, a rise from the previous year.

Most of these later went to live with a grandparent or other relative.

Nottinghamshire County Council has also previously struggled to find enough families to temporarily look after children — meaning it has had to turn more regularly to expensive care home placements.

A typical foster placement costs the Nottinghamshire taxpayer between £500 and £1,000 per week, depending on the needs of the child and how the carer was recruited.

However a care home placement has an average weekly cost of around £6,000, and can be as high as £10,000.

A new recruitment scheme — Foster for East Midlands — was launched in March to manage enquiries from the four Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire authorities, and aims to find at least 100 new carers.



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