Posted on Friday 13th December 2019
An innovative project to improve the lives of children needing adoption or long term foster care is set to be approved.
Staffordshire County Council’s Cabinet is expected to formally commit next week to join three other local authorities in forming a regional partnership, which will work together to find safe, stable and loving homes for children and provide support to those families.
The county council is working with Shropshire County Council, Stoke-on-Trent City Council and Telford & Wrekin Council to create the Together4Children adoption agency, which is scheduled to launch in April.
Mark Sutton, Staffordshire County Council’s Cabinet member for Children and Young People, said:
The new arrangement will let us match children and the right carers more quickly, which provides greater stability for children and more support for parents.
We want to avoid any delay in finding the right permanent families for the children in our care so by working regionally, we can widen the choice of potential adopters and achieve the best outcomes for children.
Increasing the number and diversity of potential families across the region will help us to keep siblings together, find loving homes for our older children, and for our children who have other specific needs.”
Backed by the Department for Education, which has invested more than £600,000 in developing the project, Together4Children will focus on achieving permanent placements faster than before.
The Together4Children partnership is one of the first of its type in the country and builds on central government’s goal of creating regional adoption services by joining forces to improve services for all children who need long-term and permanent care.
Mark Sutton added:
We know that children who are more settled get a better start in life: their health and wellbeing, academic performance and long term employment prospects are all improved.”
The four authorities will share information on children and the prospective parents available, but each council will retain responsibility for children from its area.
Staffordshire will maintain current levels of investment in the service. The initial partnership will be for two years, with an option for a further three until March 2025.