North Yorkshire urgently needs more adopters – and the County Council’s Children and Young People’s Service has made it much quicker for people to qualify.
The Council has overhauled the adoption process, so that parents can now be approved in as little as seven months.
-The process now requires the adoption service to respond to enquirers within a specified time, and they will be invited to an information event taking place within four weeks of their initial enquiry.
-Once their official application has been accepted (which is submitted after the information evening), the first stage of the process, with checks and preparation groups lasts two months.
-The second stage, with further preparation and home study and ending with the adoption panel’s decision, lasts no longer than four months.
Full details of the new process www.northyorks.gov.uk/article/24316/How-do-I-become-an-adoptive-parent
The immediate need is for homes for 28 young people – ranging in age from babies to teenagers. They include single children, young people with siblings, and others with additional needs.
Many would-be adopters have in the past been deterred from applying because of what they believe is a lengthy and cumbersome approval process. The new overhauled system makes applying much quicker.
The County Council will be marking National Adoption Week (4-10 November) with a major campaign to raise awareness of the urgent need for new adopters. The campaign will be run both in social media and through more conventional outlets like broadcasting promotions and newspaper advertising .
Research has shown that the longer a child has to wait before adoption, the more slender the chance he or she has of finding a suitable home.
Pete Dwyer the council’s Corporate Director of Children and Young People’s Services said:
We believe our introduction of a swifter process was essential.
The length of time people have to wait before being approved as adopters can be a huge barrier – and of course is very unsettling for the children concerned.
Some people are also deterred from applying because they have misconceptions about the eligibility criteria.
County Councillor Tony Hall, Executive Member for Children’s Services said:
The most important thing is that people must be able to offer a stable, loving and secure home.
You may be from any ethnic background, you might be single, married, in a civil partnership or cohabiting, you may be disabled, you don’t need to be rich or own your own house, and you may well have had children who are older or have left home.
The most important thing is that you have the commitment to make a life changing difference for a child and the qualities to help a child feel happy and safe.
The council is looking for people like Andy and Leanne Moffatt, who adopted two brothers … and are now going through the process of adopting a third child.
We’re just so glad that we took the plunge.
From our experiences I would highly recommend anyone to do it.
I don’t feel like an adoptive parent.
I just feel like a parent and I get as much out of it as any parent would. These are our children and I love them very very much.
To find out more about adopting, visit www.northyorks.gov.uk/adoption or call Adoption North Yorkshire on 0800 389 2362.