Improving adoption times in Knowsley

Published on: Monday, 23-March-2015

A range of improvements into children’s social care in Knowsley have been implemented, following Ofsted’s inspection last year into children in need of help and protection, children looked after and care leavers.

A detailed improvement plan is being progressed and monitored through the Improvement Board, which is independently chaired and updates are fed directly to the Parliamentary under Secretary of State for Children and Families.

Improvements to systems and processes have been implemented, as well as a successful recruitment drive to attract experienced social workers, team leaders and managers.  This has also been extended to attract high quality adopters too for children looking for a permanent home. 

Another priority area to be addressed as part of the improvement plan is the adoption process, in particular promoting the plan for adoption if a child is unable to live with their birth parents or extended family and also the time it takes from placing a child into care through to being placed with adoptive parents.

In the last year, 14 children from Knowsley will have been adopted - this is a 40% increase from 2013-2014. The improvement follows a thorough review of the adoption process in Knowsley, which resulted in a range of improvements being introduced.  This includes a robust tracking and monitoring system for all children seeking adoption, the establishment of a multi-agency adoption task group and the introduction of nominated adoption champions – these are current adopters in Knowsley who help to spread the word about adoption and share their experiences. 

Cllr Gary See, Knowsley Council’s Cabinet Member for Children & Family Services, said “We were aware that the adoption process was taking too long and once we undertook a fundamental review of the process, we identified where the delays were, why and identified solutions.  It’s early days and we will continue to monitor our processes, but we hope to continue this success and ensure children who need to be placed with adoptive parents are done so as soon as possible.  We know that children thrive in stable family environments and we will continue with this work to ensure children in Knowsley receive the very best start in life.”

Adoption gives children who are unable to live with their birth parents or extended birth family a permanent family. Adoptive parents have all the legal responsibilities, rights and duties of birth parents.  Children of all ages and needs are waiting to be adopted. If you would like to find out more about adopting in Knowsley, call 0151 443 3958 or email adoptionenquiries@knowsley.gov.uk