West Sussex Adoption is working in partnership with Brighton and Hove, East Sussex and Surrey Local Authority Adoption Agencies to develop Adoption South East. The aim of this regional partnership is to share resources and expertise so that 80% of Adoption South East children are placed within the region, with increased choice of adopters, reduced waiting times and more successful adoptions.
February 2018 performance
Quarter 3 - December 2017 performance
Child 2 experienced delays in being placed for adoption due to his additional needs. He had been looked after for 2 years before a Placement Order was granted. He was older when he was placed for adoption; there were concerns around presenting behaviours indicating early trauma and a 4 year gap between placement and adoption because of these needs.
There are currently 35 children in adoptive placements pre Adoption Order. Based on the likelihood of Adoption Orders for 15 of these children being granted within the next quarter, the prediction is that this measure will decrease to around 465 days by the end of the year which will make the year end prediction Amber. This will improve progress towards the target of 426 days by the end of March 2019.
Quarter 2 - September 2017 performance
We are in this position thanks to a dedicated workforce who ensure adoption is considered alongside other options for children at an early stage.The number of children in West Sussex with adoption care plans is rising. The challenge currently is recruiting local adopters for local children given that adopter numbers are decreasing nationwide. The progression of plans to develop a regional Adoption Agency, Adoption South East (ASE), with Surrey, East Sussex and Brighton and Hove will provide the opportunity to match all ASE children with adoption care plans with adopters from the region by 2020, which will improve placement choice and timeliness.
Quarter 1 - June 2017 performance
The main priority for the Adoption Service currently is in recruiting a larger pool of adopters to meet the needs of the increased number of children with adoption care plans. There has been increased marketing activity and there is more capacity in Stage 1 Adoption to respond to enquirers in a timely manner. Alongside this, capacity within the Adoption team is being reviewed to ensure that we are able to progress applications expediently.
The Adoption Partnership is already sharing information events and preparation groups, and the first Adoption Exchange event has taken place, with the plan to hold these events 3 times a year.
Quarter 4 - March 2017 performance
There has been a 60% increase in Care Proceedings within West Sussex over the past two years, which in turn has increased the number of children with adoption care plans. There has been increased publicity around adoption to advise the public that West Sussex would like to hear from families interested in adoption, and that there is in the region of 50 children from babies upwards with a plan for adoption. The Recruitment Strategy is under review, with increased social media presence in place and monthly review meetings to ascertain the impact of marketing upon recruitment.