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Further information: Telephone: 0330 222 7777

www.westsussex.gov.uk/adoption

Average number of days between a child entering care and moving in with their adoptive family

Our focus is on providing children in care with a permanent and stable environment. The West Sussex adoption team is dedicated to placing children with adoption care plans in the the right families as soon as possible.
We aim to reduce the average number of days to 365 by 2022

May 2020 performance

This measure remains stable since April 2020 with WS remaining above the national threshold for this measure by 69.31 days.  The Covid19 restrictions have led to delay for 3 children who would otherwise have moved to their adoptive family in May 2020.  CLA (Children Looked After) and Adoption are meeting regularly to ensure all children with ADM (Agency Decision Maker) decisions and adoption care plans are referred to ASE (Adopt South East) as early alerts or for family finding.
Our 2020-21 milestone target is 395 days.
However, timescales remain high due to Adoption Orders granted for children who have specific needs (age, complex needs, disability) and/ or challenges within the adoptive family such as adopter separation pre order, child placed following disruption.

Action

The Permanency Co-ordinator is tracking children and liaising closely with the Adoption Service. West Sussex will from the 1/04/2020 be part of a Regional Adoption Agency - Adoption South East is developing a matching process to ensure more timely matches for children with adoption care plans.
Children Looked After and Adoption Teams are working more closely together in ensuring decisions regarding sibling placements are made in a timely way and that adoption plans are kept under closer scrutiny to improve performance in this measure.
We are working closely with our Adoption South East partners to ensure that we consider adopters from within the region when there is no West Sussex adoptive family available for a child.
We are developing the Adoption website to attract more interest to West Sussex as an adoption agency.