Six times more children were waiting for adoption in Derbyshire last year than there were families willing to adopt them, newly published figures reveal.
Children’s charity Coram has warned the need to recruit new adoptive families is “urgent”, as there are now more than twice as many children waiting as there are approved adopters across England.
In December 2018, about 65 children in Derbyshire were waiting to be placed with a family, while only 10 families had been approved and were waiting to be matched with a child, according to data from the Adoption and Special Guardianship leadership board.
The figures show 50 children had already received a placement order, but had not yet been placed with a family by the end of the year.
A total of 35 children waiting to be placed with a family were aged under five and 40 were classed as “harder to place” because they were either aged five or over, from black, Asian or minority ethnic backgrounds, disabled, or part of a siblings group.
On average, children in the area were still waiting 524 days to be placed with an adoptive family despite having a placement order..
Dr Carol Homden, Coram chief executive, said: “There are thousands of children waiting today for new, loving families to come forward and give them a permanent home.
“The key message is we need more adopters from every walk of life to commit to adoption.
Sue Armstrong Brown, Adoption UK chief executive, said: “We’ve known for some time that more parents are needed to provide homes for children who are deemed to be harder to place.
“Adopted children are among the most complex and vulnerable in society, as they have often suffered serious neglect or abuse in their early lives.
“However, adoption can have a transformative effect on these children.
“And the testimony of adoptive parents is proof you can successfully parent children who are deemed harder to place, if the right support is in place.”
A Department for Education spokesman said: “To ensure there are enough adopters for those children needing a loving stable home, we have been working closely with regional adoption agencies to focus on finding adopters from a range of communities and backgrounds, especially for those who are sometimes harder to place.”