New adoptions rules would make it easier for children to find loving homes in Sunderland

Pat Smith

Pat Smith

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MOVES to speed up and improve the fostering and adoption process have been welcomed in Sunderland.

The Government wants to cut red tape to make the whole process of finding loving homes for children in need a quicker and more efficient process.

Measures are currently being sought that would allow foster carers to make everyday decisions about the children they look after and to cut unnecessary bureaucracy in the approval process to encourage more people to come forward to foster.

The proposals hope to reduce the time it takes to adopt and make the whole process more user-friendly with the aim of settling children into their adoptive families earlier in their lives.

Sunderland councillor Pat Smith, portfolio holder for children’s services, said: “We welcome any new proposals which could help further improve the fostering and adoption service, and are happy to contribute to the government consultation process.

“Sunderland actively recruits and supports all those families who come forward to take on this challenging and rewarding role within our community.

“Within our city we have the staff and resources in place to provide foster carers and adopters with any practical help and advice they may need to provide children and young people with a caring, home environment. We are always looking at ways to strengthen and develop this relationship wherever we can.”

Sharon Hodgson, MP for Washington and Sunderland West and Shadow Minister for Children and Families, added: “Foster carers should be given more leeway to take the decisions they believe are in the best interests of the young people in their care.”

Coun Robert Oliver, a Tory spokesman for children’s services in Sunderland, added: “Although many children in care are well looked after, nothing can replace a stable family upbringing which is why anything that makes the fostering and adoption process more manageable should be welcomed.”

The next information event on fostering or adoption is on Wednesday, October 17 at 6.30pm at the Stadium of Light.

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