An investigation must be held to uncover why vulnerable children in Haringey face over double the average wait to be adopted, Liberal Democrats have said today. Recent figures show the average wait for an adoptive family to be found by Haringey Council, following a court order, is twice as long (107 days more) as the time taken in similar local authorities in London.
Information released by the government shows the time taken to adopt a child in Haringey (739 days) is similar to that in boroughs deemed to be statistical neighbours (717days) but over 100 days more than the English average (625 days). Liberal Democrats have said that, while the disparity with the national average is concerning, the average time taken (239 days) by Haringey Council from court order to adoption is “disappointing” and is twice as long as other boroughs. The average for comparative local authorities is 132 days.
Liberal Democrats have asked Labour’s cabinet member for children why there are such delays in completing adoptions and why vulnerable children and parents anxious to adopt have to wait twice as long as those in similar local authorities.
Cllr Katherine Reece, Liberal Democrat Children’s Spokesperson, comments:
“It is very sad and disappointing that children in Haringey, on average, have to wait twice as long as children in similar councils to get a place in a secure family after the courts have granted an order.
“Vulnerable and often young children should not have to endure long waits. Considering similar councils in London have much shorter waits an investigation is needed into Haringey Council’s performance.
“This is exactly the type of issue that the proposed new scrutiny panels should investigate and we are asking the new cabinet member for Children’s Services to explain what is happening with adoption in the borough.”
Lynne Featherstone MP, adds:
“An investigation is needed. I understand that cases can often be complex but vulnerable children having to wait over a hundred days more than others in London boroughs should not go unchallenged.”