People encouraged to come forward as adoptersBy Laura Herbert
January 21, 2013
More people in Wokingham are being encouraged to adopt a child as a nationwide drive recruit more adopters is launched.
On Friday the Government published a map showing where in England children are in need of adoption.
In Wokingham, fewer than 17 children are waiting to be adopted.
Hilary Loades, team manager of Wokingham Borough Council’s family placement team, said: “Adopters in Wokingham are crucial and whether it is a Wokingham child or a child from another authority, they transform children’s lives and give them the best opportunity to achieve their potential and be happy and successful.
“It is an amazing and rewarding thing to do.”
She added: “We are part of an adoption consortium with the other five authorities in Berkshire. We work as a county and most of our children will be adopted by adopters approved by the consortium or those who live further afield.”
Children from the borough are not always adopted by people living in the same area and some children have been adopted by people living in Bristol and the Midlands.
Mrs Loades continued: “There is a steady number of people interested in adopting.
“We run six information sessions a year and there is always sufficient interest from them but we can always take more applicants.
“The more publicity, the more enquiries we get and the more people who come to the information sessions but that doesn’t necessarily mean more people apply.”
National guidelines state it should be eight months from when an application is submitted to the final decision made by a panel.
Mrs Loades said: “In Wokingham we try to do that within five to six months, but it depends on the individual’s circumstances.
“Once they get into the process applicants understand why it may take longer but the important thing is, when they reach the panel stage they are truly ready to go.
“It is about the right child coming along at the right time and that is the bit people find most difficult. They don't know whether it is going to be six weeks, six months or two years.
“The vast majority are successful in achieving a placement that is right for them.”
She continued: “There are still myths about adoption. Age is not a barrier so people in their 50s and 60s can adopt but they won't necessarily adopt a young child, it is about matching the right child for the right parents.”
The next information session takes place on Tuesday, February 12, between 9.30am to 1pm. For more information call (0118) 974 6204.
THE number of children across Berkshire awaiting adoption as at March 31, 2012
Bracknell Forest = 17 or fewer
Reading = 28 to 47
Slough = 28 to 47
West Berkshire = 17 or fewer
Windsor & Maidenhead = 17 or fewer
Wokingham = 17 or fewer