A council is among to the top in its work to help children needing adoption, according to a new figures.
Central Bedfordshire Council is continuing to perform well above the national average for the time that it takes children to be adopted.
For the three-year period ending March 31, 2014, the council took an average of 542 days to place a child with an adoptive family after they entered the care of the local authority. That is 86 days less than the national average and ranks Central Bedfordshire in the top quarter of authorities nationwide.
According to Adoption Scorecards published by the Department for Education, Central Bedfordshire is also well above the national average for the number of children who wait less than 18 months between entering care and moving in with an adoptive family, managing to place 56 per cent of youngsters in that timeframe.
Councillor Mark Versallion, Executive Member for Children’s Services, said: “Central Bedfordshire Council has a responsibility to find adoptive families for children who cannot live with their birth families, and we are working very hard to do that.
“Children come into our care for a number of reasons, and it is our belief that they should all be offered the best possible start in life and to have the chance of being brought up in the heart of a loving home.
“Contrary to some popular misconceptions, almost anyone can apply to adopt. If you are able to show that they can provide a loving and secure home that will meet a particular child’s needs, and satisfy our requirements, you could join that select band of people who are able to offer a child a new start in life.”
People from all ethnic origins and religions are needed, and Central Bedfordshire Council welcomes applications from couples and single people aged 21 and over of all backgrounds and experiences.
One woman, who looked in to adopting with her husband after several failed rounds of IVF, explains: “I initially thought that some of my less-than-positive childhood experiences would be viewed in a negative way, but now find these very same experiences help me to relate to and emphasise with my daughter.
“We have had quite a lot of medical appointments to contend with such as physiotherapy, foot operations, eye therapy etc. but I wouldn’t swap her for the world. She is a beautiful, bright and bubbly young lady who makes me laugh every day.
“Adopting has undoubtedly been the very best, most rewarding thing I have ever done and I count my lucky stars every day that I have such a dear person to call me Mum.”
For more information about adopting a child, visit www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/adoption. And to view the national Adoption Scorecards visit www.gov.uk/government/publications/adoption-scorecards