HUNDREDS of extra families are needed to adopt children across Wigan borough.
Wigan Council today made an urgent appeal after latest Government figures showed there were no fewer than 480 youngsters in care here. Of them 140 were put into care in the last 12 months but only 25 have been found a permanent home.
The council now has a shared adoption service with neighbouring Warrington and St Helens and people willing to adopt children are constantly sought.
Ruth Fitzgerald, Wigan Council’s adoption team manager, said that the combined local authority team, WWISH, will soon be launching a major campaign to attract new adopters.
She said: “While many children are in placements awaiting adoption orders, we’re working hard to speed up this process to ensure children in care are not waiting unnecessarily before being placed into stable, loving and permanent homes.
“However, reducing the time taken to place children with adoptive families must not be at the expense of making the best placement for the child.
“We want to see more successful outcomes for children with better matching of children’s needs and better placement choices. We are constantly looking for people willing to adopt and will soon be launching a campaign to encourage more people to offer a child a good home.”
Nearby Bolton Council had the highest rate in the country with 29 per cent of children leaving the care of the local authority being adopted.
Warrington had a rate of 12 per cent with 15 children adopted and St Helens 10 per cent with 10 people adopted.
The figures also showed that around three quarters of children adopted last year across the country were aged between one and four. A total of 3,450 children were adopted, a 12 per cent increase from the previous year.
Ms Fitzgerald, added: “Wigan Council now has a shared adoption service and WWISH provides a more efficient and effective service.
“We believe by sharing the service and widening the net we can give greater placement choice to our children and a better chance to match their life needs.
“We want to see more successful outcomes for children with better matching of children’s needs and better placement choices.”