Adoption agencies are to target black churches and mosques in a bid to find homes for hard to place children, the Government has announced.
Some 2,700 children are still waiting for adoption, according to the latest figures from the Adoption Leadership Board, and almost 40 per cent of them have been waiting for over 18 months. Of these, almost a quarter (24 per cent) were from black, Asian and minority ethnic BAME) backgrounds.
Ministers have now launched a £650,000 adoption recruitment drive aimed specifically at encouraging BAME families to adopt children.
Gavin Williamson, the education secretary, said: “In recent years, the trend that concerns us all is the disparity between numbers of children awaiting adoption and adoptive families ready to take them. This is a trend that must change and I want to do everything I can to help you do that.
“Our adoption support fund which was set up in 2015, has provided a range of therapeutic support for nearly 50,000 children who have been through traumatic times before adoption.”
He also pledged to continue funding the Adoption Support Fund, which gives families therapeutic support for overcoming past trauma, until 2021.
Research published earlier this year by the charity Adoption UK found that around half of parents adopt because of fertility issues as increasing numbers of people want to support children who have “had a tough start”.
Thousands of parents were asked what motivated them to adopt, and increasing numbers were “strongly motivated to support a child who has had a tough start”.
Around three-quarters of children who are adopted from care in the UK will have been removed from their parents because of abuse or neglect.