Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Adoption delays ‘putting children in Coventry and Warwickshire at risk’

February 23, 2012 by  
Filed under Uncategorized

VULNERABLE children in Coventry and Warwickshire are being harmed by some of the country’s worst delays in court adoption cases, council leaders claim.

They say “unnecessary” delays of more than a year in family court care proceedings are leaving children “in limbo” and without a permanent home.

Jim O’Boyle, Coventry City Council cabinet member for children, said: “That is a very long time in the life of a child. These children have suffered significant harm.”

Children’s charity Barnado’s says delays nationally have often left children “at risk” in “unstable family homes” or emergency foster placements, while a court decides if they will be taken into care.

It says it is particularly “dangerous” for very young children to be left with unsuitable parents.

The Warwickshire and Coventry Local Performance Improvement Group – including the council, Warwickshire County Council and the courts – has set up an action plan, which it says is speeding up court cases.

But it acknowledges courts in Coventry and Warwickshire are experiencing among the worst delays, with the national average case taking 55 weeks.

Government justice ministers are introducing a new six-month time limit, after a national review called for the elimination of “shocking delays”.

Coun O’Boyle (Lab) said: “It’s the children who need to come first at all times.

“We’re working very hard in Coventry to keep the red tape to a minimum, and speed up processes so these children get the home they need and deserve.

“Unfortunately, often when the cases get to court there is a hold-up in making final decisions for the child and, without the judge’s permission, we cannot place children with an adoptive family.

“Often children are left in limbo without a secure or permanent home for over a year whilst legal proceedings are ongoing.

“These children have suffered significant harm and there have been cases where a number of assessments of family members have been ordered by the courts.

“This gives parents of those children in care more and more chances to change and demonstrate they can care for their children. Sadly this is often not the case and those children affected need quicker results as the longer these cases go on the worse it is for them.”

Martin Narey, former chief executive of Barnardo’s, has said “additional, sequential expert assessments being routinely ordered” and “a lack of credence given to social workers” were causing unnecessary delays.

Read more at http://www.coventrytelegraph.net/news/coventry-news/2012/02/07/adoption-delays-putting-children-in-coventry-and-warwickshire-at-risk-92746-30278511/#ixzz1nETICgVQ

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2 Responses to “Adoption delays ‘putting children in Coventry and Warwickshire at risk’”
  1. Junior says:

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