Leeds is child adoption ‘hotspot’

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Leeds has been named as one of the country’s adoption hot spots.

The number of children waiting to be adopted in the city are among some of the highest in the country.

Figures for every local authority in the country show that Leeds has the second highest number of children waiting to be adopted.

Around 165 children were waiting to be placed with adopted families in Leeds in March last year – Birmingham had the highest waiting list of 170 youngsters.

A map showing the parts of England where most children are in need of parents has been published by the Department of Education as part of a drive to cut adoption waits.

Education officials are concerned that prospective parents are not being pointed to high-need areas if their own has few children on its list.

It takes on average 565 days for a child to be placed with an adoptive family after they enter care in Leeds.

Figures from the last three years show that 62 per cent of children in Leeds wait less than 21 months between entering care to moving in with an adoptive family.

Children and families minister Edward Timpson said the map and a new advice service should “arm would-be adopters with the information they need to approach any local area”.

Leeds City Council deputy director of children’s services Steve Walker said: “In Leeds, as in most other local authorities, the number of children seeking adoptive parents has increased.

“Over the past three years we have successfully placed 336 children with adoptive families.

“Children’s Services has strengthened its recruitment processes and last year the number of approved adopters increased by 50 per cent.

“It is important to recognise Leeds is the second-largest local metropolitan authority in the country, and the figures should be viewed in that context.”

For more information contact First4Adoption on 0300 2220022 or visit www.education.gov.uk.

Bar review: The Hop, Leeds