Responding to the Office for National Statistics' figures on adoption, Cllr David Simmonds, Chairman of the LGA's Children and Young People Board, said:
"It is heartening that there has been a slight increase in the number of children being adopted. The priority is, and must remain, placing a child within a loving family home but it should be recognised that this is not always best achieved through adoption.
"For the majority of children in care adoption may not be the most appropriate solution. Social workers must be able to make the best decision for the individual child and should not be deterred from considering all options including special guardianship arrangements.
"While the number of children being adopted has declined over recent years, the number of special guardianships, where a child retains contact with their birth family but is cared for by family or friends, has increased.
"Social workers are working with a system that has five times more children waiting for adoption, than we have adopters. Everyone knows that it is much easier to find loving parents for a newborn child, but we still need more willing people to come forward to help councils find stable homes for groups of siblings, older children and those with health issues or disabilities."
Author: LGA Media Office
Contact: Alison Purdy, Local Government Association Media Office, Telephone: 020 7664 3333
8 August 2012