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3% drop in the number of households approved for adoption in Scotland

In a statistical report published last week, it was found that 317 new adoptive households were approved across 33 adoption services in 2017; a three per cent decrease from the previous year (326) and 11 per cent down from 2015 (355), according to the report from the Care Inspectorate.

The majority of the services (82 per cent) approved their new households within six months in 2017.

In local authority services, 56 per cent of new households were approved to adopt a child younger than two, and 55 per cent to adopt between the ages of two and five. Twelve per cent of the households were approved to adopt six to 10 year olds, and just three per cent approved to adopt those aged 11 and over.

As was the case with local authority services, the majority of adoptive households approved by independent services was to adopt younger children. Eight-three per cent of households were approved to adopt between the ages of two and five, while those approved to adopt younger than two, and between the ages of six and 10, was 19 per cent. No household was approved to adopt children aged 11 or older in independent services.

Sibling groups

Of the 317 new adoptive households, just over a quarter (28 per cent) were approved to adopt sibling groups of two children. In 2017, a very small number of households (less than five per cent) were approved to adopt sibling groups of three, and no households were approved for sibling groups of more than three children.

Peter Macleod, the chief executive of the Care Inspectorate, explains that “too many children are separated from their siblings when a place is found for them”, and that sibling groups should be encouraged as “sisters and brothers are often a great support and comfort at times of crisis, especially for young children.”

"It is important that children in care are supported to form permanent and loving relationships as quickly as possible, and an important part of this is almost always maintaining the strong bond between siblings,” Macleod concluded.

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