Mixed results for Havering Council in adoption league tables

Havering Council has scored fairly highly in the national league table ranking local authorities by the speed they place vulnerable children with a new family.

New tables released on Monday compared all councils which look after children in care by a number of different criteria, including speed.

Havering was 53rd out of 143 local authorities for the average amount of time it took to find a child an adoptive family.

In the borough, 78 per cent of children found a new home within one year, between 2008 and 2010.

This was just above the national average of 74 per cent.

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Havering also compared favourably to other councils in keeping under-16s in the same placement for at least two and a half years, but was one of the worst in the country for keeping children within 20 miles of their former home.

Twenty-three per cent of youngsters were placed more than 20 miles away from where they used to live in 2009 and 2010.

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But the Local Government Association (LGA) has warned against placing all councils within a “one-size-fits-all” system.

David Simmonds, chairman of the LGA’s children and young people board, said: “We acknowledge that there is a variation in performance across councils and recognise that at times the system has been risk-averse, but we want to work with government to change that and remove barriers that delay decisions, including tackling the significant delays in the family courts.”

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