Majority of adopted East End children found homes within a year, new figures show
PUBLISHED: 12:00 02 November 2011
More than four fifths of children put up for adoption in Tower Hamlets are found a new home within the target of one year, new figures show.
Tables released by the government this week to name and shame councils slow on re-homing the country’s most vulnerable youngsters placed the borough within the top 40 for England while neighbouring Hackney was the worst, with just over 40 per cent of children placed within 12 months.
Across the country, children wait an average of two years seven months to be adopted.
The tables also ranks councils on 14 other measures, including how close new homes are to the area the child grew up in and well they go on to do ecucationally.
Tower Hamlets placed a quarter of its children more than 20 miles from where they used to live over 2009 and 2010.
This was one of the highest figures in England but the council said its small size geographically and lack of suitable housing means many parents in the borough do not have the facilities to foster or adopt.
A spokeswoman explained: “More than half of our looked after children are placed less than five miles from their original home.
“Many of our carers live in neighbouring boroughs where there tend to be larger properties. We are aware of the difficulties children face when placed a long distance away and do all we can to avoid this.”
Cared for children also tend to underachieve in exams.
Just ten per cent of cared for children received at least five A* to C grades at GCSE including English and Maths in Tower Hamlets from 2008 to 2010, the Department for Education’s figure show and this trend played out across the country.
But Tower Hamlets Council insisted vast improvements are being made.
It said last year almost 20 per cent achieved the target – above the national average.
A spokeswoman added: “We are not complacent. Our ambition is to narrow the gap between our children in care and their peers.”
Furthermore, last year almost 90 per cent of care leavers in the East End aged 19 were engaged in education, training or employment.
This was the highest performance in London and the second highest nationally.
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