The City of Wolverhampton, Walsall and Dudley councils and Sandwell Children’s Trust have this week formally launched the Regional Adoption Agency, Adoption@Heart.
The partners have already operated a shared recruitment service under the name of Adoption@Heart, and have over 14 years’ experience of collaborative working previously in the guise of Adoption in the Black Country.
The new service will operate throughout the Black Country and is being hosted by the City of Wolverhampton Council at its offices at Priory Green in Pendeford.
The development of Regional Adoption Agencies is designed to help speed up matching and markedly improve the life chances of neglected and damaged children, improve adopter recruitment and adoption support, and reduce costs.
Emma Bennett, the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Director of Children’s Services, said: “We are delighted that we are hosting the new regional adoption agency for the local area, Adoption@Heart.
“Our adoption consortium work has previously attracted praise from the Department for Education and we are now pleased to be hosting Adoption@Heart here in Wolverhampton.
“The Government has provided financial and practical support to enable us to bring services together regionally, and implement the greatest step change in the way children are matched for adoption in a generation.”
She added: "On behalf of the City of Wolverhampton Council, I would like to give a warm welcome to colleagues who are joining us from Walsall and Dudley councils, and Sandwell Children's Trust."
Anyone can adopt, whether they are single, married, a same sex couple, in employment or not working, or already have children or not. Potential adopters must legally be a UK resident, and have been so for at least 12 months, and be aged 21 or over. They should be able to provide a stable home for a child until adulthood and beyond.
For more information about Adoption@Heart, and to find out more about adopting a child, please visit Adoption@Heart. Alternatively attend one of the Adoption@Heart information events, taking place at Merry Hill Shopping Centre on Wednesday 10 April at 6pm or Priory Green in Pendeford on Wednesday 17 April at 6pm.