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Adoption drive gets funding boost
Adoption charities in England will be given a funding boost of £16 million to help them tackle the "chronic shortage" of adoptive families, the Department for Education has announced.
It is is part of a wider Government drive to speed up the system of adopting a child and help the 4,000 youngsters currently in care move into loving, stable homes.
The extra cash will be handed out as grants to new and existing Voluntary Adoption Agencies (VAA) across the country to help them improve their recruitment process, as well as to expand their organisations.
Children and Families Minister, Edward Timpson, who has two adopted brothers himself said: "There are still over 4,000 children waiting to be adopted nationally, and we cannot stand by whilst children's futures hang in the balance.
"This is why we are taking a closer look at how we are recruiting new parents by giving voluntary adoption agencies a bigger role.
"We know more than 650,000 people would consider adopting right now, yet more than 700 additional adopters are needed each year to keep up with the growing number of children waiting to be adopted.
"What is important is that children who are in need of a permanent, loving home are found one as soon as possible - not who delivers the service."
The money will be available from later this year until 2016 and the government hopes it will help VAAs to find new and creative ways to find new adoptive families.
There are currently 23 VAAs in England, which have recruited and approved over 600 parents in the last 12 months.
A spokesman for the Department for Education added: "Today's package is the latest in a series of reforms the Government has made to tackle the chronic shortage of adopters and reform the way they are recruited."