New scheme should speed up adoption process

 The Catholic Children's Society (Westminster) has joined forces with local authorities in West London to find adoptive families for children in care. The partnership was launched at the Houses of Parliament by Jacqui Smith MP, minister of State at the Department of Health. Families for All, the Adoption Team at the Catholic Children's Society (Westminster) is one of ten voluntary agencies, taking part in the new initiative. Team leader Steven Longworth said: "We have skills in being able to assess people wanting to adopt and deep roots in many local communities, which not only includes West London but also Essex and Hertfordshire. Now, by working in partnership with eight local authorities, the children will be found homes more quickly and our adopters will have less time to wait before beginning to care for needy children who would otherwise linger in local authority homes". Steve Longworth explained: "The partnership seeks to achieve speedier adoption matches on a local basis, thereby reducing the need of nationwide searches. The details of families awaiting children, and the children awaiting placements, are circulated throughout the partnership and as this information is exchanged by e-mail, it can be quickly established whether suitable matches are likely. "Apart from the exchange process, the partnership has devised its own publicity material to encourage anyone considering adoption to make contact with one of the member agencies."