England

Adoption teams in St Helens, Warrington and Wigan join together

Adoption teams in Warrington, Wigan and St Helens have joined forces to widen the search for people looking to adopt children.

The councils said they had started the joint scheme - called WWiSH - to give people more choice.

All three authorities said they had more children seeking adoption than they had families wanting to adopt.

The new scheme will use shared resources to help to match children to families.

Councillor Colin Froggatt, who is responsible for children and young people's services at Warrington Council, said: "This has been a long time in the planning and is a move to attract more adopters which is a national problem.

"The new shared service will be more efficient and effective and has brought a wealth of experience together into one dedicated team."

'Widening the net'

Susan Loudon, cabinet member for children and young people at Wigan Council, said: "It's a fact that there are more children needing adoption than there are adopters.

"This new approach will hopefully give greater placement choice to our children and a better chance to match their life needs."

Marie Rimmer, leader of St Helens Council, said: "Like elsewhere in the country, we do have difficulty in attracting people willing to adopt.

"We have all recognised the issues for a number of years. We hope that by sharing the service and widening the net we can help to place more children with adopted parents."

The new WWiSH regional team is based in Wigan.

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