Devon

Adoption waiting times 'cut by two months'

Moves to shorten the length of time it takes to approve adoption applications will encourage more adoptive parents to come forward, a council hopes.

Devon county council said there was a shortfall of about 70 families and 86 children were awaiting adoption.

It said the approval process had taken about eight months on average but it hoped a new simpler application would cut waiting times to about six.

It added its new system would retain necessary "checks and balances".

In the two-stage process, the first stage, lasting two months, would allow prospective adopters to learn more about adoption, the council said.

The second four-month stage would give those wanting to adopt training and support, it added.

Approved foster carers, and people who had adopted before, would have their applications be fast-tracked; and the "process is simpler and quicker for prospective adopters, while maintaining the necessary checks and balances", the council said.

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