The leader of the county council’s children’s services says action has been taken to recruit more adoptive families in Bucks – after the authority failed to hit targets last year.

Young people set to be adopted are expected to move in with adoptive families in less than 14 months, however just 39 per cent of children met this target at the end of September 2018.

During a meeting of Bucks County Council’s children’s select committee this week, cabinet member for children’s services, Warren Whyte, was quizzed on plans to tackle the issue.

Councillor for Penn Wood and Old Amersham, Isobel Darby, said: “Our statistical neighbours are doing better than us at finding adoptive parents

“Is there anything else that could be done?

“Are we talking to statistical neighbours to find out how they get their adoptive parents?

“Are there other things we could be doing? Is there best practice elsewhere that’s reaping dividends for our children?”

Cllr Whyte said making sure children are placed with the right parents so they are in a “stable and long-term adoption” is the council’s top priority.

He added there are challenges in finding adoptive parents for children who have specific needs, such as disabilities or behavioural issues.

BCC is increasing its presence on social media to recruit adoptive and foster families, and there are also numerous adoption events coming up, according to Cllr Whyte.

He said: “I wouldn’t want to say I am relaxed about it, but I am reassured that the team take great care so that we are not rushing into adoption for the sake of the figures, but making sure children are placed with the right parents so they are in a stable and long-term adoption.

“An adoption breakdown is not good for the family or child at all. I prefer a more cautious approach.”