ADOPTION rates have not slowed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Cheshire East councillors have been told.

Data shared at a meeting of the council’s corporate parenting committee’s meeting on Tuesday (January 19) said 14 adoptions were completed in the borough in 2019-20.

It was then revealed that 12 changes of guardianship were finalised in 2020-21, despite long delays in the court system.

Cheshire East's Director of Children’s Social Care, Kerry Birtles, said: “I am pleased to say that we have 12 adoptions this year compared to 14 last year, which is not bad going.

“There are still some children before the court where early permanency decisions are being made.

“We are seeing drift and delay — it is good numbers with the adoption but there is more work to be done on that drift and delay.”

At the same meeting, Ms Birtles also revealed that 150 of the borough’s 534 cared for children were not attending school in-person during lockdown.

She said: “What is different about this lockdown is the government announcement on what lockdown means for vulnerable children going into education.

“We were quite quick to do a scoping operation — we have bigger numbers not in education now [compared to the first lockdown]. 

“Children being in education can be a bigger risk in transmitting Covid to their carers — that would mean they have to be moved.”

You can find out more about adoption in Cheshire East on the council's website.