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Databank. Adoption statistics
A survey carried out earlier this year showed that the quality of adoption services is far too variable to be acceptable. The key findings were that a pool of 1,297 approved adopters have no children placed with them while at the same time there were 2,400 children for whom no adopters had been identified. Of the children waiting to be adopted, 6 per cent are from black and ethnic minority backgrounds and 11 per cent are of dual race heritage. Almost 2,500 adopters were approved in the year ending March 1999 of whom 10 per cent were from black and ethnic minorities. The Department of Health has commissioned the British Agencies for Adoption and Fostering to draw up a set of national standards on adoption. The standards would apply to social workers and other professionals in adoption and foster care. Issues to be looked at will include working with families, recruitment of adopters, sharing of approved adopters between adoption agencies and the training and experience of staff.