by Cristina Odone
A PIONEERING effort in adoption services has got off to a successful start in the Diocese of Plymouth.
In an ecumenical first, the Plymouth Diocesan Catholic Children's Society joined forces with the Anglican Board for Christian Care last month. Together, the two agencies have already processed more than 70 adoption orders, mostly of older children who have been difficult to place.
Professor Robert Leaper, of the Catholic Children's Society, told the Catholic Herald that although traditionally the majority of children being adopted "were single mothers' babies", the two agencies now were seeking to place "the more difficult cases, those children who might have been victims of parental violence, of abuse, of mental illnesses."
The new Christian child care venture adopted a unique formula by which each partner retains its own identity and charitable status but, points out Professor Leaper, "by working together, they emphasise their common interest and economise on resources." In this manner, they could avoid duplicating efforts, and save over-heads.
The nine person staff is now handling more than 100 enquiries from prospective adopting families.
"We didn't put ourselves forward as a pilot," said Professor Leaper, "but we'd be happy to share our experience with any other diocese."