FAMILIES are needed to adopt children as the number of youngsters in need of a home soars.

The plea comes amid a fresh push during National Adoption Week.

In Dorset, a range of children are waiting to be adopted including single children aged up to eight, disabled children, and sibling pairs.

Last year, 15 children were adopted in Dorset and Dorset County Council said that it is looking likely to be double that number this year.

Cabinet member for children’s services at Dorset County Council Toni Coombs said: “There are many children in Dorset who need the stability and love from a family for life.

“We’re looking for people from all walks of life and backgrounds.

“The process in Dorset is thorough, but it’s also one of the quickest in the country. We can give you a huge amount of support available through training, support groups and individual advice.

“Adopting a child can be really rewarding, and we would love to hear from you if you are interested in finding out more.”

There is no age criteria for adopters other than they need to be over the age of 21 to legally adopt and be fit and healthy enough to care for a child throughout their childhood.

Enquiries from single people, couples, including same sex couples, people of all backgrounds, and people of all religions and none will be considered. Adopters do not need to be homeowners.

The council will accept applications from people living in Bournemouth and Poole and slightly outside Dorset. The council says that it has one of the best records for placing children with families.

The average time it takes to place a child following court permission is 97 days – below the national average of 195 days.

Call 01305 221450 or visit dorsetforyou.com/adoption for more details.

4,000 youngsters waiting

National Adoption Week is organised by the British Association for Adoption & Fostering (BAAF).

It aims to raise awareness of adoption and encourage potential parents to come forward. There are an estimated 4,000 children across the country needing adoption every year, many of whom will have suffered trauma in their short lives.

Visit nationaladoptionweek .org.uk for more information about National Adoption Week.