PEOPLE in Tameside are being urged to consider adopting with the message ‘we’ll be here to support you’.
A new, national campaign launched today (20th June) aims to reassure those considering adoption and encourage them to adopt children who typically wait longest for adoption, including children aged five or over, children with additional and/or complex needs, brother and sister groups, and those from a Black and mixed heritage background.
Adoption Now, regional adoption agency for Blackburn with Darwen, Bolton, Bury, Oldham, Rochdale and Tameside, is supporting the You Can Adopt campaign in a bid to encourage more people in the Northwest to come forward to adopt local children waiting for their forever families.
Latest available data shows there are 1,980 children waiting for adoption in England, with 990 of these (50%) waiting longer than 18 months since entering care. The majority of children waiting for adoption (59%, 1,170 children) come from specific groups repeatedly facing the longest delays in finding a home. These groups include children aged five or over, children with additional and/or complex needs, brother and sister groups, and those from a Black and mixed heritage. Compared to children without these characteristics, children from these groups wait an average of eight months longer from entry into care to adoption, a total of 32 months.
Karen Barrick, Head of Service for Adoption Now said: “Children waiting to be adopted come from all walks of life and backgrounds, and we acknowledge that some of these children will need additional support; but we want to reassure you that support is available and we’re here to help you every step of the way, so please get in touch if you feel you could provide a loving home for children who are waiting for them.”
Adoption support services are available for families and children at all different ages and stages of the adoption journey, from preparing to adopt to meeting children’s needs for the future. Services can include advice, support groups, training, workshops, family days, and specialised therapy tailored to families’ needs.
Laura is a mum who, alongside her husband, adopted their daughter and returned again for a second time to adopt their son. Around 12 months ago they sought help from Adoption Now for their son, who was struggling with separation and was finding school difficult.
Laura said: “From that first phone call I felt I was speaking to someone who understood and could help us put a plan in place to support our son. They helped me understand that it wasn’t something we were doing wrong, it was about him and how we could help him in the best way for him.
“We were invited to a Therapeutic Parenting Course and it was brilliant, really useful, it gave me a different mindset, which enabled me to spot early signs and intervene in a different way to defuse situations.”
Laura also said that alongside the training and other support available, peer support is also important: “Sometimes you say to friends ‘oh gosh this has happened’ and they don’t understand but with the group I met on the course, we’re all coming from the same place, It’s like an extra layer of support, where they say ‘it’s not just you, it’s us too, have you tried this?’ That’s been a real, unexpected bonus coming out of the training.”
When asked what she would say to people considering adoption, Laura said: “Go for it! I love our kids, I wouldn’t be without them. Parenting isn’t easy for anybody and adopting isn’t harder, it’s just a different type of difficult so I’d say ask for help, nobody is judging you and it can make a real difference.”
People considering adoption can hear the full interview with Laura and lots of other adopters talking about their experiences on Adoption Now’s podcast series Adopter Stories on www.adoptionnow.org.uk/podcasts.
If you’ve ever considered adopting and want to find out more about the children who wait the longest, find out more at youcanadopt.co.uk. Or contact your local agency Adoption Now on 01204 336096 or visit adoptionnow.org.uk