All regional and voluntary adoption agencies across the country – including Adoption in Merseyside (AiM) – have come together to launch a drive to find forever families for children waiting to be adopted.
The ‘You Can Adopt’ campaign highlights the circle of support available to adopters in a bid to find parents for the children who typically wait the longest to be adopted
Adopters are in greatest demand for brother and sister groups, older children, children with additional and/or complex needs and children from Black and mixed heritage backgrounds. Children from these groups represent over half (59%) of all children waiting to be adopted in England and take an average of eight months longer to be adopted.
There is a range of support available to adopters throughout their journey, including therapeutic and financial support for children with disabilities, ongoing support through social care workers, workshops and training sessions, plus support available through charities, peer support groups, friends, relatives and more.
Single adopter Steph always wanted to be a mum. After realising she had the space in her heart and her home to adopt, she started the process with a phone call to AiM.
Steph’s journey took less than 12 months from that initial call to welcoming her then two and half year old daughter into the family.
She finds the range of ongoing support really important, as Steph explains:
“Like most single mums, I was worried at first and had doubts. I didn’t know if I would be able to look after a little person all on my own.
“The responsibility was a little overwhelming. However, I am lucky to have a great support network of friends and family.
“I’ve also attended a therapeutic parenting course, which at the time I didn’t feel was necessary. However, I am so happy to have those techniques and tools ready to use in the future. The support team are always there too if you need them, they have a range of free online sessions which I have also attended and found really helpful”.
In Knowsley, AiM provides support services for families with children at all different ages and stages of the adoption journey, from preparation to adopt through to meeting children’s ongoing and future needs. While the Adoption Support Fund, set up by the Government, can provide access to therapeutic services for children and their parents, following an assessment of support needs.
Cllr Margaret Harvey, Knowsley Council Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, said:
“While it may take longer to find the right family for some children, every child deserves the right to a loving, stable, and permanent home, which is why Adoption in Merseyside is joining the drive to encourage anyone considering adopting siblings, older children, children with complex needs or who are from the Black Community to come forward.
“AiM’s amazing staff provide a supportive environment for those going through the adoption process – and beyond. The training prepares you for the challenges and joys of parenting an adopted child. Support is always available, the training opportunities continue for parents after adoption and the support team continue to work with families and provide additional help if needed.”
Sarah Johal, the National Adoption Strategic Lead, said:
“The campaign recognises the importance of community in raising a child and highlights the variety of support available to adopters, from peer support, family days out, training sessions and workshops, therapeutic and financial support for groups of children with those additional needs. Adoption may not always be easy, but support is available at each stage and can positively change the trajectory of a child’s life forever.”
If you would like to find out more about adoption, please visit www.adoptioninmerseyside.co.uk