Families needed for children facing long waits to be adopted

Published Wednesday 29 June 2022 at 7:17

People in Blackburn with Darwen are being asked to consider adopting children who have been waiting the longest.

The plea has been issued as part of a new national campaign.

Children aged five or over, children with additional and/or complex needs, sibling groups, and those from an ethnic minority background are the children who often wait the longest to be adopted.

While there has been a significant increase in the number of people coming forward to adopt, many are looking to adopt a single, very young child.

The You Can Adopt ‘A Life Less Ordinary’ campaign aims to encourage the public to think a little differently.

The campaign showcases the many life-changing benefits of adopting these children, explores the traits parents need to be resilient adopters, and highlights the support available to adopters and adopted children.

It also highlights that while some children may be ‘harder to place’; they are not ‘harder to love’.

Julie Gunn, Executive Member for Children, Young People and Education, said:

Many older children, those with additional needs or those from an ethnic minority background are facing year-longer delays to find their permanent homes.

We are asking for the right adopters for these specific groups of children to get in touch. There are a range of adoption support services available. There is also an Adoption Support Fund, set up by the Government, to pay for therapeutic services for adoptive children and their parents, as well as specific support for children with disabilities, including therapies and funding for specialised equipment. Adoption agencies provide ongoing support and advice to all their adoptive families.

In the North-West children from these groups represent 63% of all 270 children currently waiting to be placed with a family, Further, 100 children from these groups in the North-West have been waiting for 18 months or longer to find a family.

Mark Owers, Chair of the National Adoption Recruitment Steering Group, said:

While some groups of children may be seen as ‘harder to place’, they are not harder to love. That’s why we’re shining a light on those children who typically wait longest to be adopted – such as brother and sister groups, older children, children of colour and children with additional needs. We urgently need to bust the myths and misconceptions that may exist around adopting these children and find parents who can give them a loving, stable, permanent home. Most potential adopters already have the skills and attributes they need to change the course of these children’s lives. While it might not always be easy, support is available, and adoption is so rewarding.

Blackburn with Darwen’s local adoption agency, Adoption Now is backing the campaign and hoping to find families for their longest waiting children.

Karen Barrick, Head of Service at Adoption Now said:

Children from these groups can often wait longer because people don’t feel confident that they have the skills they need to parent them. But what we do know is that these children have many of the same everyday needs and qualities as any other child and for the other special things, we are here to support you all the way. We’re urging people not to rule themselves out of a meaningful and rewarding challenge but to have a chat with us about our wonderful children and the many ways we support our families.

If you’ve ever considered adopting and want to find out more about the children who wait the longest and the support available, find out more at: youcanadopt.co.uk/alifelessordinary or call your local agency Adoption Now on 01204 336096.

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