New adoptive families in Sefton are being celebrated during National Adoption Week, which takes place from 19-26 October.
The theme for National Adoption Week is “too old at 4?” indicating the harsh reality that such children are considered to be ‘older children’ and become ‘hard to place’. Others, such as children with additional needs and sibling groups are also considered hard to place. This is with good reason, as over 4,000 children in the UK are in need of adoptive families, with roughly 1,000 not matched with families due to being older children, in sibling groups or with additional needs.
In Sefton it is a different picture, with 17 new loving adoptive homes being created for 27 children in 2014/15 to date. 18 of those children are placed in sibling groups, the oldest of whom is 8 years of age and 10 of those are ‘older’ children aged 4-8yrs.
Overall there were 19 new adoptive families approved most of who have now been matched with children or are in the process of being matched.
Sefton Council’s adoption service has built strong relationships with neighbouring local authorities and adoption agencies across the North West and throughout the UK, meaning the borough became “home” for 10 new adoptive children in the last year, while 6 children from Sefton have found safe, loving homes outside the borough.
While Sefton can point to a healthy local adoption picture, the search for loving homes for children who need it more than most is ongoing, as the local authority’s adoption service currently seeks families for 9 children aged between 7 months and 5yrs; while other children wait for final care planning decisions and Court outcomes.
From the adult adopter perspective; once your formal expression of interest to adopt is accepted to becoming an approved adopter, typically takes 6 months. Once approved you are then eligible to be considered for children waiting.
Cllr John Joseph Kelly, Cabinet Member for children, schools and families in Sefton, said: “It is encouraging to see the rate of adoption placements in Sefton, especially for those children seen as hard to place.
“I know the brilliant work that both Sefton Council’s adoption and fostering services do to make sure our children are in safe, caring environments where they can flourish. While National Adoption Week is an opportunity to reflect on our journey here in Sefton, it is vital that we do not rest on our laurels as there are always more children who need new families and our support in finding them.”
Eileen Harty, Adoption Manager at Sefton Council added: “While progress has been encouraging, our priority remains to recruit more families for older, harder to place children and sibling groups.
“Our children have lots of different needs as they learn to manage the impact of pre-birth and early life trauma throughout their childhood. We are looking for a wide range of resilient carers to help meet the needs of these children. Adopted children may have additional needs; there is a wealth of support for them from the local authority and voluntary adoption agencies at any point in the child’s life.”
“We are a small but inclusive agency and our door is open to adopters from all backgrounds, regardless of their relationship status, age, gender, race, sexuality or faith. If you are thinking of adoption, we would love to speak to you, so please get in touch.”
If you are thinking about adopting (or fostering) children, Sefton Council holds its next adoption and fostering information session, on 11 November, 6.30pm at Crosby Lakeside Adventure Centre. This session is a great opportunity to meet Sefton’s expert team and experienced adopters.
You can also contact the adoption service on FREEPHONE 0800 923 2777 (9am-5pm), by emailFostering.Adoption@sefton.gov.uk or visit the Sefton Adoption website. Alternatively, you can contact the service via private message on Facebook /SeftonFostering.
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