31 October 2011

Loving, stable and permanent homes for Northamptonshire’s most vulnerable children are being sought by Northamptonshire County Council as it backs a national appeal for new adoptive parents for older children and siblings.

The county’s adoption experts are appealing for 33 families people to come forward during National Adoption Week (31st-6 Nov) to provide 'forever families' for children over the age of five and for brothers and sisters currently waiting for a permanent home.

Councillor Andrew Grant, cabinet member for children, learning and skills, said: “I don’t care how old you are, I don’t mind whether you rent or own your own home, I don’t have an issue if you can’t find work at the moment. What I care about is whether or not you can love a child who’s already been let down or hurt by the people in his or her life.

“Many of these children will have suffered trauma in their short lives so our top priority is finding people who are compassionate and resilient enough to help pick up the pieces, build a child’s self-esteem and self-confidence and help them to unlock their potential.

“We especially need families who can look after school-aged children or who can make it possible for groups of brothers and sisters to grow up together. These are the children who perhaps don’t spring to mind for people when they first consider adoption but the rewards are huge. This is a chance to transform a child’s life forever.”

Nationally there is a shortage of potential adopters coming forward who are willing and able to take older children or sibling groups. Here in Northamptonshire, the figures for children waiting for a permanent loving home are:

  • 11 children over the age of five.
  • 32 children in a sibling pair
  • 18 children in a sibling group of three

The council’s adoption team will be holding three drop-in sessions for people interested in adopting older children and siblings:

  • 31st October - 10am to 12:30pm
    Montagu SureStart Centre, Montagu Street, Kettering, NN16 8RX
  • 7th November - 12:30pm to 3pm
    Brackley SureStart Centre, Brackley Library, Manor Road, Brackley, NN13 6AJ
  • 9th November - 7pm to 9pm
    John Dryden House, The Lakes, Bedford Road, Northampton NN4 7YD

Adoption social workers and adoptive parents will be on-hand to answer any questions. The events are informal so anyone interested in finding out more can just come along.

Alternatively, anyone interested in finding out more about adoption can call 0300 126 1008, email a&f@northamptonshire.gov.uk or visit www.northamptonshire.gov.uk

National Adoption Week is organised by the British Association for Adoption & Fostering (BAAF) and aims to raise awareness of adoption and encourage potential parents to come forward.

David Holmes, Chief Executive of BAAF, said: “It is a sad fact that some children are simply unable to remain with their birth family, because of neglect, abuse or perhaps just because their parents are unable to cope. Adoption is one of the best ways we know of giving these children a new family for life. Children with lots of different types of early experience may need adopting - some of them have had traumatic experiences, others have learning difficulties or health problems and it’s crucial that loving and permanent families are found for them.”

Notes to editor
Adoption is a legal process that involves a court transferring all rights and responsibilities of birth parents to adoptive parents. It gives the child adopted a family for life and legally the same rights in relation to his/her adopted parents as any child has with their birth parents.