The family finding service of After Adoption, Families That Last‚Äôs purpose is to find adoptive families for some of our society‚Äôs most vulnerable children.
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Children today tend to be older when they are adopted, the average age being just over four years old. Children are rarely ‚Äògiven up‚Äô for adoption and tend to arrive in the care system following social services‚Äô intervention around issues such as neglect or abuse. Many have suffered poverty and experienced several moves at a very young age. The children who stay in care the longest are those from ethnic minority groups, children who are older, those who have disabilities or behavioural problems, and those who need to be placed with brothers and sisters. These are ‚Äòdifficult to place‚Äô children who would otherwise grow up in the care system, never knowing the security and stability of a loving family. Families That Last‚Äôs purpose is to find adoptive families for these most disadvantaged and vulnerable children. We work on a child-centered model which means we focus on finding families for children ‚Äì rather than children for families - and support all parties from the initial enquiry stage, throughout the adoption process and beyond. This important process ensures that the right family is found for each child‚Äôs individual needs, and we believe that family can take various forms. We have an above national average success rate with placing sibling groups and are frequently approached directly by local authorities to find families for specific children they care for. However, we constantly need to recruit more adopters to ensure that the pool of prospective parents we have to select from for each child is as diverse as possible. Firstly, we need to increase the amount of advertising and promotion to reach and recruit prospective adopters, in particular targeted promotion within the communities that reflect the profiles of the children who are waiting longest in care. Children from black and minority ethnic groups are vastly overrepresented in the care system and there is always a shortage of adopters available to match them with. We have found that giving presentations within these communities works very well at recruiting potential adopters, however this is labour intensive. Expanding our Families That Last team would enable these presentations to take place more frequently without impacting on the function of the team as a whole. In response to this increased promotional activity we expect an increase in enquiries from prospective adopters, so need additional resources within the team to deal with this and the subsequent assessment process. By being able to recruit more suitable adopters we will get more children out of the care system and into the committed, stable families that will give them the best chance in life. We need your support to build on our success in the future, and help more children who cannot wait.
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