The new regional adoption agency for Lancashire and Blackpool is celebrating a successful first six months despite the challenges of coronavirus with a new campaign starting soon highlighting the value of bringing a new child into your family.
Adoption Lancashire and Blackpool brings together expertise from both councils to simplify the adoption process, increase the number of adopters, improve the matching processes for children, and provide support for adoptive families.
Running from September 21 until October 4, the #WishForAFamily campaign will encourage anyone wanting to start or grow their family to consider adoption.
A Lancashire County Council (LCC) spokesman said, since the agency launched in April, 18 people have already become adoptive parents, with 87 more currently being assessed. Importantly, 25 children are now living with, or will be living with their new families soon.
Diane Booth, chair of the Regional Adoption Agency Board, said: ‘Despite the fact that no sooner had we launched than we found ourselves facing the coronavirus pandemic, we have still successfully found families for many children.
‘We have also assessed and approved many potential adopters, meaning that children waiting to be adopted have found their family.
‘We are so pleased that the results are showing that working together is helping us to speed up the matching process for children who are ready to be adopted, while also reducing the time that children spend waiting for adopters to come forward.
‘Although the coronavirus situation continues, we’re still taking on new adoptive parents, and need them to come forward, just as they normally would.
‘Our successful last six-months is an ideal opportunity to run our #WishForAFamily campaign to remind people to consider adoption. I’d like to reassure everyone that we are here, and available.
‘We’ve made adjustments to the way we work in terms of the way we meet and conduct interviews with potential adoptive parents due to the coronavirus, but we remain committed to providing the same high level of service.
‘We’ve done our best to keep things running as normally as possible during the last six months. We are still assessing and approving adoptive families for the children who need a permanent family, and we are continuing to support adoptive families and individuals affected by adoption.
‘We always need more adoptive parents from all walks of life, and I want to remind people that we welcome applications from people of all ages, single, married, cohabiting, in same-sex relationships, with or without their own children, working or not.’
A spokesman for LCC said Adoption Lancashire & Blackpool has adapted the way it works to ensure permanent homes are still being found for youngsters in need of a loving home including the use of digital technology.
Bookable telephone sessions are currently running, instead of the usual face-to-face adoption information events. The sessions are aimed at anyone interested in finding out more about adopting.
They offer a chance to have an informal chat, ask questions and discuss options with one of the dedicated team members.
These sessions run every Monday, excluding Bank Holidays, at 2.30pm and each Wednesday at 6.30pm until further notice.
Telephone sessions can be booked by emailing the team at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling 0300 123 6727, giving your name, telephone number and the date and time of your chosen session.
Consideration is given to anyone who wishes to adopt, regardless of their age, marital status, sexuality or gender. There are no strict rules about whether people should have jobs, their own homes or have their own children.
The LCC spokesman said Adoption Lancashire & Blackpool is keen to hear from a broad range of prospective adopters, including single people and couples, same-sex and heterosexual, from all religious backgrounds or none.
It is also happy to consider people who have already adopted, already have a family, or are looking into adoption because they are unable to have children of their own.
The only legal requirements are that adopters must be over 21 and live within Lancashire and Blackpool or nearby.
Adoptive parents are needed for children from young babies up to eight years of age, and particularly for the following groups:
• Brothers and sisters who need to stay together
• Children aged over four, either gender
• Boys of all ages
• Children with special needs, disabilities or unpredictable medical issues
To find out more, please visit www.adoptionlancashireblackpool.org.uk
Alternatively, get in touch on 0300 123 6727.