Nottinghamshire County Council and Adoption East Midlands support nationwide adoption campaign
Nottinghamshire County Council and Adoption East Midlands are supporting a newly launched nationwide campaign from You Can Adopt: ‘A Life Less Ordinary’, aiming to find parents for children waiting longest to be adopted.
With latest data revealing there are enough prospective adopters for most children waiting to be adopted, the campaign is focused on finding the right adopters for specific groups of children that face the greatest delays in finding a home.
These include children aged five or over, children with additional and/or complex needs, brother and sister groups, and those from an ethnic minority background.
Nationally, compared to children without these characteristics:
- Children over 5 wait 13 months longer to be adopted from care
- Children with a disability wait 11 months longer
- Children in brother and sister groups wait 11 months longer
- Children from an ethnic minority (excluding white minorities) wait 3 months longer
This 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.
As part of the ‘A Life Less Ordinary’ campaign, new data from You Can Adopt shows that 29.4% of people in the East Midlands would consider adopting a child. However, showing the need for adopters to come forward specifically for groups waiting longest, the majority in the East Midlands are most open to adopting a child aged between 1 and 4 (92.8%); 19% wouldn’t adopt a child with additional needs, (e.g., a physical/mental disability), and 16.7% wouldn’t adopt a brother and sister group.
The survey also reveals perceptions, practical challenges, and barriers around adopting these groups. In the East Midlands, 39.7% didn’t feel they had the skills to adopt a child with additional needs and 16.3% would feel overwhelmed by adopting a brother and sister group. Cost and lack of space at home were also concerns around adopting children from across all groups.
However, over 45% in the East Midlands said they would be more likely to consider adopting a child from one of these groups if they knew about the range of support available. The survey also showed that respondents believed the most important criteria were to be ‘patient’, ‘loving’ and ‘kind’ to give these children who wait longest a home.
Adoption East Midlands needs adoptive families for about 140 children each year. We need more people to consider adopting a child so that these children can find their forever home in the region, near to their communities, and benefit from the ongoing and lifelong support we are able to provide.
Shelagh Mitchell, Adoption East Midlands’ Group Manager, said: “Adoption East Midlands is once again proud to be part of the national #YouCanAdopt campaign encouraging people to consider adopting a child. Our dedicated team of social workers and family workers provide support every step of the way for anyone at any stage of their adoption journey.
“If you believe you can consider adopting, our website has lots of useful information including full details about the range of support available. Alternatively, you can call us for a friendly chat or come along to our next information event on Monday, 18 July.”
Councillor Tracey Taylor, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People at Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “We’re supporting this national campaign to find adopters for children who wait the longest. We want to bust the misconceptions about adopting older children, brother and sister groups, children from ethnic minorities, or those with additional needs. We want to find parents who can give them a loving, stable, permanent home. Most potential adopters already have the skills needed to change the lives of these children and knowing there is ongoing support in place, we hope people are encouraged to come forward.”
A new survey of adoptive parents showed more than half (55%) felt adopting had been the most meaningful, rewarding experience of their life. Further, while most adopters (57%) did not originally set out to adopt a child from one of the groups which typically waits longer, 54% said they became more open-minded to it as they moved through the process.
As part of the ‘A Life Less Ordinary’ campaign, a new touching film has been released featuring children from these groups forming an ‘expert’ interview panel, asking real adoptive parents questions about what it takes to give these children a permanent home.
View here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KjNzvWKM0DQ
The national survey found that 70% of the public were not aware of support services available for adoptive parents. The campaign highlights the range of adoption support available which starts with preparation to adopt and includes support groups, training, workshops, family days and specialised therapy tailored to families’ needs. 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 East Midlands provides ongoing support and advice to all its adoptive families.
If you’ve ever considered adopting and want to find out more, please visit www.adoptioneastmidlands.org.uk
 Adoption Network Survey: Conducted with 516 respondents on SurveyMonkey: adopters, potential adopters and those who work in adoption services between 19-25 May