Government announces new adoption champions

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The coalition of adopter champions will work alongside the Government to improve support for families at the start of their adoptive journey.


Mary McCartney's image of a four-year-old projected onto London's City Hall for National Adoption Week

Made up of experienced adoptive parents, the coalition has been created by the Government with the purpose of providing the right support to adoptive families when they need it.

The adopter champions will advise and challenge ministers on how help and support for families beginning the adoption process can be improved.

One of the ten adopter champions is Scott-Casson-Rennie, senior development manager at Adoption UK, who has three adopted children.

'The role of the adopter champion is very important because we have got direct access to the people who can make changes,' he said. 'We will be meeting regularing and addressing issues with funding, support services and regionalisation processes as they come up.

'I don’t think I realised how little support there was before but the Government has learnt from a lot of different voices, and the adopter voice has come right to the front.'

The Government has also revealed details of the first 14 Regional Adoption Agencies, which will see groups of councils and voluntary adoption agencies coming together with the aim of speeding up the adoption process.

By encouraging local authorities and voluntary adoption agencies to join forces, it is hoped that adoption agencies will have a greater pool of approved adopters.

The creation of the adoption champions and Regional Adoption Agencies forms part of the Government's reforms to the adoption system.

In April, the Government announced the introduction of a new multi-million pound adoption support fund, which more than 2,000 families and their adoptive children are now benefitting from.

The Government's announcement falls during National Adoption Week (19-25 October), led by adoption information service First4Adoption, which aims to break down barriers that prevent slightly older children from being adopted.

New statistics published to mark the week reveal that the children as young as four are waiting the longest to be adopted.

During the week, an image of a four-year-old by celebrity photographer Mary McCartney will be projected onto buildings in cities across the country.

Jeanne Kaniuk, managing director of Coram, which is supporting National Adoption Week, said, 'A four-year-old child isn’t too old for cuddles and they often need to have the chance to catch up on the baby and toddler experiences they have missed out on, so they enjoy the games and fun that we associate with much younger children. They most certainly aren’t too old to be adopted and form a loving, lasting bond in a family.

'Children needing adoption have often had difficult and frightening experiences, but they are still children and can make wonderful progress when a new parent shows them love and commitment.'

  • The 14 Regional Adoption Agency projects are led by Yorkshire & Humber, Bolton, Coram, Wolverhampton, PACT, Stockport, Adopt Berkshire, Lincolnshire, Liverpool, Essex, Families for Children, London Adoption Board, Wigan and Plymouth.


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