Author: Hayley Brooks
New CVAA member: Family Routes
CVAA is very excited to welcome Family Routes as CVAA’s newest member! Based in Northern Ireland, Family Routes is an independent charity with five distinct services offering a range of support and counselling to those affected by adoption and fertility issues. Under the Family Routes umbrella of core services includes voluntary adoption agency Adoption Routes. More information about our newest member can be found here.
Closure of placement service: AdoptionPlus
AdoptionPlus has made the difficult decision of closing its placement service due to the reduction in placement order numbers and the reduced need for Voluntary Adoption Agency placements, which now means that it is no longer viable for AdoptionPlus to offer this service. The agency, however, will still remain registered as a Voluntary Adoption Agency with Ofsted and are committed to continuing to support adoptive and SGO families. In addition to its existing services, AdoptionPlus is also increasing its work in the residential and foster care sectors. More information can be found here.
Adoption Matters new fostering service
Adoption Matters is developing a new independent, not-for-profit, fostering service in the North West.
Having researched into expanding into the foster care market for over two years, Adoption Matters aims to offer a not-for-profit fostering service to the local authorities across the North West, providing cost effective and high quality foster care households. The aim is to launch its new fostering service in late 2023/early 2024 under the new name Foster Care Matters.
Adoption Matters has confirmed that nothing will change and it will continue to recruit adoptive families, place children, offer support to adopted adults and birth families and offer therapy and support services through our Centre for Adoption Support and Therapy Service.
You can find out more about the new fostering service on the Adoption Matters website.
ARC Adoption North East launch ‘Better off together’ campaign
In collaboration with Adopt Coast to Coast, ARC Adoption NE launched a new ‘Better off together’ campaign last month to encourage people in the North East and Cumbria to consider the benefits of adopting more than one child, while raising awareness of the ongoing support available to families. Finding one permanent home for brother and sister groups means that important sibling relationships are protected, and children often settle more quickly into their new homes when placed with their brother or sister. Whilst in later life, being adopted alongside a sibling, can mean adoptees have a shared understanding of their past and it may help with their sense of identity.
Recent national statistics* show that 43% of the children currently waiting to be adopted in England are part of brother and sister groups and they wait on average 11 months longer than single children to be placed with a new family. In comparison, only a third (33%) of adopters who are currently in stage 2 of the adoption process or approved by Adopt Coast to Coast or ARC Adoption are looking to adopt one or two children. Of this number, only 7% are certain they want to adopt two children, and none of the prospective adopters are currently looking to adopt three children or more.
As well as highlighting the many benefits of adopting siblings and sharing real-life experiences of adopters, the ‘Better off together’ campaign highlights the support available from adoption agencies to those who adopt siblings.
Nicola Storey, Marketing and Business Manager at ARC, has shared some additional words about the campaign:
‘We feel very fortunate at ARC to have such a good relationship with our Regional Adoption Agency, Adopt Coast to Coast, and it’s something that has been nurtured. I think both organisations really do see the value in working together, despite the fact we are also competing in recruiting adopters most of the time. Adopt Coast to Coast appreciates that we have an enhanced support offering at ARC, which is important for sibling adopters – and in turn Adopt Coast to Coast benefit from having first sight of any adopters we recruit and approve through this campaign, to consider for the siblings in their care. This is the first time we have specifically collaborated on a joint marketing campaign, but could be something we do more of in the future’.
For more information about the ‘Better off together’ campaign go to www.familiesforsiblings.org
CATCH – a new name for PACT’s Adopter Hub
Last month, PACT’s online support platform for parents and carers of children affected by early childhood trauma was given the new name CATCH – Children and Trauma Community Hub.
The Adopter Hub was developed by PACT in 2017 to support parents of adopted children. But in the five years since, the Hub has grown and evolved and now also supports foster carers, special guardians, virtual schools and education and social care professionals.
PACT Chief Executive Natausha van Vliet said: “When The Adopter Hub was launched, we set out to provide online resources, webinars, webchat and forums to help provide information, learning and support for our adoptive families.
“Since then, we have developed content to support foster carers and special guardians, social care practitioners and also teachers working with looked after, or previously looked after children, in schools. We now have thousands of pages of resources on our website and hundreds of webinars covering all sorts of topics from behaviour, mental health and therapeutic parenting techniques to sleeping, County Lines and cultural identity.
“We now partner with 38 different adoption agencies, local authorities and schools who have seen the value of this support for their own parents, carers and staff.
“We needed a new name for our platform to reflect the wide range of users who now use The Hub and I’m delighted we have our new name of CATCH.
“Many parents and professionals tell us how helpful they find resources on The Hub to help improve their skills and knowledge when supporting or caring for children who have experienced early life trauma as a result of abuse, neglect or loss.”
Existing Adopter Hub users have been reassured that they will retain their user accounts with the same login details and will still have access to the same resources as they do now. Adoptive parents will still see The Adopter Hub name on their homepage. Other users will see their own sections of the site and be signposted to relevant resources that might be of interest to them.
You can find out more about CATCH here.