A drive to encourage people to adopt children in care is getting underway in Liverpool.
Using the slogan ‘Adopt a future – together we can make a difference’ the new recruitment campaign aims to find new homes for young people in Liverpool who are waiting for new families.
It is being promoted through a poster advertising campaign in Merseyrail underground stations, GP practices, children’s centres and libraries, as well as the local media.
The city council is currently looking for people to permanently care for 37 children, some of them siblings.
Councillor Jane Corbett, Cabinet member for children’s services, said: “Becoming an adopter is life changing, for everyone involved.
“It is the single most important thing that will ever happen to a young person and it completely transforms their life chances. And for the adopter, there truly is nothing more rewarding or fulfilling.
“Although the process of becoming an adopter has to be extremely thorough, we try and make it as pain free as possible. Around 19 out of 20 people who go forward to the adoption panel are approved.
“We have a fantastic track record of placing children with the family that is right for them, which is why 98 percent of our placements are a long-term success.
“I would urge anyone who has ever thought about adoption to get in touch with us – it could be the best decision you ever make.”
Over the last three years, the average time taken to find an adoptive match for a child in Liverpool has been 150 days, compared to 210 across England.
People looking to adopt must be:
• Over 21 and mature enough to meet the demands of parenthood
• In reasonably good health and fit and well enough to care for children into adulthood
• Able to offer a secure home with a spare room for one or more children
• Have the time and ability to parent an adopted child
• Can be either single, married, in a civil partnership or cohabiting
• We do not discriminate on the grounds of class, race, culture, sexual orientation or disability
What happens after the council receives my adoption enquiry form?
We will contact you within five working days to discuss some basic criteria such as home, health and background information. We will then invite you to an information event to meet other people who have been through the process.
Home visits and assessments
If you are in a position to adopt via our agency and still keen to proceed, a social worker will visit you at home to go through further details. Following this visit if you want to proceed and we believe you should progress to the next stage we will then invite you to a series of preparation groups, where we can find out more about you and you will learn skills to help parent adopted children. Also at this stage you will be asked to consent to a series of checks including criminal record and health checks. If all is ok you will then progress to a second stage when a Social worker will carry out an in depth assessment and work with you to complete a Prospective Adopters Report
We will present your assessment report to the adoption panel (19 out of 20 applications are approved). Link meetings will then be held to consider children awaiting adoptive placements to see if there is a child that could be matched to you.
Meeting a child
Once a link has been proposed and agreed, you will be introduced to the child and get to know each other over a period of time. The child will move in with you and you will have continued support from the social worker during the settling in period.
Becoming the child’s legal parents
Your application is submitted to the court at least 10 weeks after the child is placed with you. If the adoption order is granted, this ends the child’s legal relationship with their birth family and makes you their legal parents.
Liverpool’s Adoption Service will continue to support you for as long as is necessary, and you will be entitled to support throughout the child’s life.