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Ways to find new families during National Adoption Week

A special adoption information evening will be held during National Adoption Week for anyone thinking about starting or growing their family through adoption to find out more.

The event will be held on Thursday 19 October 2017 at County Hall, on Fishergate Hill in Preston, from 6pm to 7.30pm.

National Adoption week will run from October 16 to 22 October this year.

Following a short presentation, members of Lancashire County Council’s adoption team, including social workers, will be available to answer questions, talk you through the process and offer confidential advice.

There’s no need to book – you can just turn up, but early arrival is recommended, so that the presentation can start promptly at 6pm. People attending the information evening are also asked to stay for the whole session.

The county council is always looking for adopters, but there’s a special focus this year on people willing to keep families together by adopting siblings.

Brothers and sisters are among the children who wait longest to be adopted, as there are not enough people coming forward who are able to give them a safe, permanent and loving family.

Among the 62 Lancashire children currently ready to be adopted, there are nine two-sibling groups and four three-sibling groups.

The council is also focussing on two different types of adoption, so that more babies and young children can go to live with their permanent family quicker:

• Best for Baby (Concurrent Placements) place babies and young children, aged up to two, with foster carers who may go on to give them a permanent home.
• Better Beginnings (The Fostering-for-Adoption scheme) is for children where there is no realistic prospect of a return to their birth family.

Best for Baby (Concurrent Placements) place a baby or child straight away with their prospective adopters, who are also approved as foster carers, while the birth family is assessed and the court makes a decision.

Better Beginnings (Foster-for-Adoption) carers are approved as temporary foster carers, but are prepared to adopt the child – if it is eventually decided that they can’t return to their birth family.

Arrangements through the Better Beginnings scheme can give children continuous care in the home that they may settle in permanently, rather than spending months with other foster carers first. They also give the added benefit of allowing them to bond with their new family at an earlier age.

This scheme has been encouraged by the government over the last two years, across the country, as part of reforms to speed up the adoption process.

County Councillor Susie Charles, Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Schools, said: “We need people from all backgrounds to offer a permanent home and family to children who are not able to live with their birth family. You must be over 21, and live in Lancashire or close by, but whatever your race, gender, sexuality, living arrangements, age or employment status, we want to hear from you.

“What matter to us are your personal qualities and that you are able to provide a loving home where you can support and look after a child throughout their childhood and beyond.”

Adoptive parents are needed to come forward for children from young babies up to eight years of age, and particularly for the following groups:

• Children aged over four, either gender
• Children with special needs, disabilities or unpredictable medical issues
• Boys of all ages
• Mixed-heritage children of all ages

To adopt, you must be over 21 and live in Lancashire or close by, whatever your race, gender, sexuality, living arrangements, or employment status.

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.

Further details about the information evening and adoption in general are available online at www.lancashire.gov.uk/adoption or by calling the adoption team for an informal chat on 0300 123 6723.

There’s no need to book for the adoption information evening – you can just turn up.

Free parking is available on the Arthur Street car park, next to County Hall, and the Pitt Street entrance is accessible for disabled people.

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