Adopters urgently needed in the Western Trust area

14/10/2019

Adopters urgently needed in the Western Trust area

The Western Trust and Health and Social Care NI, in partnership with Adoption UK are urgently seeking new adopters as the numbers of enquiries and applications continue to fall.
 
The decrease in applications has led to a current shortage of available adopters in the Western Trust area who can meet the needs of the many children requiring urgent and immediate placement. 
 
This year’s ‘Adoption Changes Lives’ campaign, which coincides with Adoption Week NI (14 - 20th October 2019), will focus on siblings.  Each year around 85-90 children are adopted in Northern Ireland, however, last year, 73 children were adopted from care of which 42 per cent, were adopted as part of a sibling group. 
Launching the campaign Marie Roulston, Director of Social Care and Children with the Health and Social Care Board said; “This campaign is ultimately about encouraging more people to come forward and consider becoming an adoptive parent.
 
“The children who wait the longest for adoption are brothers and sisters who need to be adopted together, children aged four and over and children with disabilities or developmental delay. 
“We are urgently seeking adoptive parents for many children but in particular to help keep brothers and sisters together. There are currently 21 children on the adoption register actively seeking an adoptive placement with 13 needing to be placed alongside a brother or sister.”
 
EJ Havlin from Adoption UK added; "Adoption UK provides support for every adoptive family.  Adopting siblings is common in Northern Ireland and many of the children waiting are part of a family group of two or three. 
“While each adoption is unique, the decisions to keep brothers and sisters together are not simply based on their blood bond, but on the benefits for the children - their ability to relate, play, grow and thrive together.  Every effort is made to make sure their relationships are nurtured and maintained. 
 
“Adoptive families who take on sibling placements are giving their children the extraordinary, acknowledged benefit of maintaining family ties and a deep sense of belonging.  Giving brothers and sisters a permanent, loving home could be the best thing you'll ever do, and Adoption Week is an ideal time to consider whether you could give children the love and care they need plus the chance to grow up together."
 
Within the last year the Western Trust has placed a significant number of children for adoption, however, we urgently need to recruit more adoptive parents for children who are available for adoption.
 
Catherine McKevitt, Western Trust Service Manager Adoption and Permanency Team said: “Information events have been organised on:
 
  • Friday 18 October 2019, Clooney Hall 2pm- 4pm
  •  
  • Thursday 24 October 2019 at 6pm – 8pm, Observation Room, 1st Floor, Omagh Hospital and Primary Care Complex.
 
“We would encourage people to come along to find out more about becoming an adoptive parent.  Many adoptive parents have found taking this first step the hardest and these sessions will provide people with general information about the process and children available for adoption.  Adoption and Permanency Social Workers will be on hand to answer any individual questions people may have about adoption.
 
She added: “The world of adoption is changing and for some children, temporary care is needed until it is possible for them to be returned to their families however there is a growing number of children unfortunately that are unable to live with their birth families.  Adoption is a challenging but very rewarding route to becoming a parent.  For children unable to return to their families, adoption provides them with a sense of belonging and a family for life. Those children who cannot be brought up in their own families deserve the chance of a positive family experience through adoption.”
If you would like to find out more about adoption, please contact the Western Trust Adoption Team on:
 
Limavady, Londonderry and Strabane area: Roisin Lynch, Social Work Manager Adoption T: (028) 7131 4226 or email: roisin.lynch@westerntrust.hscni.net
 
Omagh and Fermanagh area: Anita Birney, Social Work Manager Adoption T: (028) 8283 5114 or email: anita.birney@westerntrust.hscni.net or log onto www.adoptionandfostering.hscni.net.
 
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