New statistics published this month to mark National Adoption Week have revealed that the average age of children waiting to be placed in adoptive families is just 4 years old.
Local adoption agency and charity, Families for Children, is turning its attention to finding loving adopted families for these older children and others who wait the longest.
The charity is appealing to those who have ever thought about adoption in Somerset not to hold back, and possibly consider opening their hearts not only to pre-school and school-age children – but also sibling groups or a child with complex needs – with a commitment from the charity to help support them for life.
Local mum Joy, has adopted 3 children, all with complex needs, through the charity and said: “Through no fault of their own these children wait far too long to be adopted.
“People get hooked up on their additional needs but when you tuck them up at night and all they want is a good night kiss you realise that actually EVERY child deserves that.
“Making a positive change to their lives only changes yours for the positive.”
Families for Children has spent a lot of time dispelling the usual myths and barriers that surround adoption.
This new challenge hopes to highlight the plight of these children as well as recruit adopters specifically for them.
Graham Pellew, Deputy CEO said: “Many school-age children and sibling groups are on their ‘last chance’ to have a new permanent family…alongside these children are those who have additional needs which will sometimes require a high level of medical care in their feature.
“All these children are featured as ‘hard to place’ and it is them that we search long and hard to find new parents for.
“The best parents are those that are able to accept everything a child can bring and love them anyway, take advice on parenting them differently and therapeutically, and be flexible about the change that inevitably occurs!”
Families for Children’s work is centred on supporting those families they bring together. It understands the difficulties that can arise – maybe not immediately and maybe not until children are in their teens or early adulthood – but when, and if they do, Families for Children will provide support and guidance.
They can advise, offer therapy and counselling or simply be at the end of the phone to ensure successful outcomes for everyone involved.
The charity is particularly keen to hear from people who live in Somerset and would consider adopting the children who wait the longest.
Families for Children is urging people to take a look at how they can prepare and support you for life if you choose to adopt.
For more information, call 01278 227027 or visit: www.familiesforchildren.org.uk.