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Bournemouth Council’s award winning adoption service are using this year’s National Adoption Week (19 – 25 October) to focus on encouraging potential adopters to parent older children.
Figures show that nearly half of the Bournemouth children who are waiting to be placed with adoptive families are aged 4 years old or older.
Deputy Leader, Councillor Nicola Greene & Cabinet Member for Education & Children’s Services, said: “We have known for some time that potential adopters often prefer to parent a baby rather than an older child. What is surprising is that these so-called older children are as young as 4. Our focus this National Adoption Week is to find homes for these children, many of whom have complex needs or are in sibling groups. Here in Bournemouth, we are currently family finding for several children over the age of four and would love to hear from anyone considering adopting a child of that age or older.”
A survey commissioned by First4Adoption, the national adoption information service, found that people who live with children are twice as likely to say that children of 4 or over are less demanding than children under the age of 4.
Heather Freeman, Team Manager, Bournemouth Adoption Service, said: “Many of our adopters who have adopted older children have said how rewarding it is to care for them. Adopters, foster carers and workers can do lots of work with older children to give them all the help they need to understand what has happened to them in the past in order to help them move on to their adoptive placement.”
The Bournemouth Adoption team are recognised as being national leaders in the way they prepare children moving to their new permanent home, and also in life story work, which was recently featured in an article in The Guardian. Life story work helps children to understand what has happened to them in their lives and why they are being adopted.
Anyone interested in finding out more about adoption can call the Bournemouth adoption team on 01202 456743. More information about National Adoption Week can be found atwww.first4adoption.org.uk/nationaladoptionweek