ARC Adoption North East and Cumbria Adoption are searching for loving, adoptive parents based in the North of England.

Voluntary Adoption Agency, ARC Adoption North East, is campaigning to find a permanent, loving home for a smiley and inquisitive four-year-old boy who has been in foster care since birth. Working in partnership with Cumbria Adoption, ARC Adoption is appealing for people living in the North of England to come forward to find out more about Michael and consider if they could meet his needs.

Michael has lived in foster care placements since his discharge from hospital as a baby and whilst a search has been ongoing to find a permanent, loving home for him, the right match has not been found. It is likely that he will remain in long term foster care, if an adoptive family cannot be identified.

Michael has blue eyes and strawberry-blonde hair. His foster carers describe him a ‘bright star’ who loves to give and receive cuddles. He was born with a Tessier cleft and mild scoliosis of the spine, and has global development delay. He is currently in reception class at a mainstream school but needs some extra help.  Michael loves to run and play outside, and while his speech is still developing, he enjoys humming along to songs and dancing with his musical instruments, as well as watching his favourite Cocomelon TV show on his tablet.

Lorraine Jefferson, Assistant Director at ARC Adoption North East said:

“Michael has needs that may appear daunting to prospective adopters but we want people to look past his challenges and see the happy, little boy who is in need of love and security. It has taken him a little longer to reach certain milestones but he has made excellent progress with his foster carers, and we are confident that a supportive, lifelong family will give him the very best chance in reaching his full potential.

“Michael’s experiences have led to him struggling with transitions, and he likes to be soothed by cuddles and games, and needs attention and stimulation from a family who can parent with a calm and therapeutic approach. The right adoptive parents for Michael will also need to positively advocate for his needs in relation to health and education, be understanding and realistic of his capabilities, and celebrate the progress he makes. We are here to help prospective adopters explore their strengths and capabilities, in line with what Michael needs to thrive, and support them in any way we can.”

Social workers are searching for a two-parent household as a preference for Michael due to the time and attention that will be required to devote to his needs. He could potentially be placed within a family where there are older, more independent children, and in a household with friendly family pets.

This search is primarily focussing on prospective adoptive parents located within the North East, Yorkshire, Cumbria, Lancashire and Greater Manchester for ease of access to ongoing support, although ARC Adoption is very happy to speak to people in surrounding areas who think they may have the right the right qualities to be a parent to Michael.

ARC Adoption has a dedicated Therapeutic Adoption Support Service which is available to all of the agency’s families for life. A specialist support plan will be put in place for Michael’s adoptive placement, organised through both ARC Adoption and Cumbria Adoption, and a means tested monetary adoption allowance will also be available to help support Michael’s needs, with possibility of additional future help available through the Adoption Support Fund.

In a recent Ofsted inspection, which took place in December 2022, ARC Adoption’s support provision was described as ‘exceptional’ and the quality of training provided to adopters cited as a ‘significant strength’ of the agency.

This adopter recruitment initiative is part funded through a collaborative project involving the partnership of Cumbria Adoption and ARC Adoption North East, with the aim of matching children with the right parents to meet their needs more quickly and effectively.

Could you be a potential family for Michael? ARC Adoption is urging people to read more about Michael here, or to request an informal and no obligation chat with an experienced social worker to discuss circumstances, capabilities and experience in relation to Michael’s needs, by completing our enquiry form.