ARC Adoption North East joins a national ‘You Can Adopt’ campaign uniting regional and voluntary adoption agencies across the country to highlight the circle of support important to adopters.

The new campaign aims to reach potential parents for children from certain groups that repeatedly wait longest to be adopted and sees a series of new films released featuring real life stories from those who have adopted and fostered children, and others who have been adopted themselves. The films spotlight the various means of support available throughout the adoption journey from regional and voluntary adoption agencies, social care workers, charities, employers, friends, relatives, peers, and more - head to our social media channels to view some of the videos this week.

As part of the campaign, You Can Adopt has united a number of organisations, including John Lewis and Family Fund, to show their support for adopters. A new podcast episode featuring Love Island winner and former children's social worker Sanam Harrinanan in conversation with an adopter about their adoption journey also goes live today - listen to it here.

Children who wait the the longest to be adopted

Latest available data shows there are 1,980 children waiting for adoption in England, with 990 of these (50%) waiting longer than 18 months since entering care.

  • Children over five wait 16 months longer to be adopted from care than children under five
  • Children with a disability wait nine months longer to be adopted from care than children without a disability
  • Children in sibling groups wait seven months longer to be adopted from care than single children
  • Black and mixed heritage children wait two months longer than average to be adopted from care

To help find parents for these children, the You Can Adopt campaign aims to encourage potential adopters by acknowledging that, while these groups of children will need additional support, the power of family and a permanent home can be transformational for these children, and a circle of support is available to help adopters on this journey.

Support available

Adoption support services are available from adoption agencies for families and children at different ages and stages of the adoption journey, from preparation to adopt to meeting children’s needs for the future. Voluntary adoption agencies, like ARC Adoption North East can offer extensive ongoing support services to adoptive families. The Adoption Support Fund, set up by the Government, can also provide access to therapeutic services for children and their parents, following an assessment of support needs. 

Terry Fitzpatrick OBE, Director at ARC Adoption North East said:

“When we established ARC Adoption 9 years ago, one of the things we were really passionate about was the development of a therapeutic adoption support service, so that our families would have easy ongoing access to appropriate therapies and support, whenever they need it. Today it’s a service we are very proud of, and all of our families have a dedicated support worker so they have a direct route to someone they know for help and guidance in the moment.

We are also great believers in proactive support, offering ongoing learning for parents via workshops, support groups for parents and children, as well as providing fun social opportunities for families to get together with each other along with our team. It’s often these informal interactions that help us build such good relationships with our families, making them feel more comfortable in reaching out to us should a more serious support issue unfold down the line.”

Sinead adopted with ARC Adoption, and this is what she had to say about the support her family has received so far:

“ARC worked tirelessly to bring our family together. In the 18 months since our child’s placement ARC has been unwavering in their support and guidance. Our support worker Caroline's delivery of Theraplay sessions was hugely impactful. Our social worker Sylvia’s ongoing support through our first full year as a family was rock solid. We know we are in good hands when we reach out for support and that there is no judgement when we ask for help. They are a fantastic organisation and we love them dearly.”

As well as direct work with families, ARC Adoption North East also delivers training to schools and nurseries to help them better understand the needs of children who are adopted, and has been a leading figure in the development of digital life story work. You can read more about the lifelong support available from ARC Adoption North East to families here

Sarah Johal, the National Adoption Strategic Lead, spoke about children who wait the longest:

“While it may take longer to find the right family for some children, every child deserves the right to a loving, stable, and permanent home, which is why You Can Adopt is encouraging anyone considering adopting siblings, older children, children with complex needs or who are from the Black Community to come forward. This campaign also recognises the importance of community in raising a child and highlights the variety of support available to adopters, from peer support, family days out, training sessions and workshops, therapeutic and financial support for groups of children with those additional needs. Adoption may not always be easy, but support is available at each stage and can positively change the trajectory of a child’s life forever.”

If you’ve ever considered adopting and want to find out more about the children who wait the longest, please get in touch with our team to arrange an informal chat, or alternatively register to join us at one of our upcoming information events