No two days are the same working as a social worker in Blackpool's Adoption Service; each brings with it a different rewards and challenges. We are a growing team committed to help find families for children who need the stability and security of a loving family home for children from all over the country and not just the Blackpool area. On a Monday I could be in working with a prospective adoptive family in Blackpool talking to them about starting the adoption process, and on a Tuesday be in Bristol meeting a family who could potentially be the new parents for one of the children we are family finding for.
We are often asked what the difference is between adoption and fostering; as essentially both involve caring for children in a family environment. Children and young people come into foster care for a variety of reasons and a large proportion of children return home to their birth families once they have had time and support. For some children, despite all efforts this may not be possible. Adoptive families are specifically approved to care for children in these circumstances on a permanent basis with a view to sharing information with a child about their background history and also promoting contact with birth families. Adopters acquire full parental responsibility for a child which is legally recognised by an Adoption Order. For some children continuing to live as part of a foster family may be in their best interests, in these situations parental responsibility is often shared between the local authority and their birth family. Children placed for adoption range in age from birth (in exceptional circumstances) to approximately 8 years.
The theme for Adoption Week 2015 highlights the growing number of children aged over 4 years that are waiting to be placed with an adoptive family, as well a sibling groups, children with complex needs and children from ethnic minority backgrounds.
Changes were introduced in 2013 to streamline the adoption process which now means the process of becoming approved for a prospective adoptive family could take approximately 6 months. As the needs of children who require adoption placement are quite diverse so is the need for different kinds of families. Historically there was a belief that anyone considering adoption needed to be married, this isn't the case. You can be single, living with a partner, divorced, remarried or already have birth children. I would urge anyone who may have thought about adopting to visit some of the information pages on the website, contact our friendly team or even drop into an information event and have an informal chat about adoption and the process. It can be quite difficult to take the first step and we recognise this, we will guide you through what's involved and answer any questions you may have.
Over the years it's been such a huge privilege to be a part of the process that can help match a child (who may not have had the best start in life) with a family who can accept them for who they are. It's truly amazing to see how their relationships develop; there are some tough times (but no one ever said parenting was easy) however bonds are formed and there are many magical moments too. Some of the people I have worked with have become parents for the first time, some have come back to adopt a second child, and others have chosen to add to their family through adoption. When I have asked adopters if they can remember the time before the child arrived into their lives, usually as we are finalising the adoption process, they often look confused at the question, which is quickly followed by a smile and they tell me "It's like they’ve always been here, and we wouldn't have it any other way!"
Adoption is a lifelong commitment and in Blackpool we recognise this through our Post Adoption Service where social workers are on hand to listen to and consult with adoptive families and agencies on a range of issues from sign posting to other services, organising workshops on adoption related issues, social events for adoptive families, providing therapeutic support (to children and families), managing contact and also mailbox enquiries.
Every day is different working in Blackpool’s Adoption Team....but we wouldn't have it any other way!
For further information please do not hesitate to contact our friendly team on 01253 477888, or complete the Contact Us form here.
Start the conversation by giving us a call on 01253 477888 or alternatively, request a free callback and we'll be in touch with you as soon as possible, within 5 working days.