What makes Adopting Together different -

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Through Adopting Together, children who have been waiting the longest for families are identified and referred to the project by the Local Authority which is responsible for their care.

Children might have been waiting a long time for a variety of reasons, such as being aged over four, a part of a sibling group, have additional needs, medical needs or medical uncertainty.

The length of time they have been waiting for a family may have also impacted their needs – one of the key reasons Adopting Together has been established. The project offers a specialised approach to the recruitment of families, and a tailored package of support, which is appropriate and bespoke to best meet the needs of the individual child/children and the adopters.

Below is a step by step approach to the Adopting Together.

Step 1

Information is shared with St David’s Children Society for children referred to the project by the Regional Collaboratives. St David's will then seek, recruit and, with full agreement from adopters, follow the adoption assessment process with these children in mind. Seeking families for referred children may mean identifying adopters who are already undertaking the adoption assessment process with St David’s Children Society and who fully agree to participate in the project. It could also mean actively seeking families through targeted recruitment where anonymous information about a specific child waiting will be shared.

Step 2

Once an adopter has been identified as a potential link for a child, and this has been discussed and agreed with their and the child’s social worker, the child’s social worker will visit the adopter. If this link is then agreed by all, a meeting called a Team for the Child meeting will be held.

Step 3

The Team for the Child meeting will take place with key professionals who know the child well, such as a nursery nurse, teacher, health visitor, plus the possible adopters and foster carers. This meeting will be facilitated by a clinical psychologist, with the focus on developing detailed understanding of the child’s history and experiences. Their behaviours and the ways in which they build relationships, and the parenting tasks needed to support the child. Information from this meeting will be gathered into a report, which will be shared with the adopters and used to form recommendations for helping the child to move from their foster home to their new home. It will also inform the package of support designed for the child and adoptive parents. It is important to be aware that, as the adopter, should you no longer wish to continue you can change your mind at any time, including following this meeting. This will have no impact on your choice to adopt and depending on where you are in the adoption assessment process your social worker will discuss your next steps. Once you have confirmed you want to proceed with the placement a formal matching meeting and formal matching panel will take place. This is organised by the region with responsibility for the child.

Step 4

At this stage, as the adoptive parent, you, the child and the foster carer are supported through the process of the child moving from the foster carer’s home to yours with a package of ‘transition’ support. This support includes play-based therapeutic sessions. These will be led by a professional and will begin with just the foster carer and child. Then, at the point of introductions, you as the adopter will be invited to join the sessions with the foster carer. Following the child moving into your home, a sequence of sessions will be held with just you and the child. These sessions will help the child move safely from their foster family to a new family. This can be difficult for children who have already experienced a lot of trauma. It is therefore important these stages are completed carefully to stay alongside the child during this period of change.

Step 5

Ongoing support is then offered once your child has come to live with you. Three follow-up meetings led by an experienced clinical psychologist will take place during the first year of your child moving in. The main purpose of these meetings will be to discuss any concerns you may be experiencing, and explore appropriate support options. These meetings are a safe place to talk about your experiences of parenting. Experiencing issues or concerns is entirely normal - these meetings are your chance to talk about being a parent and seek appropriate support. A report will be prepared by the clinical psychologist and information from these meetings will feed in to the statutory Adoption Support Review meeting

Step 6

Adoption support does not end after the first year of your child moving in, we will be here for as long as you need us.

Interested in adoption?

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