Drive in the Tees Valley region launches to find adopters for children who wait the longest for a permanent home

Tuesday 20 June 2023

 Drive in the Tees Valley region launches to find adopters for children who wait the longest for a permanent home

Today, Adoption Tees Valley 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 the 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.

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 and can be accessed via the You Can Adopt website.

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. The majority of children waiting for adoption (59%, 1,170 children) come from specific groups repeatedly facing the longest delays in finding a home. These groups include children aged five or over, children with additional and/or complex needs, brother and sister groups, and those from a Black and mixed heritage. Compared to children without these characteristics, children from these groups wait an average of eight months longer from entry into care to adoption, a total of 32 months.

 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.

To explore parents’ support networks and the diverse meaning of family and community for the wider public, You Can Adopt has published new research showing that support is essential for all parents – not just adopters. The research found that in our region found:

  • 82% believe community is important in raising a child
  • 41% have people they refer to as family outside of immediate family
  • 36% of parents found support from other parents invaluable when raising their child

The You Can Adopt Support Coalition is a brand-new group of charities, organisations, and employers, convened to show a widespread commitment to supporting and encouraging prospective adopters looking to adopt children that wait longest. The growing coalition includes dedicated charities such as Family Fund and Fertility Network and employers that offer a range of inclusive rights and benefits for adopters including John Lewis which is the first employer to pledge its support.

 Adoption Tees Valley offers adoption support services for families and children at all different ages and stages of the adoption journey, from preparation to adopt to meeting children’s needs for the future. The Adoption Support Fund, set up by the Government, can provide access to therapeutic services for children and their parents, following an assessment of support needs.

Services include advice, support groups, training, workshops, family days, and specialised therapy tailored to families’ needs. Regional adoption agencies are working to enhance these services, with a strengthened offer set to launch in September later this year.

Vicky Davidson Boyd, Service Manager at Adoption Tees Valley said:

“Helping children find their forever families is very rewarding, but our work doesn’t stop there. A large part of what we do is providing support to those families for as long as they need us, with a range of different services and support mechanisms. After you adopt, you are not abandoned. We can support you for as long as required with a range of different support services and a dedicated adoption support team.”

Pete, an adoptive Dad of two brothers said:

“If you have any questions or need advice, they have someone on hand to speak to and they offer a range of support – the boys love coming here for the social aspect – they attend the children’s groups. They meet up with other adopted kids like them and make new friends with children who have similar experiences”






If you’ve ever considered adopting and want to find out more about the children who wait the longest, find out more at youcanadopt.co.uk, adoptionteesvalley.org.uk or call 01642 526 400.