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Adopters needed to help change children's lives

Could you help to change a child’s life forever?

Adopters are urgently needed to help vulnerable children in need across Middlesbrough – with help and support on hand for those who make the life-changing commitment.

The call comes during National Adoption Week 2017 (October 16-22) with adoption and placement orders continuing to rise, both locally and nationally.

And throughout this week potential adopters can find out more at a special drop-in information session in Middlesbrough.

In a typical year, adoptive placements must be found for more than 30 children in the town, with the most pressing need for adopters who would consider toddlers, sibling groups, children with disabilities or special needs and older children.

Potential adopters can come from any walk of life as long as they have the willingness and skills to parent and support one or more children.

While prospective adopters are currently undergoing assessment, there remains an urgent need for others to come forward.

The local position reflects a growing demand nationwide, with latest government figures revealing that 32,810 children were taken into care in 2017. This is having an impact on the demand for adoptive placements.

One Middlesbrough adopter said: “At the outset adopting a child can seem a little bit daunting with talk of training, reports and interviews.

“But once you get through the process and you are matched with a wonderful little person it all becomes remarkably simple because in the end it’s just about love.

“Adoption has enabled our family to be complete and provide our daughter with the love and friendship of a sibling she would not have had.”

And in a moving poem, an adoptive grandparent wrote:

Welcome, my little one
Not born to us, but chosen
I’ll play with you
I’ll laugh with you
And sing lullabies to comfort you

Welcome, to my little one
So longed for, now found
I’ll hold you
I’ll enfold you
And in my heart, forever love you

Councillor Mike Carr, Middlesbrough Council’s Executive Member for Children’s Services, said: “It is impossible to overstate the importance of a stable, secure and loving childhood, and that’s what our adopters provide for some of the most vulnerable people in society.

“The town’s young people are its future, and safeguarding them will always be one of our key priorities.

“Sometimes, for a variety of different and complex reasons, that means finding them new families.

“We currently urgently need new adopters to come forward to take on this challenging but hugely rewarding and important role.

“There is no such thing as a ‘typical’ adoptive parent and adopters can come from all walks of life and backgrounds – the key qualities are the skills to parent and support the young people who will become part of their family.

“Initially, we are simply asking people to come forward and find out more about adoption.

“If you think you might have what it takes, please pick up the phone today.”

•    Anyone interested in finding out more about adoption is invited to a drop-in information session from 9am to 5.30pm, Monday to Friday this week. Call in to Vancouver House reception on Corporation Road and ask for the Adoption Team.

To find out more, call Middlesbrough Adoption Service on 01642 201962, visit www.middlesbrough.gov.uk/adoption or email family_placement@middlesbrough.gov.uk