A campaign has been launched to help find forever homes for children in South Tyneside.
As National Adoption Week gets underway later this month, South Tyneside Council is encouraging people to consider becoming adoptive parents.
The theme of this year’s campaign is ‘Too Old at 4?’ and focuses on the fact that older children tend to wait longer to find a family.
However, in South Tyneside adoptive parents are also needed for younger children.
In an effort to recruit more adoptive parents, a drop-in session will be held at the adoption service’s base at 16 Barrington Street in South Shields, NE33 1AN, from 6.30pm to 7.30pm on Tuesday, October 20, where people can meet the adoption team and ask any questions they have about adopting.
The team will also have a stand in the reception area of South Tyneside District Hospital on Wednesday, October, 21, from 10am to 4pm.
People from all walks of life including single people, couples and people from ethnic minorities are encouraged to come along to see if adoption would be right for them.
Councillor Joan Atkinson, lead member for Children, Young People and Families, said “Adoptive families play a hugely valued and important role in providing a loving and stable home for children who cannot be with their birth parents.
“I know from speaking to adoptive parents that, while it is not without its challenges, adoption is immensely rewarding. I would encourage anyone who is considering adoption to come along and find out the facts.”
Comprehensive training is delivered to people interested in adopting and ongoing support is given throughout by the council’s experienced adoption workers.
South Tyneside’s Adoption Service is recognised as one of the best performing adoption agencies in the country, according to the Department for Education and Ofsted.
The service is ranked among the best in the country for its efficient adoption process and for its innovative approach to finding adoptive parents for children who are not able to live with birth families.
This year’s National Adoption Week runs from 19 to 25 October.
One same sex couple who recently adopted two brothers, aged five-years-old and five-months-old, said their adoption journey with South Tyneside Council started with a training session.
They said: “The training sessions were short and concise, fun and enjoyable but very significant. Each session carried an important message. Each session was delivered in a professional and respectful manner.”
The couple were given a dedicated adoption officer and went before a panel before being matched with their children.
They said: “We are now a complete and happy “forever” family. We highly recommend South Tyneside Council. Their support and guidance is outstanding from start to finish.”