Extra special children need extra special families

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Cambridgeshire is supporting national Adoption Week’s campaign to recruit more adoptive families in the county.

Adoption Week is an annual event which begins on Monday 5 November. It aims to raise the profile of adoption and help find homes for the many looked after children in local authority care across the country who are currently waiting for an adoptive family.

Organised by the British Association for Adoption and Fostering (BAAF), this year’s theme is Rule yourself in to demonstrate that adopters can be of all ages and walks of life.

Adopters must be over 21, happy to make space in their life and home for a child, be patient, flexible and energetic, and determined to make a real difference to a child for a lifetime. There is no upper age limit for potential adopters. People from all ethnic origins and religions, disabled people, single people, unmarried couples, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people can all apply to adopt. Those without children and those who are parents already, and homeowners or those in rented accommodation can all also apply.

During Adoption Week, Cambridgeshire County Council will be holding an information session in Huntingdon for potential adopters. Anyone who is interested in attending can call 0800 052 0078 or visit www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/adoption for more information.

To help find families for children who are waiting to be adopted, staff regularly invite all approved adopters to special events to discuss potential matches with these children. The next event will take place in Adoption Week.

The adoption service will also be attending a national event where the details of local children waiting to be adopted will be introduced to potential adopters from around the country. The Adoption Register is also used to raise the profile of local children nationally.

Cllr David Brown, Cambridgeshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People’s Services said: “We believe every child has the right to a happy and stable family life. We have about 40 children of all ages waiting for an adoptive family. Most are white British, but there are also some children of black minority ethnicity and of Eastern European backgrounds.

“National Adoption Week is an important opportunity for us to draw attention to these local children and encourage more people to consider whether they could be the parent these children deserve.

“We know from existing adoptive families that it can be hard work to adopt, and our assessment programme is rigorous, but the rewards are huge. This is a chance to transform a child’s life for ever.”