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Havering launches new plea to adopt longest waiting children

Published: Thursday, 22 June 2023

Havering Council has joined a national ‘You Can Adopt’ campaign to reach potential parents for children who repeatedly wait the longest to be adopted - approximately eight months longer.  

The Council is part of the You Can Adopt Support Coalition, which is a new group made up of charities, organisations, and employers, who have come together to show widespread commitment to supporting and encouraging prospective adopters looking to adopt children that wait longest. 

The latest available data shows the majority of children waiting for adoption come from specific groups.

They 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. 

The coalition is also highlighting the importance of support being available to adopters, and how the agencies involved, can strengthen that circle by offering networking opportunities to local families as well as opening up their own resources and accessing funds made available by the Government (The Adoption Support Fund). 

The growing coalition includes John Lewis and dedicated charities such as Family Fund, Family Action, Fertility Network, The Council for Disabled Children and Churches Together England, plus other employers that offer a range of inclusive rights and benefits for adopters. 

You Can Adopt has published new research showing that support is essential for all parents – not just adopters.

The research found that in Greater London:

  • 87.45 per cent believe community is important in raising a child
  • 82.23 per cent have people they refer to as family outside of immediate family or blood relatives 
  • 49.69 per cent of parents found support from other parents invaluable when raising their child, with 44.72 per cent finding help from WhatsApp groups (or similar) or online forums
  • 57.14 per cent of parents say their child has non-blood relatives they refer to as aunty or uncle

Adoption support services are available for families and children at all different ages and stages of the adoption journey, from preparation to adoption 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. 

Councillor Oscar Ford, Havering’s Cabinet Lead for Children’s Services, said:

“Our aim is for local children to be cared for in a locality with which they can have and develop strong connections wherever possible.

"We know how important it is for every child to have a positive sense of self and identity and it is even more critical for an adopted child to be connected with, and see themselves reflected in, their home and community. 

"Havering has so much to offer these young people including its great facilities and support provision, and a diversity of places and communities.  

“The task in Adopt London, is to make sure adopters are well prepared to meet the needs of local children by providing robust preparation and access to the right support".

Anyone considering adoption and who would like to find out more about the children who wait the longest can visit the You Can Adopt website