Extra support for Havering adopters and special guardians

Published: Tuesday, 30 June 2020

Adopt London East has teamed up with award-winning film animation company My Pockets to produce a short film to tell adopters and special guardians about the new support to help them during the pandem

Many families have expressed a need for support during the lockdown, prompting the Education Secretary Gavin Williamson to announce that extra funding to help adopted children and children subject to Special Guardianship orders.

Their parents will get the help they need to support the children who have already experienced trauma in their young lives, which has been intensified by the pressure of the Covid 19 virus.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said:

“Many of us have seen changes in our daily lives as we practice social distancing and stay at home. For adoptive families, often still adjusting to their new environments, this may create additional strain.”

This short animated film, Closer and Stronger, shows parents and special guardians who are at home and dealing with the everyday stuff of family life, concerned about how best to support their children and access the support they need during lockdown.

Adopt London East, which is part of Adopt London, has teamed up with expert organisations so families can get help and also talk with other families in similar situations. There are helplines, on line training, therapy and counselling.

The providers are the National Association of Therapeutic Parenting, PAC-UK and Adoptionplus, Kinship Response run by Grandparents Plus, The Adopter Hub run by Parents and Children Together and We Are Family.                

Councillor Robert Benham, Havering’s Cabinet Member for Children, Education and Families, said:

“The extra support will help families experiencing the additional difficulties that Covid 19 has brought with it.

The children will already have experienced many traumatic issues during their young lives, so it’s crucial that their adoptive parents receive all the help and support they need to help them improve their homes lives.”

The animation company My Pockets has worked for years with young people and families in all kinds of situations making films and art projects that have won many awards, been broadcast on national TV and have been screened internationally at film festivals. 

Director Peter Snelling made this film by talking to adoptive families and staff from the 23 London authorities then making families out of cardboard.

He said: "It’s been a fun three weeks of drawing, cutting out and colouring in. I’ve made five very different adoptive families and animated them, but also wanted to fill the film with the stuff of family life. 

As it says in the film - we all need a helping hand at the moment.”