Adoptive families to access £19m support fund

Coun Robert Arckless
Coun Robert Arckless

This National Adoption Week, Northumberland County Council is launching its new Adoption Support Passport.

It highlights the funding the authority can help families access throughout their life and sets out the council’s ongoing commitment to children and families involved in adoption.

National Adoption Week, until Sunday, is run by the national information service First4Adoption. The 2015 campaign highlights children as young as four are waiting the longest for a new family.

At any one time, Northumberland’s Family Placement Service is seeking parents for about 20 children. Single children aged up to eight and groups of young brothers and sisters are waiting for their new family. Northumberland works closely with agencies across the UK to match families with children as effectively as possible.

The passport is being launched with the help of the Northumberland Adoption Panel members.

Coun Robert Arckless, cabinet member for children’s services and adoption panel member, said: “We are really excited to be launching the new Northumberland Adoption Passport.

“Adoption support is a key component of the help people receive from Northumberland Children’s Service. This document highlights the core services available from the team and its partners and provides key information about access to help with housing, education, finance, as well as tools that can benefit their child and family.

“The national adoption support fund has already helped Northumberland families to develop and succeed and the team are working hard to help more families in the future. We hope this will help encourage more people to adopt with Northumberland.”

For National Adoption Week, Northumberland Family Placement Service is also promoting their adoption myth-busting information sessions, where people can find out more from our team and families.

The next session is at Ponteland Memorial Hall from 6.30pm on Tuesday, November 3.

Coun Arckless added: “Adoption is open to more people than you might think. We encourage prospective parents from all walks of life to come forward. You can apply to adopt regardless of your marital status, sexuality, gender, cultural or ethnic background.

“We are particularly looking for people across the North East and Scottish Borders who can provide homes to children aged zero to eight, particularly those aged three and over and sibling groups. It may be your first time parenting or you may have older children and be looking to extend your family via adoption.”

Adoptive parents have to be over the age of 21. There is no legal upper age limit, although they need to be able to provide a stable home for a child until adulthood and beyond. Adoptive parents can be single, married or cohabiting as a same sex or a heterosexual couple.

Adoptive parents benefit from a wide range of support services including peer support groups, a dedicated family finding team, financial support and guidance, as well as post-adoption support for life when anyone in the family needs it.

For more information visit http://adoption.northumberland.gov.uk and download a free information pack or call 01670 62 62 62 for an informal chat or to book an initial appointment or to book a place at the information evening session.