It’s national adoption week (1-7 November) and this year Merton Council, in south west London, is calling on more black families to come forward and consider giving a child in care a permanent home.
30 per cent of children referred to the Adoption Register in 2007/08 were black or dual heritage, but that year only 18 per cent of adopters approved were black or dual heritage. The continued shortage of black and dual heritage adopters means that black and dual heritage children tend to stay in the care system for long periods waiting for a family to be found.
Merton Council’s cabinet member for children’s services, Councillor Maxi Martin said:
“Adoption can take a child away from constant upheaval and unfamiliarity, allowing them to settle permanently in a loving home.
“Merton needs more black and dual heritage families to offer children a safe and loving home. Our adoption team offers prospective parents a wealth of information and support to help them make a big decision, which can change a child’s life for the better.”
Rose Powell is a black adoption social worker at Merton Council and understands the needs of black adopters and the importance of offering a culturally appropriate service.
“Merton has black and mixed heritage children waiting to be adopted into families from all walks of life and all parts of the community. The crucial requirements are a genuine commitment to care for children and plenty of energy, understanding and patience. But more importantly, you need to be able to demonstrate that you can provide a permanent, stable and caring home for a child.”
Merton has now made it easier for people to find out if they have what it takes to become an adoptive parent with a click of a button. The Merton adoption website now allows prospective parents to check their initial eligibility through a self-assessment checklist from the comfort of their own home. This allows families to check they have the essential qualities needed to adopt, before taking part in interviews or lengthy forms. The website also features the stories of other adoptive parents and a short film where a family tells of their experiences of adopting a child. All of this and more can be found at http://www.merton.gov.uk/adoption.
There will also be an adoption information event at Civic Centre in Morden, on 30 November at 6pm. Please call ahead to confirm a place.
Adults wanting help and advice on adopting a child can contact Merton’s Family Placement Service on 020 8545 4688 or email email@example.com
London Borough of Merton
020 8545 4654