Technology enables agency’s adoption work to continueJul 11, 2020
PEOPLE considering adopting a child have been urged to come forward by an adoption agency based in Milton Keynes.
The doors of St Francis’ Children’s Society remain open despite the current lockdown. Children in care who have been approved for adoption already face a significant wait before joining their new families. The latest available data shows that the time taken between a child entering care and being placed with an adoptive family is 14 months, with 41 per cent of children waiting 18 months or more.
St Francis’ Children’s Society is concerned that the lockdown does not extend that wait for vulnerable children. A total 3,000 children remain in care waiting to find their permanent home, said the society’s chief executive Alison Miller.
In normal circumstances, SFCS hosts two information events per month at its offices. However, they have now produced a film of an information event which can be sent out to those wanting to find out more about adoption. Initial visits and home visits are being conducted online via Zoom or WhatsApp and the current easing of restrictions means that some face-to-face visits can be done in people’s gardens.
Ms Miller said: “In response to the current restrictions, we have made dramatic changes to the way we operate. While we cannot meet prospective adopters face to face right now, video conferencing technology is allowing us to continue the important work of finding families for vulnerable children.”
SFCS hosted its first online Preparation Training course, the first of further training courses and workshops over the coming months, she added. The charity’s monthly approval panel meeting has also moved online and SFCS is also providing online support services to their existing adoptive families.
“The safety of children is always paramount but adoption agencies and local authorities are adapting their working practices to ensure that children are not waiting in care any longer than necessary,” Ms Miller said. “If you are considering adoption, you do not need to wait until restrictions are fully lifted before you begin your journey. We are pleased that we are able to continue providing our services at a difficult time.”