First Adoption Activity Day for Somerset

Following the success of a bold new scheme to improve adoption matching, Somerset County Council held its first Adoption Activity Day on Saturday 1 March.

The Activity Day was a themed pirate children’s party where approved adopters had the opportunity to meet children who are waiting to be adopted in a relaxed and informal setting.

The aim of the Day was to improve the chance of finding a forever family for the children who have been waiting for a long time to find parents, mainly children over five years old, siblings groups, twins, and children with disabilities.

Adoption Activity Days have been successful in the US for many years and the first pilot project in Britain, run by the British Association for Adoption and Fostering (BAAF), saw five activity days organised with a success rate of 19% of the hardest-to-place children finding families.

Cllr Frances Nicholson, Cabinet Member for Children and Families at Somerset, said: “These events do work and the success rate speaks for itself. Traditional methods of writing descriptions and showing films of the children to adopters have a success rate of 14% and simply do not work for the most hard-to-place children. Meeting the children in person sparks that ‘chemistry’ and ‘natural bond’ that cannot be captured in a written profile or film.

“We have to give these children the best possible chance of finding a forever family. I am really pleased that we have held our first Activity Day and I hope it will lead to many more.”

Somerset has been working with the British Association of Adoption and Fostering (BAAF) to organise its first Adoption Activity Day in partnership with Bristol, Bath and North East Somerset, Gloucestershire, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset Councils and in collaboration with local voluntary adoption agencies.

Louise Hocking, Director of Child Placement at BAAF, said: “BAAF is delighted to have had the opportunity to work in partnership to run the first Adoption Activity Day in Somerset. This initiative offers a unique and proven way for children requiring adoption to be found an adoptive home and places chemistry at the heart of the process. We are confident this will lead to successful outcomes for local children.”

To find out more about Adoption in Somerset visit or call 0800 587 9900.

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