South West adoption agencies join forces to highlight urgent need for adopters for siblings

Somerset County Council, Action for Children, Clifton Children’s Society and five other local authorities in the South West have joined forces to celebrate National Adoption Week (3-9 November) with their open information event in Bridgwater entitled ‘We Belong Together’.

This year, National Adoption Week is particularly highlighting the urgent need for adopters for siblings. Our relationships with our siblings are usually the longest of our lives and for a child in care staying with their sibling means a sense of permanence and security. Siblings have a shared history, and maintaining their bond provides continuity of identity and belonging.

One young person in care says: “If you have a sibling with you, it is better because you have a bit of your birth family all the time”.

49% of children waiting for adoption are part of a sibling group, the majority of these are sibling groups of two, but only 36% of adopters would consider taking a sibling group of two and only 3% would consider a group of three. This lack of adopters for siblings can mean delays in being placed in an adoptive family or that siblings are separated to increase their chances of finding a home.

Cllr Frances Nicholson, Cabinet Member for Children and Families at Somerset County Council is backing the regional event. She said: “Many siblings stay in care much longer than single children and we sometimes have to consider splitting siblings to improve their chances of finding a forever family. We need more people to consider adopting siblings. I urge people to come along to the information event to find out more, speak to social workers and local adopters and look at details of children currently waiting to be adopted.”

Adopters who have adopted siblings quote the idea of having a ready-made family, only going through the adoption process once and enabling children to stay with their brothers and sisters as reasons to adopt siblings.

The ‘We Belong Together’ open event is open to all those considering becoming adopters for siblings and approved adopters who maybe hadn’t considered siblings previously. It runs from 7pm- 9pm on Monday 10 November at The Canalside, Marsh Lane, Bridgwater, Somerset TA6 6LQ.

To find out more about Adoption in Somerset visit http://www.adoptioninsomerset.org.uk or call 0800 587 9900.

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