A stable, loving and permanent home can drastically improve a child’s life chances and with every year a child stays in care, their chances of finding a family falls.
KCC, working with Coram, has made huge improvements to its adoption services, significantly increasing the number of adopters approved and the number of children placed with families.
In 2012-13, the number of children needing adoption rose 53% from the year before to 190. The Coram-Kent partnership saw 143 children placed in loving homes that year, an increase of 110%. This success continues but KCC is asking for more potential families to come forward, particularly to adopt siblings, disabled children, older children and black children.
Tarquin and Amanda recently adopted a two-year-old boy through the Coram-Kent adoption partnership.
Amanda said of her adoptive son: “His speech has come on in leaps and bounds. He came not really saying much but full of energy. Now he can say how he feels, it’s brilliant and he is less frustrated because he can explain what he wants.”
Tarquin added: “It’s amazing. I think when you first get them home, you don’t really know what to expect. You don’t know what they are coming with in terms of the emotional side of things but I think as you progress and they communicate so much better, it’s really powerful because you see how much they’re thriving. People always tell you they thrive when they get placed but you don’t really believe it until you see it.
“Before Ben was placed with us, we were told about his behaviour, that his tantrums were really bad, intense and long in duration and the warning bells do go off. But we haven’t seen any of that. He has tantrums like any other two-year-old but they’re short lived and easy to control and I think the change of environment has really helped with that.”
The couple said they would urge others to consider adoption when starting a family or expanding their family and they have had such a positive experience adopting in Kent that they are thinking of adopting again.
Amanda said: “We would recommend it to anyone. We have friends who have children naturally who are looking at adoption because they have seen how positive it has been for us. We want to be like the old woman in a shoe and have as many as we can because it’s just fantastic and the rewards are amazing.”
KCC is holding an Adoption Information Event on Saturday 16 November which is open to anyone who wants to know more about adoption. There will be the chance to talk to social workers about what is involved and hear first-hand from adopters about the rewards of adopting a child. The event takes place from 10.30am to 2.30pm at the Hilton Maidstone Hotel Bearsted Road Maidstone ME14 5AA.