The activity day gave adopters a chance to mix with over 50 children who are waiting to be matched with a permanent family.
Fifteen of the children, including three sets of siblings, have now been linked to adopters they met at the event. The matches will now go to a panel to be considered for formal approval in the coming months.
Adoption activity days have been shown to be effective in finding families for children who wait for longer than others to be adopted, such as children who are older or part of larger sibling groups. The day creates the opportunity for connections to spark between adopters and children. Usually adopters are only shown photographs or videos.
The event was held as part of a range of measures being explored by Coram and Kent to improve its adoption service. Since working in partnership with Coram, Kent has more than doubled the number of children placed with adoptive families in 2012/3, rising from 68 in 2011/2 to 143.
Coram’s Director of Operations, Renuka Jeyarajah-Dent, said:“Children awaiting adoption need the stability of a safe and nuturing home as soon as possible.
“We’re excited about the future potential of adoption activity days as part of our work with Kent.
“We’ve also worked with our colleagues at Kent County Council to establish and develop a new family finding team, as well as reviewing how prospective parents are assessed and how children are matched with them.
“To improve adoption we need to evaluate the needs of each child meticulously, but also to be rigorous and passionate. Every day of each young life is important.”
Anyone thinking about adoption can see what the day was like and hear the experiences of adopters in a new video from the day. It is available to view on Kent’s adoption website.
Jenny Whittle, KCC cabinet member for specialist children’s services, added: “This is a fantastic result from our first ever adoption activity day.
“These children were struggling to find families and their paper profiles were being overlooked. But when the adoptive parents met them face-to-face, they made a connection and now the children have hopefully found the loving families they need.”
The event was specially facilitated by the British Association for Adoption and Fostering (BAAF) and further adoption activity days are being planned.