The latest Government figures* show that the number of children in care in England has risen each year from 2008 to 2016. However the number of children being adopted from care in the last year has fallen 12% on the previous year, with a fall of 17% seen in the one to four age group which covers 72% of all adopted children in 2016.
Dr Carol Homden, CBE, Chief Executive at Coram said: “At Coram we know that whilst adoption is not the most suitable option for every child, it can be incredibly successful for some of the nation’s most vulnerable children, for whom a safe and stable family life can sadly not be provided by their birth parents.
“We are therefore concerned by the drop in the number of children being adopted in the last year, particularly within in the younger age group. These early years, especially ages 0-3 are critical for physical and emotional development. Therefore the earlier that young vulnerable children who cannot return to their birth families can be provided with love and security the better the long-term outcomes across all aspects of their lives.”
National Adoption Week 2016 (17-23 October) aims to promote a wider understanding of adoption and find families for some of the most vulnerable children. It is organised by First4Adoption, the national information service for adoption in England, and this year’s theme is ‘Support Adoption’.
New research as part of the campaign** has revealed that nearly three-quarters of people in England have an adoption connection, knowing a friend, colleague or neighbour whose life has been touched by adoption.
Dr Carol Homden, CBE said: “With the recent Government statistics in mind, this year’s National Adoption Week theme of ‘Support Adoption’ is timely and welcome. The finding that nearly all of us know someone who has been touched by adoption reinforces the importance of ongoing adoption awareness raising.
“We urge people to consider adopting to create safe, secure and permanent loving families for children. Coram runs one of the UK’s most successful independent adoption services, with teams throughout London, the East Midlands and Cambridgeshire, so we’d encourage anyone interested in adoption in these areas to get in touch to find out more.”
During National Adoption Week, Coram will be highlighting the lifelong support it provides for families who adopt through its adoption services. This includes support throughout the adoption process, post-adoption parenting support and creative therapies to help adopted children deal with loss and emotional trauma.
Coram has also been shortlisted in two categories in the National Adoption Week Awards taking place on 18 October.
You can follow the campaign on social media throughout the week using the hashtag #SupportAdoption.
In 2016, 4,690 children were adopted from care, compared to 5,360 in 2015. *Department for Education: Children looked after in England including adoption 2015 to 2016: www.gov.uk/government/statistics/children-looked-after-in-england-including-adoption-2015-to-2016
**YouGov poll commissioned by First4Adoption: http://www.first4adoption.org.uk/library/naw16-regional-press-releases/