Adopter led events

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Adopter led events

How to prepare for an Adoption Activity Day

Once an Adoption Activity Day is commissioned the Adoption Activity Days Team spend a significant period of time working with agencies to prepare and plan. This includes working with all key stakeholders, such as children’s social workers and foster carers, to provide information about Adoption Activity Days and to offer training, tools and advice around their role before, during and after the event.

We give all parties the opportunity to ask questions and to raise any issues or concerns they might have.

To enquire about booking an adopter or child on an Adoption Activity Day
Please contact the Adoption Activity Days team on 020 7520 0302 or email us. (The Department for Education part funds some Adoption Activity Days.)

How are children prepared for Adoption Activity Days?

The child’s social worker will already be engaged in direct work with the child to help them understand the adoption process and what is being done to find a family. The Adoption Activity Days Team can advise children’s social workers about preparing children for an Adoption Activity Day in ways that build on this.

It is important to be honest with the child about why they are attending the day and for social workers to incorporate these discussions into the life story work they are already undertaking with the child.

Preparation for an Adoption Activity Day will depend on the child’s age and understanding and the Adoption Activity Days Team will brief staff groups and foster carers about how approaches can be adapted to the individual needs of the child. Tools can be provided in order to undertake direct work with a child in preparation for an Adoption Activity Day.

How do adopters and children interact?

On the day of the event, children are already playing by the time prospective adopters enter the activity space; there will be lots of opportunities for adopters to join in and they will be supported to engage with the children by their social workers and by Adoption Activity Day staff and volunteers.

Adopters may approach and talk freely to children and we encourage everybody to have fun.

What happens after an Adoption Activity Day?

Prospective adopters may make one or more expressions of interest in a child or children they have met at the Adoption Activity Day and these will be explored by the agencies involved. This may include exchange of written information, such as reports, in order to establish whether there appears to be a good match.

We advise all professionals to be available to and make contact with those attending an Adoption Activity Day in the days immediately after the event so as to offer support and to recognise the emotional impacts of the day.

Do children feel rejected if they aren’t ‘chosen’?

Following preparation work with the child, they know that whatever happens at the Adoption Activity Day, they are going home with the person they came with. There is no sense that they will be ‘chosen’ on the day or go home with somebody else.

The message for the child is that a family has to be right for them and if the right people aren’t there on the day, their social worker will continue looking. Indeed, older children may feel empowered by being involved in finding their own family.

All family finding activities carry emotional risk for children but generally children feel reassured after an Adoption Activity Day: that there are other children like them who live with foster carers and are waiting to be adopted; that they have met some adopters who are friendly and caring people just like their foster carers; and, that they know what their social worker is doing to find people who are special enough to be their family.