St Francis’ Children’s Society is one of 12 adoption agencies taking part in the #AdopterChoice campaign, launching on April 11 2022.
Supported by the Consortium of Voluntary Adoption Agencies (CVAA) the campaign aims to raise awareness of the options available for anyone thinking about adopting a child or children.
People wishing to adopt can choose to apply through their local authority, a regional adoption agency or a voluntary adoption agency (VAA).
Voluntary adoption agencies (VAAs) are independent, not-for-profit organisations which are smaller than most statutory agencies and offer a personalised service to adopters from all backgrounds.
VAAs work in partnership with local authorities and regional adoption agencies across the whole of the UK to find families for children in care who are unable to stay with their birth relatives.
As part of the #AdopterChoice campaign, adoptive parents have spoken of the reasons why they chose to adopt through a VAA.
Adoptive dad Tom said: “We looked around at a few different agencies, both local authority and voluntary agencies but it was from the voluntary agency that we got that sense of personalised support and the interest in us. It felt like our social worker was entirely in our corner and they didn’t have any agenda or priorities of their own, they were just solely focused on making the best match they could for both the children and also for us.”
Wider match area
Mum of one Zoe said: “A VAA is able to work with children from across the country because they aren’t bound like a local authority is for their region, so as a result, they were able to match me with my son. He was from a different area of the country, and it was a perfect fit!”
Adopter Rhi said: “One of the great things about a voluntary adoption agency is that they often focus on children who wait longer for a placement. As we were looking at adopting an older child, we thought that was really useful.”
Mum of three, Amy said: “Our experience has been fantastic! It’s been really personalised, it's been really supportive. It’s been fundamental to where our family life is now. The key factor in that has been the support from the voluntary agency from our first contact with them up until today and the support we are still receiving.”
Watch a film featuring the experiences of all five adopters at: https://www.sfcs.org.uk/adopter-choice.
The CVAA champions and supports voluntary adoption agencies from across the UK, of which there are 36 in total.
CVAA CEO Maggie Jones said: “Voluntary Adoption agencies have the advantage of being rooted in their local community while also being able to search across the country to link children with the adoptive families which are best for them.
“VAAs are genuinely welcoming of adopters from all walks of life and offer really high quality support for the whole of the adoption journey.”
SFCS is an independent charity based in Milton Keynes which welcomes all kinds of families for all kinds of children. We recruit and support adopters from a 50-mile radius of our office, and we also offer the full range of support services to all parties whose lives have been affected by adoption
SFCS CEO Angela Dakin said ‘We are both pleased and proud to be participating in this campaign which promotes adopter choice and celebrates adoption as a positive solution for so many vulnerable children and families’
You can also watch this video.