A decrease in applications has led to a current shortage of available adopters in the Western Trust area who can meet the needs of the many children requiring urgent and immediate placement, the Western Trust has said.
An information session for those interested in adoption is being held this Friday, October 18 in Clooney Hall in Derry from 2pm to 4pm.
This year’s ‘Adoption Changes Lives’ campaign, which coincides with Adoption Week NI, is focusing on siblings.
Each year around 85 to 90 children are adopted in Northern Ireland, however, last year, 73 children were adopted from care, of which 42 per cent were adopted as part of a sibling group.
Launching the campaign Marie Roulston, Director of Social Care and Children with the Health and Social Care Board said; “This campaign is ultimately about encouraging more people to come forward and consider becoming an adoptive parent.
“The children who wait the longest for adoption are brothers and sisters who need to be adopted together, children aged four and over and children with disabilities or developmental delay.
“We are urgently seeking adoptive parents for many children but in particular to help keep brothers and sisters together. There are currently 21 children on the adoption register actively seeking an adoptive placement with 13 needing to be placed alongside a brother or sister.”
Within the last year the Western Trust has placed a significant number of children for adoption, however, the Trust said it “urgently need to recruit more adoptive parents for children who are available for adoption”.
Catherine McKevitt, Western Trust Service Manager Adoption and Permanency Team urged people to come along on Friday. She said: “Many adoptive parents have found taking this first step the hardest and these sessions will provide people with general information about the process and children available for adoption. Adoption and Permanency Social Workers will be on hand to answer any individual questions people may have about adoption.
“The world of adoption is changing and for some children, temporary care is needed until it is possible for them to be returned to their families however there is a growing number of children unfortunately that are unable to live with their birth families. Adoption is a challenging but very rewarding route to becoming a parent.
To find out more on adoption in Derry, Limavady and Strabane contact Roisin Lynch, Social Work Manager Adoption, T: (028) 7131 4226 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org