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January 04, 2022
As we exit 2021, we are conscious that this has been another immensely challenging year for so many people. But there is also cause for celebration, as we look back on all the positive outcomes we’ve achieved for adopters and vulnerable children.
The year began with our third lockdown, followed by the 4 step ‘Roadmap’ and ongoing restrictions to limit the spread of Coronavirus. By this time our staff had worked really hard to further develop our online offering and hybrid working model, which had initially been set up quite quickly. We have strived to continue to deliver top quality services in difficult circumstances, and to ensure that we look after our adopters, adoptees and birth families throughout.
At the end of March 2021 we recorded our highest number of placements for children placed with our adoptive families (38 children with 30 families). This was a huge achievement, following on from the disruptions caused by the pandemic. We know that nationally adoption figures are falling this year, but our work continues to find safe and loving homes for vulnerable children. Between April and December 2020, we have approved 20 new adoptive families (with a further 8 scheduled to attend Adoption Panel by end of March) and we have so far placed 20 children with 15 families, with a number of families currently in the process of having children placed with them.
We are still delivering our training online at present and much of our work with families continues as virtual. The first few months of 2022 are likely to remain uncertain as we learn more about the Omicron variant and the Government decides whether to introduce further restrictions. Whatever happens, we will continue to prioritise the safety and wellbeing of our staff, adopters, children and other service users throughout. Our twice-monthly live Zoom information events continue online at present for anyone who is interested in finding out more about the adoption process.
Our adoption support services remain especially important in these difficult times. We’ve been able to offer online support with one-to-one consultations via Zoom and we hold open up to 15 Adoption Support cases at any time.
Ongoing Covid restrictions have again affected our calendar of family social events, but we have refined our delivery of online events and have also been able to deliver some outdoor activity events this year too (including a very well attended horse riding event). We were also able to re-start our monthly Stay and Play sessions in September for adopters with pre-school children.
We continue to see high levels of enquiries keeping our Duty service busy, and our online information events have been very well attended.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has worked with us during 2021. We continue to operate in an uncertain environment but hope to take some of the learning from the pandemic experience into an improved working model for 2022.
In the meantime, we would like to wish you all a very Happy New Year.