Celebrating National Adoption Week
SSAFA celebrates National Adoption Week and the hundreds of military families it has helped bring together through its registered adoption agency.
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SSAFA set up the agency in 1964 specifically to support anyone who is currently serving in the Armed Forces, or has left in the last three years, and wants to create a family through adoption. Since launching, the service has approved 406 military couples and individuals for adoption.
SSAFA not only helps to place children into families, though: its post-adoption support service offers lifelong support to families. This often proves a lifeline for adoptive families facing challenges as their child grows up.
For example, in most cases, the children adopted through the charity have had a complicated start in life. These issues can manifest into difficult behaviour as they mature, leading to problems at school, becoming isolated, poor self-esteem and emotional difficulties.
SSAFA's Post Adoption Support Workers can visit and advise families in these situations, providing a listening ear and offering emotional and practical help. They can also point parents in the direction of additional services, such as those offering training to schools about the issues that adopted children can face.
Post-adoption support is the responsibility of Local Authorities; however, if this service falls short, SSAFA will offer additional help and advocate on behalf of children and their families to ensure they receive the help they need.
SSAFA's Post Adoption Support Social Worker role is funded by a grant from BBC Children in Need. In 2017 alone, SSAFA provided post-adoption support to 46 families and 89 children. The service includes the chance for adoptive parents to attend special events twice a year which bring together adopters from across the country. An annual activity weekend and training day also gives parents and children an opportunity to meet and share experiences with their peers.
Stephen Richards, Head of SSAFA’s Adoption Service, says:
“SSAFA is incredibly proud to offer post-adoption support to families thanks to a grant from BBC Children in Need. Whilst not all families who adopt through SSAFA will need to access our support, it can provide a reassurance for those in a time of need.”
Did you know?
- Military families are incredibly resilient and offer a safe and stable environment for children to grow and enjoy a healthy, constant family life
- Growing up on a military base offers a ready-made community of like-minded families who look out for one another and hold regular events and activities for children
- All serving parents are offered up to 12 months' adoption leave
- All serving parents can re-house families into larger family accommodation following approval and many military families are able to have a home-based parent
If you or someone you know is currently serving and would like to adopt, get in touch with SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity. To find out more, visit www.ssafa.org.uk/adoption