Afghanistan veteran with medals and child

Keeping siblings together through adoption

6 November 2014

Keeping siblings together through adoption

SSAFA's Adoption Manager Corienne Strange tells us about the need for people to adopt siblings, older children and those with more complex needs.

Keeping siblings together through adoption By Corienne Strange

Corienne Strange is SSAFA’s Adoption Manager and has been a Social Worker for 27 years specialising in adoption since 1998. She has experience of all aspects of adoption having worked directly with adopters and with children.

Once again it’s National Adoption Week and, like many adoption agencies, we are keen for people who might be thinking about adoption to come forward. To be honest National Adoption Week is just an ‘add-on’ to an activity that we are keen to promote all year round.

There are 7,000 children in the UK currently who need adoption and whilst the numbers of adopters have increased this year there is still a need for families for older children, sibling groups and those children considered as ‘harder to place’ because of their complicated needs or backgrounds. Along with BAAF and other agencies this year we are keen to hear from anyone wanting to consider siblings.

Our ‘doors’ are always open as we recognise that people need information and advice at different times. We therefore welcome anyone who might just want a chat or feel ready to submit an application. This is particularly important for military adopters when considering what they might have coming up in the year ahead.

SSAFA adopters rarely wait long after approval as many of the local authorities we work with come back to us time and again knowing that our adopters have the additional skills and necessary support to consider such children. In recent years we have placed many sets of sibling groups; all of whom are making significant progress. This year we have so far placed ten and have had two children join their siblings who were already placed with adopters.

The thing about caring for siblings is that you get to see an already vital relationship go from strength to strength. Unlike other siblings the bond between two or more siblings placed together for adoption is essential when they have lost those immediate links to their birth families. Adopters often say that seeing their children together, witnessing the love they have for one another even when they are going through the normal sibling spats is incredibly rewarding.

It’s not always easy, often it’s challenging juggling the needs of more than one child but the rewards are huge!

SSAFA Adoption Agency has been providing a service for Forces families since the early 1960’s. We are the only agency to offer this specialist resource to military families and the only one that covers the whole of the UK. Our workers stay with adopters from the point of enquiry, throughout the process of application and assessment and following placement of children up until, and beyond, the legal adoption. We are a team of experienced workers who really know the unique challenges of military life. If you would like to chat about adoption, please don't hesitate to get in touch.