Could you adopt?

For this year’s National Adoption Week (19- 25 October 2015) WWiSH adoption service is reaching out to people who have room in their home and their heart to adopt a child.

There are many children in desperate need of a loving family across the
three WWiSH (Warrington, Wigan and St Helens) authorities.

There are currently over 1,000 children being looked after by the three
councils.

In the last year 111 children found forever families across the authorities
and the focus of this year’s local campaign is on babies and siblings who
need adopting. It is now possible to adopt a baby, potentially from a few days old, through a new process called fostering to adopt.

Fostering for adoption is where a child is placed with carers who are both
approved adopters and approved (temporary) foster carers. This limits the
amount of moves that a child has and the losses that they experience
through foster care.

Councillor Andy Bowden, Cabinet Member for Children, Families and Young People, said: “Most people who are interested in adoption recognise that children need a loving a secure home as quickly as possible.

If you think you could provide a loving home for someone, then I would urge you to get in touch with the WWiSH team. The benefits are simply
invaluable.”

Simon* and Alison*, both aged 32, from Warrington, have their hands full
since adopting two siblings.

The couple made an initial enquiry to WWiSH in January 2013 and adopted the eldest sibling, aged one, in February 2015.

They then became official adopters of the younger sibling, now 16 weeks
old, in August 2015, although they had already been temporary foster carers for them through the foster for adoption process.

Simon* said: “It was something we’d considered for some time. My
father-in-law was adopted so we knew the background and the process. We just wanted to help. “It was much easier than we thought. It was a long process getting through the assessment but then it was quick. We never thought we’d end up with a sibling group.

“Before our first child came along we were told there were some health
concerns but as soon as they moved over to us they jelled so quickly and
from day one they have slept so well and everything we anticipated never
happened.”

Lisa Young, WWiSH adoption manager, spoke about the benefits of adopting siblings: “Children in foster care experience a variety of emotions which include sadness, loss, confusion and even guilt. Some children will have gone through traumatic experiences and have those emotions to deal with on top of that. Having a sibling with them can help them with these feelings, as well as supporting the child to maintain a sense of identity when everything else familiar to them is gone. I believe siblings’ remaining
together, when it is appropriate and safe, helps them re-build their
individual strength and resilience. Siblings are a source of support to one
another. Not only this but they learn skills from one another and develop
empathy as a result of that sibling relationship.”

The WWiSH adoption team will be out and about next week giving prospective adopters information and advice:

•       Monday 19  October, Grand Arcade, Wigan, 10am-2pm
•       Wednesday 21  October, Hardshaw Centre, St Helens town centre,
10am-3pm
•       Wednesday 21  October, Spinning Gate, Leigh, 10am-2pm
•       Thursday 22 October, Asda, Atherleigh Way, Leigh, 10am-2pm
•       Thursday 22 October, Tesco, Langtree Park, St.Helens, 10am-3pm

If you have room in your home and heart, call 01942 487272 or email
wwish@wigan.gov.uk

Visit www.wwish.org.uk for more information.

*Names have been changed to protect identity