2016 has been another exciting and eventful year for the Adoption Focus team. We have continued to improve our excellent Adoption Support services, introducing ‘Nurture the Journey’, our comprehensive, tailored support package. This is offered to everyone who registers with us, and is designed to support adopters and the families they become through every stage of the process.

We have also presented our busiest ever programme of training workshops and social events, which have been really well attended throughout the year.

Thanks to the dedication and goodwill of parents who have adopted through Adoption Focus and the generous financial support of Mazars Charitable Trust, we have been able to launch our Buddy Scheme, offering invaluable peer-to-peer support to adopters at any stage of the process.

The commitment of our adoptive parents has also enabled us to launch our Adopter Committee whose experience gives us the invaluable adopter perspective which helps us to develop our service so that we can continue to best meet the needs of our families. The Committee also helped with the organisation of our Spring and Autumn Parties, which were hugely enjoyable and well-attended as always.

National Adoption Week 2016 went really well for us. We started the week with Spectrum Vocal Harmony Group performing a charity concert on our behalf, raising nearly £500. The National Adoption Week Awards saw Andrea shortlisted in the Adoption Support Worker of the Year category and two of our adoptive parents shortlisted as Adoption Champions of the Year. Activity continued throughout the week with an information event and online activities using the #SupportAdoption hashtag.

We are very grateful to have received a generous donation from the Rotary Club Edgbaston Convention, who nominated us as their charity for the year. This has supported our development of specialist Therapeutic Lifestory Work provision.

We also received funds in support of our service development from the efforts of staff members who undertook some really challenging sponsored activities. Kind donations from their family and friends, and from our supporters and adopters, made their efforts really worthwhile.

We have offered more information events than ever before to people at the earliest stages of thinking about adoption. These have been held in each of our regions, and have been really well attended. They have allowed people to have all their questions about adoption answered by our adoption specialists, in an informal setting.

We have moved our Staffordshire sub-office into more suitable premises and continued to develop our website and online presence to promote the excellent work we do.

Most importantly of all, during 2016 we have placed 48 children with 36 loving families.

Thank you to everyone who has contributed to our continuing success – our staff, Trustees, volunteers, fundraisers, supporters, colleagues from Local Authorities and, most of all, our wonderful adopters.

As ever, all the work that Adoption Focus does is with one aim - to provide loving and permanent homes for children whose need is the greatest, and excellent support for our adoptive families.

Have a very happy new year.

Anna Sharkey

CEO, Adoption Focus