Anna Sharkey’s Review of 2022

Adoption Focus CEO Anna Sharkey looks back on another busy year for our charity.

We began 2022 by welcoming new colleagues who joined us following our merger with Faith in Families. This exciting development saw Adoption Focus grow into one of the largest, best resourced Voluntary Adoption Agencies in the country, expanding our capacity to provide and support well-prepared, safe homes for children. The merger widened our area of operation to include the whole of the Midlands and Oxfordshire, and increased the expertise, skills, and services of our agency. We are committed to providing excellent, lifelong support to those in the adoption process and to adoptive families across this entire region.

The start of 2022 also witnessed the launch of our collaboration with the newly formed Adopt Birmingham Regional Adoption Agency.  Working together with our RAA colleagues, we aim to further enhance adoption service provision in the Birmingham area and enable more children to gain the security and stability which adoption provides.

As our agency’s presence has grown, we’ve seen a corresponding increase in the number of people looking to adopt with us. It has been a record year for attendance at our weekly, online information evenings, with more than 350 individuals joining us for our events in 2022. More and more people are making Adoption Focus their first choice when considering adoption.

This year also saw the launch of Adopterverse, our safe online space for adopters to connect, learn from and support each other. This unique platform has been created with and for our adopters and developed by Adoption Focus with the funding and support of Comic Relief’s Tech for Good Build programme. Every Adoption Focus adopter is eligible to use Adopterverse to link up with peers, join or create groups based on particular interests, request support from buddies and browse advice and resources curated by our adoption support team or suggested by users. Adopterverse is the latest expansion of the Ofsted rated ‘Outstanding’ support we provide to our families, including those who joined us from Faith in Families. We will continue to develop our support provision in partnership with adopters and their children in the coming months.

We’ve had a busy programme of social events running throughout the year. This has included our popular parties for adopters and their children, play & stay sessions, pantomime outings, and trips out to exciting venues like Twycross Zoo, Twinlakes Theme Park, Hatton Country World and Conkers. These events have been well-attended and very much appreciated by families, and we have more lined up over Christmas and into next year. We’re extremely grateful to Star Trust for their generous donation of £5,000 which funded many of these activities. In addition, we’re also very grateful to adopters and supporters who have made individual donations or held fundraisers for our charity throughout the year. These contributions are always appreciated and make a real difference to the services we’re able to provide.

As always, the most important achievements for Adoption Focus are the new homes we find for vulnerable children across the country. All the work we do is focused on providing loving, well-prepared, well-supported, permanent homes for children, and during 2022 we have placed over 70 children with more than 50 families, with many more placements planned at the beginning of the New Year.

Many, many thanks to everyone who has contributed to our growth and continuing success during the last 12 months – our staff, trustees, panel members, volunteers, supporters, our brilliant buddies, colleagues from partner agencies and, most of all, our amazing adopters.

Wishing you a peaceful, merry Christmas and a very happy New Year.

Anna Sharkey Adoption Focus signature


Anna Sharkey
CEO, Adoption Focus