With the end of the year approaching, we’re reflecting on an incredibly successful and exciting 12 months for Adoption Focus.

2019 has been a record year for attendance at our information events, for people registering to adopt with us and for people becoming approved as adopters. More and more people are concluding that Adoption Focus, as a dedicated, Ofsted outstanding-rated adoption agency is the best choice for them when considering adoption.

To meet this increased demand, we’ve further expanded our staff base, ensuring we can continue to meet the needs of all the people using our service. Our social work team, business development team and administration team have expanded across our locations in the West Midlands, Staffordshire and Oxfordshire. As well as increasing the capacity of our existing services, allowing us to prepare, assess and approve more adopters, this expansion has also seen us recruit a fundraiser to help us invest even more in our services. We’ve also enhanced our adoption support – we’re particularly excited about the addition of SafeBase training to our already comprehensive programme.

2019 marked our 10th Anniversary year as an independent adoption agency, and throughout the summer we celebrated a decade of providing safe, caring, well-prepared homes for children who have experienced a difficult start in life. We marked this achievement for our charity with a huge party back in May, where we joined by more than 250 of the parents and children we’ve been lucky enough to work with in that time.

Our anniversary also featured on the Radio WM breakfast show in June. I was invited to speak to hosts Sam and Daz about Adoption Focus and adoption more generally, while adopters Sara, Gaynor and Paul recorded interviews about their experiences to encourage more people to consider adoption.

Over the year we’ve continued our successful partnerships with other organisations to help raise awareness of the need for adopters from all backgrounds. Our longstanding link with New Family Social, the leading UK network for LGBT+ adoptive and foster families, goes from strength to strength, with more and more LGBT+ adopters choosing to adopt through our agency. Home for Good continues to advocate for adoption in the Christian community, while the UK Islamic charity Penny Appeal also helps to promote Adoption Focus as an agency which sees the value of faith for its adopters. We’ve also spent another year working alongside the Ahmadiyya Muslim organisation, Charity Walk for Peace and we were honoured to join with them and many other UK charities at their October Walk for Peace in Wolverhampton, raising over £1000 for our charity in the process.

The Triangle Project, our partnership with St Francis’ Children’s Society in Milton Keynes, has also continued, allowing us to make early permanence placements in which children are placed with foster carers who are also approved as adopters. The Triangle Project was established in 2018 as an independent fostering agency and since launching, has dual-approved numerous carers who have gone on to be quickly chosen for either adoption or early permanence placements.

Most importantly of all, during 2019 we have placed 67 children with 36 new families. All the work we do is focused on providing loving, well-prepared, permanent homes for children and providing excellent, lifelong support for all our adoptive families.

Many, many thanks to everyone who has contributed to our success during our first 10 years – our staff, trustees, panel members, volunteers, supporters, our brilliant buddies, colleagues from partner agencies and, most of all, our amazing adopters.

We have big plans for expanding and enhancing our service in the coming months and we’re looking forward to welcoming yet more prospective adopters in a busy and successful 2020.

Have a very happy new year.

Anna Sharkey
CEO, Adoption Focus

Adoption Focus CEO Anna Sharkey

 

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