Friday, 11 September 2009

Adoption parties aim to match parents with hard-to-place children

Youngsters repeatedly passed over by potential adoptive parents are to meet families over food, drink and games.
Adoption parties that bring hard-to-place children together with prospective parents over food, drinks and games are to be held by the British Association for Adoption and Fostering.
The agency hopes that the controversial events will increase the chances of finding homes for young people repeatedly passed over by potential adoptive parents, such as those aged over five, sibling groups, children of black and minority ethnic origin, and those with mental and physical disabilities.
"It's true that these parties show we are moving up the tariff of risk in the ways we are being forced to seek out families for these children," admitted Mo O'Reilly, director of child placement for the BAAF. "But the truth is that if we don't take this step, these children face the even greater risk of remaining unplaced, perhaps for ever. The project will help children for whom all other family-finding methods have failed and who face a life of multiple moves around foster homes.
"We need to go to the next level for these children," she said. "At the moment, they're not finding families because their disadvantages are building up in the adopters' imaginations, stopping them being able to see the ordinary children behind their difficult circumstances or behaviours.
"This is not just about putting some jelly and ice-cream in a parish hall and inviting everyone along," she added. "We are going to hold these parties professionally and in the best way that we know how, and we are pretty optimistic that these parties could be a success."

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