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Tuesday, 07 July 2015

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Cumbria adoption campaign response ‘shows power of social media’

THE plight of seven babies awaiting adoption in Cumbria is a little more secure, thanks to a social media campaign.

Last month Cumbria County Council launched the online appeal to find families for the 77 children waiting for their forever home.

As a result of people sharing and liking posts on Facebook and Twitter, 24 people or couples have registered their interest in adopting a child in the county.

The website saw 1,200 people visiting – five times the monthly average. Facebook data shows more than 50,000 people saw its posts.

The aim of the campaign was to dispel the misconception only older children are awaiting adoption. While delighted at the success of the social media campaign, the council is urging anyone interested in adoption to step forward.

A spokesman said even though the number of adoption enquiries is increasing, the number of babies for whom adoption is the “approved plan” is also increasing.

This rise in the number of babies to be adopted reflects changes in recent years. Firstly, the government has made adoption the preferred option for children who cannot remain with their birth families. Secondly, earlier intervention by social services with birth families who are struggling to provide appropriate care has meant more young children and babies having a plan of adoption. The adoption system has been overhauled. These changes mean there are several routes to adopting babies, as well as the “conventional” adoption process. Prospective families can take part in Concurrent Planning and Fostering for Adoption, which speeds up planning for their lives.

Councillor Anne Burns, cabinet member for children’s services, said: “I’m absolutely delighted with the response.

“It really shows the power of social media and how everyone can individually make a difference and help us raise awareness of these babies waiting for their forever homes.

“It used to be the case it was uncommon for babies to be placed for adoption but that has changed as government policy has shifted. It’s always a difficult decision to make to place a child for adoption but we know that getting children into safe and loving homes quickly makes a huge difference to their chances in life.

“It doesn’t stop here though, search for #cumbriaadoption and continue to help us, help them find their someone.”

For more information contact Alice Gill on 01228 226241 or at alice.gill@cumbria.gov.uk.

Have your say

After watching a programme last night on TV, Please Don't Take Our Children, we have to be concerned about the reasons these babies and children are being taken into care and placed for closed Adoption. Where there is a genuine reason for children at serious risk to be placed into care and followed up by Adoption then hopefully new caring loving parents will be there for them. The programme raised very serious doubts about some of the cases viewed and so concern and the need to err on the side of caution is needed. Apparently one of the changes implemented by the Government is that the children are placed for adoption after only 6 months instead of the recommended 12 months. Not giving time to see if there is changes in family circumstances to change. Enough children have in the past been taken out of their family home to find years later they have had a worse life. For instance children in the 50s 60s and 70s who were taken to Australia and Canada to boost their populations following the war, being used as child slaves, beaten and abused. Not saying this will be the fate of children today, but every effort should be made to keep children with their own families first.

Posted by Concerned on 16 July 2014 at 16:05

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