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Thursday, 24 April 2014

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Cumbria adoption in TV spotlight

A NEW adoption scheme being launched by Cumbria County Council featured in a TV documentary.

The Channel 4 programme, Finding Mum and Dad, went behind the scenes of adoption activity days.

The county council has opted to take part for the first time this year with an event in March. Four authorities will be present on the day, with each taking along 10 children.

The programme focuses on brothers Connor, six, and Daniel, four, who have been living with a foster family for more than 12 months, waiting to be adopted. But as brothers they are considered “hard to place”.

Adoption activity days are predominantly a day out for children and also give approved adopters, or prospective adopters at an advanced stage of approval, the opportunity to meet children and engage with them in a fun environment.

Cllr Anne Burns, cabinet member for children’s services, said: “Adopters would usually meet the child only after the match is approved.

“Adoption Activity Days reverse this process and adopters get the chance to find out if they are drawn to a child, and the information about them is exchanged after this. This doesn’t negate the assessment of adopters, or the very thorough matching process agencies undertake, but it also recognises the huge importance of chemistry within human relationships.

“This approach also gives adopters the opportunity to break their preconceptions about the kind of child they initially feel they might want to adopt once they meet the children in person and are given the opportunity to connect. This means that children who may not have been considered ‘on paper’ have a greater chance of being adopted.”

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