Coventry has joined a national campaign to find families willing and able to give a loving home to children who have faced the longest times in care.

‘You Can Adopt’ and adoption agencies across England, including in Coventry, Herefordshire, Solihull, Warwickshire and Worcestershire, have launched the drive.

The campaign will also highlight the support available to those willing to open their homes and their hearts.

The aim is to find potential parents for children who have been waiting the longest for adoption – usually eight months or longer, and will feature a series of films showing real life stories from those who have adopted and fostered children, and the children themselves.

The launch comes after latest figures show there are 1,980 children waiting for adoption in England, with 990 of these (50%) waiting longer than 18 months since entering care.

There will also be a specialist recruitment push running alongside the campaign, targeting Black and mixed heritage adopters to come forward.

Cllr Patricia Seaman, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People at Coventry City Council, said: “Adoptive families provide incredible support, and we are so fortunate to have many dedicated families who come forward to help children and young people when they need it most – but we need more.

“The latest figures show the sad story of how many children and young people remain in care for long periods of time. No matter how good that care is, we all know they need the love and support of a family to give them the best start in life and help them flourish.

“We are delighted to be a part of this campaign and we hope people across Coventry and from all our varied and wonderful communities, will come forward and see whether adoption could be for them  - and whether they could give the incredible gift of family life to a child or young person who really needs it.”

As part of the campaign, You Can Adopt has united a number of charities, organisations, and employers, including John Lewis and Family Fund, to show their support for adopters.

There is also a new podcast featuring Love Island winner and former children's social worker Sanam Harrinanan in conversation with an adopter about their adoption journey.

Together with other local authorities, Coventry is part of Adoption Central England (ACE), which has given the campaign its backing.

ACE has launched an improved website to make it easy for people to understand the whole adoption process and offer a useful resource for everyone including birth parents, adopted adults or prospective and current adopters.

The resource page includes useful up to date information on a range of topics such as health, education, financial support and other local services that may be helpful to adoptive families and adopted people. The real-life stories section provides a real sense of what it's like to adopt and these invaluable experiences are a must for anyone interested in adoption.

See more about the work of You Can Adopt and ACE and see more about adoption in Coventry on  the Council website.

Published: Monday, 10th July 2023