Cumbria gets involved in TV's 'Finding Mum and Dad' campaign to improve adoption rates

A POWERFUL TV documentary is going behind the scenes of a bold new adoption scheme that Cumbria County Council has signed up to.

The Channel 4 documentary - Finding Mum and Dad - is about adoption activity days and is being screened tomorrow (Wednesday) at 10pm.

Cumbria County Council is taking part in the scheme for the first time with an event in March. Four authorities will be present on the day, with each is taking along ten children.

The programme focuses on brothers Connor, six, and Daniel, four, the boys 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, with the most important factor being that the children have a really fun day.

They are also forward thinking events that 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. These days have proved very successful in finding matches as they give prospective adopters and the children a chance to make a real connection.

Nationally, more than 200 children have attended the five pilot events and families have been found for 42 of these children.

Coun Anne Burns, Cumbria County Council’s 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.

“We’re very excited to be taking part in the next event in March.”

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