Adoptive families and staff members from One Adoption South Yorkshire yesterday (Thursday 21 October) had the opportunity to share their adoption stories with two senior Government ministers, during a visit to the region to mark National Adoption Week.
A visit to Barnsley by the Secretary of State for Education, Nadhim Zahawi and the Children’s Minister, Will Quince gave South Yorkshire adopters and adoption workers a chance to share their stories and raise issues important to them, including long term adoption support and education.
Stephanie Evans, head of One Adoption South Yorkshire said:
“We very much welcomed this opportunity to meet with the Secretary of State and the Children’s Minister and are pleased that this visit will help bring a national attention to adoption.
“As a newly created regional adoption agency we are very proud of how far we have come in the past 10 months and were pleased to be able to share our successes and plans for the future with the ministers. We were also interested to hear about their commitment to adoption support and that they will continue to champion adoption.”
Minister for Children and Families, Will Quince, said:
“It was a pleasure to meet with adoptive parents, children and their social workers in Barnsley, seeing the incredible work that One Adoption do first-hand and to hear about the positive long-term impact they have in supporting those going through the adoption process.
“There is no single mould for an adoptive parent. They can come from all walks of life. What matters is their dedication to providing a loving and safe home, so I would encourage anyone who has ever considered adoption to come forward and find out more.”
The visit to Barnsley coincides with National Adoption Week, with this year is showcasing the voices less heard in adoption, including adopted people, birth families, extended family members and people who work in adoption.
A range of online events have been taking place during the week, hosted by organisations including PAC-UK, Adoption UK and New Family Social. These have included an adoptee-led day and events which enabled birth families to share their stories about how they have been impacted by adoption. Full details about National Adoption Week can be found at: www.youcanadopt.co.uk/NAW
Councillor Trevor Cave, Barnsley Council’s Cabinet spokesperson for Children’s Services, said:
"It was a pleasure to meet the Secretary of State for Education and the Children's Minister and welcome them to Barnsley during National Adoption Week.
"Forming One Adoption South Yorkshire with colleagues from Doncaster Children's Services Trust, Rotherham Council and Sheffield City Council has allowed us to pool together resources, information and knowledge to improve the adoption process.
"We need compassionate people who can provide a supporting and loving home to change a child's life. Without them, adoption would not be possible.
“We want anyone in South Yorkshire who is considering adoption to be encouraged to complete an application regardless of their marital status, race, disability, sexuality or gender.”
Stephanie Evans added:
“We would love to hear from potential parents and anyone interested in learning more about adoption. Considering adoption is a huge decision for anyone. At times it is challenging, as parenthood is for everyone, but adoption is an incredibly rewarding and positive experience.
“Here in South Yorkshire, we particularly need to find families for children in sibling groups, children with additional health needs and those who are that little bit older. We would urge anyone who is thinking of starting or extending their family through adoption, to get in touch.”
One Adoption South Yorkshire is a regional adoption agency, which was launched in January 2021, bringing together the adoption services from Barnsley, Sheffield and Rotherham councils and the Doncaster Children’s Trust. The agency is responsible for recruiting and assessing new adopters, finding families for children with a plan for adoption across the South Yorkshire region and providing on-going support for adoptive families.