20 November 2019

"They even do a day for grannies"

As part of Adoption Week Scotland (18 – 23 November 2019), Aberdeenshire Council is making a concerted effort to ensure all members of our communities, including single people and same-sex couples, know they have the right to apply to adopt.   
The local authority’s dedicated adoption team held an event on Monday aimed at LGBT+ people who are considering adoption to come together at Inverurie Family Resource Centre to find out more. They were joined by nine participants and are really positive about what this means for the young people they support. 
Head of Children’s Services, Leigh Jolly explains: “We are looking for families who can offer our children and young people family life full of love, nurture and patience, and who can help them to build resilience. 
“We want people to know you don’t have to be rich, or already have family, or even be in a relationship. What’s important is you’re in a position to offer a stable, understanding, loving and nurturing environment.
“We match children with families by putting a lot of work into getting to know prospective parents and offering as much support as we can throughout that journey and beyond. Part of that is about extending our offer to their wider support network (grannies, uncles, aunties and so on), which is fundamentally important for any parent whether you are adopting or not. The post-adoption support we offer is unlimited, on parents’ terms and working directly with the council means you’ll only ever have to work with one dedicated, experienced team.”  
Stephen and his partner Adam are coming to an important point in their adoption journey, with a panel meeting at the end of the month who will make a final decision about their suitability to adopt. 
Stephen is keen to highlight what a positive experience the journey has been, since they made an initial enquiry with the adoption team almost a year ago. He says: “We thought it would be really hard going and although there has been a lot work to do, it’s all done at a pace that was suitable for us and we’ve actually really enjoyed it. We both had some issues that we thought might prevent us from going forward but we discussed these in depth throughout the process and the support we have been given by our social worker has been second-to-none. The training courses have been really worthwhile too – they even do a day for grannies which our mums found really helpful. 
“You get a pack with a lot of questions in it and you work through your story at your own pace. You then have a chance to talk through each section with your social worker and it sounds like a chore but we have actually looked forward to those visits, excited in anticipation of what this journey is all about.  
“Waiting is the hardest part now but it’s worth it. We’re excited about hopefully having a child of our own, we know it won’t be easy but we feel well prepared. The social work team are just fantastic.”     
Members of the public can work directly with their local authority to become adoptive parents. Aberdeenshire Council offers an unlimited period of post-adoption support which includes workshops on topics including therapeutic play techniques, managing challenging behaviour, life stories (and helping adopted children to explore their history), and even special sessions for grandparents as well as advice and support any time you need it. They also host family fun days and can give you all the help you need under one umbrella, from the first time you enquire and throughout your child’s life.  
A Staying Connected event will take place this week, from 5:30pm to 7:30pm on Thursday, November 21 at in Committee Room 3 at Aberdeenshire Council’s Woodhill House headquarters in Aberdeen. The topic of the evening is ‘promoting attachment relationships’ and is aimed at adoptive parents as well as those who are considering adoption. There will be discussion and group activities.  
If you are considering adopting or for more information, visit www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/children/adoption email Adoption@aberdeenshire.gov.uk or call 01467 53280.