07 October 2021

Committee learns how online services were developed to assist families considering adoption

Members of Aberdeenshire Council’s Education and Children’s Services Committee heard how the Adoption team adapted its services so people considering adoption could continue to receive support and assistance.

In the service’s annual report, it outlines how an online version of the well thought of and popular Preparation to Adopt course was created. Led by the senior practitioner but with contributions from across the team, the course was hosted on the Aberdeenshire Learning and Development Online (ALDO) platform.

Course participants completed the course and attended classes online using Microsoft Teams, allowing the service and participants to begin to form trusting relationships. Evidence of these trusting relationships was borne out in the feedback received from participants by the service. Overall, feedback about the new online approach was very positive – the ALDO course receiving 4.55 out of 5 and the video presentations receiving an average rating of 4.58 out of 5.

A virtual version of the Relative and Friends Preparation to Adopt course was also created and was well received by participants. Many more families were able to attend and felt included as a result of the course being held online.

The team also created a vibrant and targeted online recruitment campaign which drew positive feedback with those who attended sold out virtual meetings. They said they particularly enjoyed meeting the team and hearing adoptive parents share positive stories. Respondents also felt it helpful to hear about the process at an early stage, before any formal requests for information are made.

Cllr Gillian Owen, Aberdeenshire Council’s Education and Children’s Services Committee chair, said: “Most of us had to adapt to new ways of working during the lockdowns in response to Covid-19. It is impressive to hear of the adoption teams adjustments to online and virtual ways of working because they continued to work tirelessly to ensure children and families needing their services could use them in spite of the Coronavirus pandemic.”

Committee vice chair Cllr Rosemary Bruce added: “I would encourage anyone who is thinking about adoption to contact our friendly, supportive and professional team. They will do everything they can to assist you as you start your adoption journey.”

Leigh Jolly, Aberdeenshire Council’s Head of Children’s Services, said: “I am so proud that despite the pandemic, we have continued to find adoptive families for children, continued to recruit adopters and continued to support our adopters and young people who have been adopted. I would urge anyone interested in adoption to contact our team because young people across Aberdeenshire need families to provide them with a home as well as a nurturing environment.”

If you are considering adoption or for information please contact 01467 532800 or adoption@aberdeenshire.gov.uk or visit Adoption - Aberdeenshire Council

The report is available in full by visiting https://committees.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/committees.aspx?commid=494&meetid=19868

You can also watch a webcast of the Education and Children’s Services Committee by visiting https://aberdeenshire.public-i.tv/core/portal/home