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Channel 4 and adoption agencies launch new adoption assessment training package

Free DVD and training manual available to adoption and fostering agencies

The British Association for Adoption and Fostering has announced an innovative approach to the adoption assessment process which has been developed in a partnership between four adoption agencies, Betty TV and Channel 4.

The concept was developed following the Find Me a Family series screened on Channel 4 as part of their Forgotten Children season in May 2009. The series followed a number of prospective adopters through the adoption process. Betty TV, the production company responsible for the series, were keen to ‘add value’ to adopters’ experiences. As a consequence, BAAF, Northamptonshire Children’s Services, St Francis’ Children’s Society Adoption Agency and Parents for Children Adoption Agency and psychologist Stephen Briers helped them develop additional practice based exercises and experiences within best practice guidelines.

The exercises challenged conceptual blocks the prospective adopters had about the types of children they might adopt. Following these new exercises there was a noticeable change in the mood and confidence of the prospective adopters.

Mo O’Reilly, Director of Child Placement at BAAF said:

“We recently conducted research that showed that 42% of people said they would rather adopt a single child than a sibling group, 26% wouldn’t adopt a child over 5, and 38% would be unwilling to adopt a child with disabilities. However the reality is that these are the children waiting for adoption. The exercises developed challenged these perceptions, and there was a noticeable change in the adopters. This shake up of the assessment process got us all very excited and we’re really keen to see it extended into every day practice.”

A DVD, funded by Channel 4, and training manual, funded by BAAF, have been produced that will enable adoption and fostering agencies to use the exercises. They are available free of charge to adoption and fostering agencies across the UK.

The DVD and training pack will be officially launched at Channel 4 on 11th February.  

There is more information on the BAAF website.