Local children are wishing on a star

Kidderminster Shuttle: Local children are wishing on a star Local children are wishing on a star

Children within Worcestershire who are waiting to be found an adoptive family are wishing on a star as part of an annual campaign. National Adoption Week, which this year takes place between Monday, 5 to Sunday, 11 November, is using the 'wishing on a star' theme to share the dreams and wishes of many young children across the UK who are currently awaiting adoption. Worcestershire County Council's Adoption Service is asking people in Worcestershire to consider adopting to help make a local child's wish come true.

National Adoption Week is a national campaign, organised by the British Association for Adoption & Fostering (BAAF). For the Adoption Service at Worcestershire County Council, the campaign provides an opportunity to reach out to people in Worcestershire who might be thinking about adopting, with a particular focus on finding potential adopters for the groups of children who often wait the longest to get a new family. Every year, 4,000 children wait for adoption in the UK and there is a national shortage of potential adopters coming forward. The situation across Worcestershire is no different and the Adoption Service hopes to address the shortage by recruiting 37 new families by the end of March 2013. In order to meet the needs of the children who wait the longest, potential families who would consider sibling groups and children over three years of age are particularly encouraged to come forward.

Children's wishes have been collated by the Adoption Service and reflect their desire to have a new 'forever family' to love and care for them and keep them safe. A group of three siblings stated "We want to stay together" when asked what they needed from a family, and two young brothers under the age of 7 asked "When will you find a family for us?"

There are many misconceptions about who is eligible to adopt and, in order to dispel many of these myths, Worcestershire County Council's Adoption Services has organised a series of informal drop-in events during the campaign. These are taking place on Wednesday November 7th at Pershore Town Hall, Thursday November 8th at the Hive and on Saturday November 10th at Redditch Library.

Marilyn Butler, Worcestershire County Council's operational manager for adoption said: "Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to own your home, have a job or be under 40 to adopt a child. You don’t have to be married either, or in a relationship, or heterosexual. You don’t have to be a parent already or qualified in any specific way.

We welcome a wide range of people from different backgrounds and experiences and there are no 'blanket' bans. Our key criteria are that you must be: over 21, have patience, be flexible and energetic and have the determination and resilience to positively transform a child’s life."

Liz Eyre, Worcestershire County Council's Cabinet Member for Children and Young People's Social Care said: "Can you imagine the strain on a child or young person not being in their own family and their anxious wait for a loving family to adopt them? There are children in Worcestershire who are waiting, just wishing to be adopted. They just want a new family to love and care for them. Why not you?"

"The Adoption Service aims to do all that they can to help achieve this. It will be rewarding for both the child or young person and yourselves. If you think you have what it takes to make their wishes come true, please pick up the phone today and call 0800 633 5442 to find out more about what's involved."

Anyone interested in adoption can also find out more online: www.worcestershire.gov.uk/adoption For more general information about National Adoption Week visit www.nationaladoptionweek.org.uk

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