We think there is a great opportunity to see newly-placed adopters receive more comprehensive information about their adopted child/children, and have the means by which to have coherent, and child appropriate ways of explaining how they came together as a family.
Almost two thirds of adopter parents view the quality of life story material as not consistent, which presents a missed opportunity to give children and families a platform for connection and growth. With this work there’s an opportunity for parents to continue to provide ongoing help and support for their children.
With adequate life story work, the adoption and fostering community will be empowered to fulfil their potential to establish loving homes with understanding and stable relationships. Critically, this work will build attachment, and establish foundations of trust and mutual understanding within families who often feel isolated and in need of support.
Because of the micro-scale of this project and the charity, we have the opportunity to ensure the greatest levels of impact to individuals and families we work with. Our flagship project will be bespoke to individual families, creating an asset to treasure as the years go by.
We aim to deliver deep engagements with 20 families in the first year with a plan to expand to 30 in year two and 30 again in year three. However around 4,000 children a year are adopted from care, and so our long-term ambition is to deliver a series of programmes with a wider impact, coupled with advocacy projects and case studies to make deliverable change in the sector over the next five years.
Advice given to new adopters to keep friends and family at a distance during early placement isolates adopters and excludes supporters, leading to the risk of long-term erosion of support networks. And so as part of this book project we would also like to build in opportunities for new adopters to meet other local adoptive families.
Furthermore we think there is an opportunity to work closely with placing agencies, local authorities and regional agencies to pro-actively develop and deliver training about life story work which will be built into preparation courses for prospective adopters. We will also work with these agencies to identify the families to work with for this project.
Above all else, this project has the opportunity to bring about an asset and process of excellent quality to families most in need.