Adoption activity days

Adoption activity days are events where approved adopters, or adopters in the assessment process who have a panel date within the next 3 months, have the opportunity to directly meet a range of children waiting to be adopted in a prepared, supported, safe and fun environment.

This is a themed day full of lots of fun activities such as face painting, climbing, craft and soft play. The children’s foster carers and social workers attend the event with the children to support them.

Read our pdf iconAdoption Activity Day FAQs


Are you an approved adopter or an adopter waiting to attend panel within 3 months?

We have adoption activity days scheduled for May to July 2014:

  • 26 April – The South East. Fully subscribed.
  • 11 May – Greater Manchester
  • 17 May – Leicestershire
  • 1 June – Yorkshire and Humberside
  • 8 June – London
  • 14 June – Dorset
  • 21 June – West Midlands
  • 28 June – Lancashire
  • 5 July – South Yorkshire
  • 12 July – Buckinghamshire
  • 19 July – Liverpool

If you are interested in attending any of these events or would like to know more please contact Rebecca Parkes, Adoption Activity Day Administrator on 0121 753 7791 or email adoptionactivitydays@baaf.org.uk.

The aims of the project

The project was externally funded and managed by BAAF, with Bridget Betts as Project Manager. The original aim was to facilitate four activity days in partnership with agencies in the East Midlands Consortium over the two years of the project. A fifth activity day in early March 2013 concluded the pilot.

There has been a close interest at ministerial level and the Department for Education announced in December 2012 that adoption activity days would be part of the government’s adoption reform agenda. Due to the success of the pilot this project now runs as a permanent service to agencies and consortia. Four adoption activity days have taken place as part of this service and a further seven are planned before the end of 2013.

Bridget was presented with the Silver Award for Overall Leader of Innovative Practice at the Social Worker of the Year Awards 2012.

Watch Kent County Council's video about their first activity day

Adoption agency?

Do you want to be part of this exciting innovation in family finding practice? We can offer a free initial consultation to your agency. Contact adoptionactivitydays@baaf.org.uk to find out more.

Pilot Project Adoption Activity Days: January 2011 to March 2013

Our inspiration - experience from the USA

We looked to the USA for current experience and practice in this area. Statistics from the Massachusetts Adoption Resource Exchange in Boston which has facilitated adoption parties for 30 years demonstrate that adoption parties are twice as effective as any other method of family finding for children. 11- 14% of children profiled in the media are placed in an adoptive family compared with 30% of children who attend an adoption party.

Our partners

The East Midlands Consortium were the only group of agencies that volunteered to work in partnership with BAAF following a period of consultation in 2009-10.

How the pilot project was managed

A steering group with representatives from the participating agencies in the consortium provided external governance and guidance for the project.

Preparation

Image from an adoption activity day in October 2012

A considerable amount of time has been spent preparing social workers, foster carers and children for being involved in an Adoption Activity Day.

Attending an Adoption Activity Day may not be right for some children. So very careful consideration was given by partner agencies to the children they chose to refer. It was important to have a ‘team’ around the child to support them before, during and after an Activity Day.

Preparing children and giving them the opportunity to be actively involved in the family finding process has been one of the biggest challenges of the project. They knew it was going to be a fun day and those children who are of sufficient age and understanding are told that it is an opportunity to meet families who want to adopt and also to meet other children who need a new family.

Outcomes

225 children attended the 5 pilot events and we have identified families for 42 of these children. Children i.e. 19% of the children that have attended.

There have also been many ‘softer’ benefits:

  • For adopters - the opportunity to meet real children, dispelling the myths about children in care, having the opportunity to think more widely about the resource they are offering, feeling more confident about what they have to offer as potential parents.
  • For foster carers – being involved in the family finding process
  • For Social workers – having the opportunity to spend quality time with their child, improving practice in preparation of children for adoption and writing profiles. For adopters social workers the opportunity to observe adopters with children.
  • For children – for some finding a family for them to grow up in, having the opportunity to meet other children like them and meet families who are thinking of adopting.

Evaluation

The project has been externally evaluated by researchers from Manchester Metropolitan University.

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