[Last updated 21 July 2021]
Telephone advice and support line
Our advice and support line opening times have gone back to being open 9.00 am to 1.00 pm, Monday to Friday. You can call us on 0345 155 1076. If you are considering adoption, or you are an adopter, or adoptee seeking advice or support, you can call contact us by telephone or by email firstname.lastname@example.org, or via our online form.
We still need adopters!
Especially during the COVID pandemic, there are still children out there who are looking for their new family. Our social workers are still ensuring children are safe and processes are not slowing down as we are finding our way through these times, we still need adopters for our children. So, if you’re thinking of adopting please do get in touch with our friendly team.
There are many areas of the assessment that we can do virtually and we can certainly help you with things to think about; videos to watch; books to read towards getting you to be in a good place and be ready to adopt. We are offering our information events virtually and want to support you on your adoption journey form the earliest possible stage. If you’re interested in adopting, get your questions answered by contacting us through this online form, or get in touch with us by calling 0345 155 1076 or email email@example.com
As the situation changes we develop our offer of virtual support, while keeping things running as normally as possible.
Virtual information sessions for people considering adoption
Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19), we have been very sad to announce that face-to-face events have been cancelled until further notice. But… we are now holding information sessions virtually – online using Teams. Our Business Support Team will advise prospective adopters when they make their enquiries how the events work using Teams.
Adopt South West will continue to provide a service for you
We are looking at how we can support our adopters and offer virtual alternatives through webinars, online meetings, Skype and telephone calls – some facilitated by us and some by therapists we work closely with.
Facebook is where the news is!
Check our Adopt South West Facebook page for up-to-date messages, online events and it’s where we share posts from the You Can Adopt national campaign too.
Step-parent information sessions now virtual
Due to the current coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, we are offering our step-parent information sessions virtually. Please contact the team who will book you onto the next available date.
How we can help you using the Adoption Support Fund
The Government (Department for Education) has allocated £8 million from the Adoption Support Fund for adoptive families to meet needs arising from the coronavirus outbreak
- We are awaiting approval from the Adoption Support Fund on our application for a peer mentoring service.
- There are specialist webinars through The Adopter Hub available (under Adopters > Webinars) – please get in touch for a login.
- Some adopters are already accessing specialist support groups. If this is something your are interested in, please do get in touch.
- Peer support (virtual) chat groups are happening and virtual adopter groups are running across the region.
- Many adopters are already accessing support from a clinical psychologist. Contact us for more information if you feel you would benefit from this.
- Trained social workers and family practitioners are available to offer support and advice through our advice and support line 0345 155 1076.
- If you would like your child to have a place at school we can liaise with the virtual school in your area – so please do get in touch with us or speak to your social worker. If your child already has a EHCP in place, they will automatically be eligible to be considered for a school place. Virtual schools are in:
If you require support with your child returning to school please do get in touch.
- 200 subscriptions to Adoption UK
- 250 subscriptions to the National Association of Therapeutic Parents (NATP) – this welcome letter explains what the NATP can provide to help you.
- 100 remaining subscriptions to the The Adopter Hub.
Activities for families during COVID-19
- This guide from My Tutor includes useful tips and advice for parents to help their teens overcome body image issues, academic anxiety, peer pressure and cyberbullying, including links to other important teen mental health resources – all of which can be helpful in these uncertain times.
- Please refer to our note on Facebook for the complete list of resources.
- Local providers and Somerset Parent Carer Forum have created a booklet of activities you can do at home, including virtual opportunities. The web page also includes helpful resources.
- In January 2021 we published a poem to lift your spirits that we’ve been sent by a mum to two young adopted children. We know life can be pretty tough for adoptive families at the moment during coronavirus (COVID-19) so we hope this poem resonates with you.
Birth families and adopted children
We are looking closely at how we can support contacts between birth family and their adopted children in these challenging and ever-changing time because we recognise how important it is for the child to have this contact with their birth family.
Currently, our main offices for managing these exchanges (Follaton House and Electric House) are closed to the public and the post room is also closed. This means that any letters sent to the letterbox service will remain in the post room and we will be unable to access them until circumstances change. At this time we don’t know when we will be able to access these letters but we can reassure you that the letters are kept in a secure and confidential place.
Our letterbox coordinators are going through all of the forthcoming contacts to assess whether we are able to facilitate the exchange at this time. However, it is extremely likely that there will be a significant delay in the exchanges at this time and unfortunately, at the moment, we are unable to say how long the delay will be for. We will also be unable to facilitate view-only photos at this time.
To help us facilitate an exchange please email the Adopt South West letterbox, with your name and address to: firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can confirm your up-to-date email address and as such may be able to facilitate an email exchange.
Direct contact is now no longer suspended.
A number of therapists and organisations that deliver therapeutic support to our families have also been in touch because some face-to-face therapy is put on hold. Some therapists are able to offer alternatives, such as Skype and phone calls. So, if you are worried about how this impacts you and your family, please do contact the therapist/provider directly in the first place. The Adoption Support Fund has been in contact and is offering more flexibility as to how therapies are delivered, where possible.
Events and courses
- Family Farm Days (all days)
- Summer Walks
- Summer activities
- RIO group (all sessions)
We have been sending advice about how parents can support children who will be struggling with anxiety, lack of structure and routine, and how parents can remain calm and regulated in these uncertain times.
Please take good care of yourselves and stay safe.
Adopt South West
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