We are all living with uncertainty and face a difficult few months ahead. We want to let you know that we are here for you, you matter to us. As Adoption Matters is primarily a home working organisation, we now have the opportunity to make the very most of the latest communication technology in continuing with our important work with children, families and professionals in the adoption and Children’s services sector. We have been asked a lot of questions from our enquirers over the last few weeks and we thought it would be helpful to summarise some frequently asked questions regarding Covid-19 (Coronavirus) and how we are working through the current lockdown restrictions.
Can we still apply to adopt with you during the lockdown?
Yes! We are still very much open for business with all of our staff working remotely at home. As lots of our staff were home workers before Covid-19, we were well set up to work 100% at home when the Government advice advised to do so. Your adoption journey can start and continue with us over the coming weeks and months If you have been thinking about adoption for some time, contact us, we are here and we can use the latest technology to make contact with you. Children are still waiting for individuals and families to consider adoption. If you are in Stage 1 or 2 of your assessment with us, we are still continuing with our work. While there may be a small number of checks and medicals that cannot take place until lockdown ends, these can happen right at end of your assessment and we can hold virtual adoption panels. W e can still process all our information securely . So we can and still continue with a lot of our work now and pick up on tasks when this crisis is over.
How can we find out more information?
We would ask you in the first instance to download one of our adoption information packs here, which contains lots of vital information and explains the next steps if you wish to proceed. We are holding regular online information events in place of our usual information evenings across the country. You don’t need a camera on your phone or laptop, just a browser to join us. The event will be hosted by members of our experienced adoption social work team who will talk you through the process. There is no obligation on you if you sign up to the events other than to listen but you will get the opportunity to ask questions if you wish at the end. You can also contact speak to one of our social workers by phone 9:30-4:30 Monday to Friday and as well as some evenings listed our on website.
Are you still undertaking home visits?
We are following to the latest Government guidance on social distancing and as such we are not undertaking regular home visits to our families and prospective adopters at this time. We are offering phone calls, video calls using various secure platforms and this is working well for our enquirers, assessments and support to families and children. This is being reviewed on a regular basis.
Are you still placing children for adoption?
Yes. We have placed and are still placing children with their adoptive families during the lockdown period. The children that we place for adoption and our adoptive families are central to all that we do and keeping everyone safe is really important to us. We are using risk assessments and ensuring we adhere to all social distancing guidelines. We are working closely with our Regional Adoption Agency colleagues across the country to ensure that this health crisis does not impact on children in care further by adding further delays for them. Children still need families, our work cannot and should not stop, supporting our adoptive families is our priority.
I am currently furloughed from my job and worried that my finances will affect my application to adopt.
There are many people in this position so please don’t let this deter you from contacting us. Financial security is part of our assessment but we are in unprecedented times working through this pandemic and we are taking this into consideration with our assessments. The needs of the children that need adoptive families are always paramount in our work so financial security does need to be considered but we will discuss this with you, just give us a call or drop us an email with your query.
I am currently furloughed from my job so have the time to enquire and/or apply but once lockdown is lifted, I will be working full time again. Can you fast track my assessment now while I am at home?
We have received enquiries from teachers and nursery workers who are now in this position. Our teams are working hard to ensure we offer all of our enquirers the best customer service we can during this lockdown period. We would not advise to ‘rush’ through any assessment as you also need the time to think about the process and also to talk with your family and friends for support, this is a life changing decision that you need time to digest and think about. We will of course try our best to capitalise on the fact you have more time at home. We will however also need to ensure that you still have the time to give to the assessment process once the lockdown restrictions are lifted.
I was thinking of enquiring but now my children are off school and I am not sure when they will return, what would you advise?
We know that trying to juggle life whilst your children are off school isn’t easy. The uncertainty of when they may return and their lack of routine is also unsettling. Every individual and family is different and we take the unique circumstances of each family into account with every enquiry so its hard to give advice that will cover everyone. If you wish to make enquiries now and then perhaps take things further once schools do re-open that’s fine or you can proceed if you feel you have the time. We would need to speak to any children as part of the assessment and we are doing this via video call – where possible, so we will be able to advise you further once we have spoken to you. Why not download an information pack or attend one of our online events and see if this helps you further.
I am in the vulnerable group, can I still enquire to adopt?
Yes. Adopters come from all walks of life and many adopters with ongoing health conditions or disabilities As part of applying to adopt applicants have a medical that is usually conducted by their own G.P. During this lockdown period, applicants are being asked to self report any medical conditions and medical examinations are being deferred until lockdown restrictions are lifted. Many health issues do not prevent people from adopting. In general we are looking for people who are physically fit and well enough to manage the day to day challenges of adopting and who have the emotional wellbeing to cope with the stresses that applying to adopt and parenting an adopted child/ren through to adulthood can bring.
To download a no obligation adoption information pack, complete our short form here – a pack will be available to download immediately and a copy will also be emailed to you.
You can also contact our adoption advice line on Freephone: 0300 123 1066 or email us at: email@example.com We are holding online adoption information events throughout the lockdown period and whilst social distancing measures are in place, to view our online events visit our events page here.