Our History

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Today in 2020, we continue to place more children and support more families than ever before and are proud to be the only voluntary adoption agency in the North of England to be rated Outstanding 4 times in a row.  Read more below all about our history.

2020

We adapt our services to meet YOUR needs during Covid-19

As the Covid-19 pandemic evolved in early 2020, we quickly adapted our processes to meet the needs of our families and service users. Adoption Matters has always primarily operated as a home working organisation, so we were able to quickly adapt ensuring that our work was conducted safely, adhering to the latest guidance using a mixture of online technology as well as some face-to-face meetings where it is safe and appropriate to do so. Our organisation remained 100% fully staffed throughout the whole pandemic, our administration staff were all deployed to work at home and we even expanding our support staff base to enable to continue to offer the high level of support needed to during this stressful and worrying time for us all. We remain, here for you.

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2019-2020

Our biggest year in history!

From 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020 – Adoption Matters placed 112 children with our families. 112 new starts, 112 forever families! This is the highest number of children placed since our placement records began in 1955. Working closely with our Regional Adoption Agency colleagues across the country in securing more children their forever home. We also delighted to welcome 87 new adopters.

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2019

Centre for Adoption Support

In late 2019, the Centre for Adoption Support ceased to be a partnership service moving back to the main support offering of Adoption Matters. The service continues to operate and develop a comprehensive range of adoption support services to our families and commissioned work with our Regional Adoption Agency and Local Authority colleagues.

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2019

Expansion into the North East

On 1 March 2019 DFW Adoption, based in Durham became part of Adoption Matters. Together with the DFW Adoption staff who now form the Adoption Matters North East Team, we continue to build on the excellent reputation that DFW Adoption has in the North East, using the resources of a combined and united organisation.

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2017

2017 our 70th Year

In our 70th year and over 4,000 children placed for adoption. We continue to grow, innovate and offer high quality services to our children and families, operating across 6 regional offices. This year we place 76 children with their new adoptive families, a record for the charity.

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2016

Offices in Manchester & Leeds opened

To support our expansion, we opened up new offices in Salford, Manchester and city centre Leeds.

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2012

Concurrent Planning Service launched

Adoption Matters forms a partnership with Caritas Care to offer a new approach to early permanence through the Concurrent Planning Service throughout the North West. In 2019, the service celebrated its 100th placement and is now the largest service of its kind in the country.

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2007

Adoption Matters Northwest

Chester Diocese Adoption Service and Blackburn Diocese Adoption Agency merge to become Adoption Matters Northwest providing a service across the whole of the North West.

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2004

Foster carers the end of an era

Adoption Matters foster care service came to an end this year following changes in national funding structures. A farewell party and presentation event marked the end of the era and amongst those who attended were Ken and Dawn Lewis from Neston who fostered on behalf of the agency for 33 years!

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1985

Norman Goodwin joins Adoption Matters

Norman joined Adoption Matters in 1985, initially as a team leader and then Chief Executive Officer in 1992. Norman was awarded a CBE awarded in the 2015 Queen’s Birthday Honours in, ‘recognition of his outstanding contribution and distinguished service to adoption services and the family’.

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1976

Blackburn centralises services

Blackburn also centralised its services in the late seventies early eighties moved into placing children other than babies who were in the care of Local Authority Social Services Departments. In 1976, The Adoption Act required local authorities to provide their own adoption service and we then continued to work in partnership with several local authorities.

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1983

St. Bridget's

By the 1960s with society’s changing views on unmarried mothers, St. Bridget’s home in Chester closed for a short period of time and reopened in the early 1970s as a day nursery also offering a flat let scheme for mother and child to stay for a short period of time.

In 1983, St. Bridget’s closed and today no longer stands at Lache Lane in Chester.

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1955

Chester Diocesan Adoption Agency formed

The Adoption of Children Act 1949 provided that placement of children for adoption would be supervised by local authorities. The Anglican Church has always taken its commitment to social responsibility very seriously – the Board for Social Responsibility dealt with adoption, homelessness, unemployment, social justice and more. Eventually Adoption became a smaller part of this.

In 1955 Chester Diocesan Adoption Service was formed.

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1948

First adoption was made

Blackburn Diocesan Adoption Agency made their first adoptive placement, a baby girl.

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1947

Blackburn Diocesan Adoption Agency formed

The Adoption of Children Act 1949 provided that placement of children for adoption would be supervised by local authorities. The Anglican Church has always taken its commitment to social responsibility very seriously – the Board for Social Responsibility dealt with adoption, homelessness, unemployment, social justice and more. Eventually Adoption became a smaller part of this.

In 1947 Blackburn Diocesan Adoption Agency was formed.

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1933

St. Bridgets Mother & Baby Home

In 1933, the house was run by the Sisters from St Mary the Virgin and became a long stay home for young women who were pregnant and in need of support. In the early fifties, the house was renamed St. Bridget’s Mother & Baby Home.

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1884

Chester

Adoption Matters journey began in 1884 when the Duke of Westminster donated a piece of land to the Chester Diocese which was used to build on and in 1886 a building named the ‘Diocesan House of Mercy’ was opened on Lache Lane, Chester and used as a refuge for young women.

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