Adoption Activity Days – a good way to find a family?
Published: 09.01.14Adoption Activity days are a way for prospective adopters and children waiting to be adopted to get together within a carefully supported setting. The days typically include themed party activities for the children such as face painting or soft play and the children are accompanied by their foster carers and/or social workers to provide support.
Despite them being a common family finding method in the USA and having successful results here, activity days have attracted media attention and controversy recently and have been described as 'adoption window shopping' or a 'cattle market'.
Adoption UK knows from its membership and work with within the adoption sector that activity days can provide an innovative way to find 'forever families' for those children who are deemed 'hard to place' and may otherwise remain in the care system. We welcome any initiative that will bring together prospective adopters and children waiting to be placed for adoption.
Meeting children in person before any decision has been made can be an empowering experience for prospective adopters and allow for potential 'chemistry' not possible from a child's paper profile. Meeting real children provides scope for adopters to make a connection with a child, to consider more realistically the type of child to whom they can offer a home and challenge any pre-conceived expectations of children in care.
However, for activity days to provide an appropriate and effective method of matching, it is vital that they are adequately supported. As the adoption process becomes more streamlined it is crucial that prospective adopters feel sufficiently prepared for this important stage of their adoption journey. Careful consideration should be given to which children are selected for activity days, and appropriate information and support should be given in order to provide a positive experience for all children even if their attendance doesn't result in a potential match.
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