Two adoption organisations are today launching a new digital partnership to help families who are raising some of the most vulnerable and complex children in the UK. The partnership between Adoption UK and Link Maker will use digital technology to give adopters easy and safe ways to build their knowledge and support networks.

Around 5,000 children are adopted in the UK every year. Three quarters of them have suffered abuse or neglect and they need families who are equipped to help them start to recover. Many adoptive families report often feeling isolated, due to the demands of their children. Most say that the help of other adopters is an essential ingredient in helping them with daily life.

Adoption UK is the leading charity working for adoptive families. It brings four decades of experience to the partnership, with a skilled support team, an established network of local groups and a growing membership of over 4,000 families and more than 50,000 unique website users. Link Maker is the UK’s most widely-used online platform for connecting prospective adopters with children awaiting adoption, with around 10,000 users.

The partnership kicks off in March, with a safe online space for adoptive families across the UK to find each other and build lifelong support networks. This includes a forum, live chat between adopters  and a ‘playdate finder’, which helps families link up with others who live locally. Other innovations to follow will include live chat with experts and new functionality to enable local support groups to flourish.

CEO of Adoption UK Sue Armstrong Brown said: "Support networks can make or break adoptive families. Being able to connect to others in the same situation is crucial. When the support’s right, adoptive families are turning children’s lives around. This partnership gives us the potential to provide a supportive community to every single adoptive family in the UK."

Chief Executive of Link Maker Andy Leary-May said: "We are pleased to have made an impact with matching but we also know, from personal experience, how important it is for new families to be able to find the right support. Working with Adoption UK means we can bring our networking tools to the largest audience, in one place, so that more families can find local support."