Could you open your home – and heart – to a child?

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WITH National Adoption Week upon us I would like to make a plea to Mercury readers. Whether you’ve considered adopting, or you have a friend who has talked about adopting, please, please get in touch.

Every year Peterborough City Council needs to find loving families to adopt between 20 and 30 children.

We are very good at finding homes for these children and in league tables published by the Department for Education this month we were top of the percentage of children successfully placed for adoption.

No other area of the country has the success rate that we have in Peterborough and this is thanks to the hard work of our adoption team.

Despite this there is a constant drive to find people who can adopt children of all ages including sibling groups, children with disabilities or health problems and children from black and ethnic minority backgrounds.

It is a sad fact that some children are simply unable to remain with their birth family, because of neglect, abuse or perhaps just because their parents are unable to cope. Adoption is one of the best ways we know of giving these children a new family for life.

Sometimes we are able to place children with families in the city council area. However there is also a real need to find families in outlying areas.

This is where I hope Mercury readers can help. Quite often children need to be placed away from their birth families and this means finding families outside Peterborough.

People from all walks of life can adopt, including people who are single, couples with or without children and same sex couples. You do need to be over 21, but there is no upper age limited.

Prospective adopters will need to demonstrate that they have the capacity to develop good parenting skills plus the insight, resilience and patience to respond to the emotional needs for a child who may be ‘scarred’ from traumatic early life experiences.

Plenty of support is provided by our adoption team.

It would be wrong to suggest that adopting a child will be an easy experience.

However giving a child the opportunity to grow up as part of a family is a hugely rewarding experience.

Every child deserves a family, so please give adoption some serious thought.

To find out more please call 01733 317448 or visit www.familieswanted.co.uk

SHEILA SCOTT

Cabinet member for children’s services, Peterborough City Council