At a time when only 4% of children adopted last year were from Black and Asian backgrounds (1) national children’s charity, Action for Children, is using National Adoption Week (31 October – 6 November) to urge people to consider adopting the UK’s most vulnerable children in need of homes.

Last year, 50% of adoptions arranged by Action for Children were of children from Black and minority ethnic (BME) backgrounds, a direct result of recruiting adopters who reflect the complex needs of children and young people in need of families.

A 2% increase in the number of children placed in care over the last year (2), has led to an even greater need for adopters to come forward to offer children loving homes. Of the 65,520 (3) children currently in care in England, only 3,050 were adopted last year, a decrease of 20% from 2005. Yet there remains a shortage of adopters coming forward to provide vulnerable children with safe and secure homes.

Hugh Thornbery, Strategic Director of Children’s Services at Action for Children, commented: “With the number of children in the care system at an all-time high, our need for adopters is greater than ever before. More can be done to make sure vulnerable children who need to be adopted are placed with families who can look after them.

“The low number of adoption placements of children from ethnic minority backgrounds is particularly worrying and it is crucial for people from a range of backgrounds to explore the possibilities of adoption and consider offering these children a loving home.”

Action for Children ensures that families also receive post adoption support to ensure that placements do not break down. “They didn’t just say, ‘here’s your daughter – off you go’. Action for Children has always been there to support us. We get together with our children and other families with adopted children, so they grow up knowing that there’s this whole family of children who are in exactly the same situation,” said a parent who adopted through Action for Children’s specialist service, Adoption Black Families.

Action for Children runs 5 adoption services across the UK. It supports and speaks out for the UK’s most vulnerable and neglected children and young people, for as long as it takes to make a difference in their lives. Action for Children works in local communities with 156,000 children, young people and their families through more than 400 children’s projects across the UK. For further information about Action for Children’s Adoption services please call 0845 355 5533.

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