Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Adoption family matching through video

Mo O'Reilly, Director Child Placement at BAAF, explains how we are constantly striving to find new ways of family finding for children waiting for adoption.

When we launched the Be My Parent website in May 2007, we were asked by many social workers about our plans to show videos of children being featured for family finding. ‘Do you know that it works?’ they asked. ‘Do you think it will make a difference to children finding families?’ All good questions, which we could not really answer. At the time there was little out there that we could point to, to help us answer them.

We were sure they would help as the 3-4 minute video clip embedded in a written profile of the child really conveyed the ‘essence of the child’. So we decided to raise some funds and do the research ourselves.

In December 2007, we started a video project in BAAF to assess the impact videos had on finding families for a cohort of children. We had some money donated to us from the Dorus Trust, BBC Children in Need and Marsh Insurance which allowed us to offer FREE videos to local authorities for children they were family finding for. In return they agreed to participate in answering our questionnaires and telephone interviews.

We worked with two brilliant film companies who made excellent videos of the children. Fifty videos and 66 children later, we have finished the project and written up our findings. Our report ‘Seeing the Difference?’ is published at the end of July and will be distributed free of charge to BAAF member local authorities.

So what did we find? Well...
• 96% of social workers saw the film clip as a valuable tool and would use them in future to feature children.
• Children featured in the research received more enquiries than other children featured online.
• 60% of social workers agreed that the videos played an important part in attracting enquiries.
• 83% of families found the videos ‘very helpful’.
• Social workers used the video in very creative ways to find families for children.
• Children, most of whom lose touch with much of their personal history when they come into care, get to keep a video of a time in their life that they can look back on for years to come.

If I had a magic wand then every child in need of a family would have a good quality video as part of their family finding effort...automatically. But in these times of financial stricture, that seems unlikely...sadly.

To find out more about how we use videos in family finding, visit the website.

1 comment:

kaz said...

I saw many when I was with be my parent and found them very very good.
Also we be very good for children to watch when they get older.

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