Friday, 16 July 2010

Response to Facebook questions on featuring children online

Following questions on Facebook, here is some further information on why and how we profile children waiting for adoption online, from our Director of Child Placement.

Every year in the UK there are about 70,000 children who are in public care. About 5000 of these children can never return home safely and new permanent families are sought to look after them. In an ideal world we would have many families waiting to embrace these children and be willing to make a life long commitment to them. Thankfully each year, thousands of families do make this commitment but each year we fall short of the number we need. In an effort to attract more and new families to adoption or permanent fostering, we give information about children waiting for families. We do not ‘advertise’ them.
There is evidence from research that seeing images of the child increases the likelihood of response. How can we ask families to consider parenting children without the benefit of seeing the children and giving ‘chemistry’ a chance to work? For many children the level of response is low and agencies have to work very hard to find families for children, most of whom have already had a difficult start in life through no fault of their own.
Often agencies turn to Be My Parent after exhausting more local possibilities of finding families.
No child is featured on the BeMyParent site without consent of the Court or their Local Authority who are acting in loco parentis. Every subscriber to the site goes through a registration process and a credit card check before they can access the children’s profiles to confirm that they are UK resident and their details match up. On the site we have three levels of security and one of these levels only allows access to children’s profiles to people who have been successfully Police checked. However the best guarantee of security for the child is to ensure that no identifying information about the child, such as family name or current location, is included in profiles that otherwise try to give a balanced view of the child.

I appreciate that relatives of children featured might find this difficult. However we need to do what is in the best interest of the child, and finding them a permanent new family who will give them a chance to grow into healthy independent adults, is definitely in their best interest.

Adoption and permanent fostering is fantastically successful in turning children’s lives around. We remain committed to doing everything we can to promote this.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for responding to the comments left on Facebook. Nicky Bennison - prospective adopter.

Anonymous said...

I have a clearer understanding now, thanks for the update, keep up the great work.

In the process of adopting for the second time :)

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