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  • 5 Sep 2019 11:22 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    From next September, secondary schools in England will have to teach LGBT-inclusive Relationships and Sex Education, and primary schools to teach about ‘different families’ which can include LGBT families.

    This education will help reduce bullying, improve LGBT young people’s lives and enable all children and young people to better understand and respect each other. It’s particularly important for the adoptive and foster children of LGBT+ people. One in eight adoptions in England in 2018 were to same-sex couples and these children have often had chaotic starts to their lives. The support of seeing their new families reflected in the classroom is immeasurable.

    Local authorities – who oversee education in most schools – need to hear public support for LGBT-inclusive education. Whether you’re a parent, student, adoption or foster care agency worker, or anyone who’s ever been at school – you can now voice your support. Head over to Stonewall’s website to complete a simple form that’ll identify your local education lead and help you get in touch with them.

    Find out more on Stonewall’s website.

  • 16 Jul 2019 13:48 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The protests outside Birmingham schools have understandably prompted concern from many LGBT+ parents. Last year 1 in 8 adoptions in England were to same-sex couples, news that was warmly welcomed by New Family Social. We were also pleased when parliament passed regulations that meant that from September 2020 all secondary schools in England will be required to teach Relationships and Sex Education, and all primary schools in England will be required to teach Relationships Education.

    However, recent demands that teachers airbrush LGBT+ adoptive parents or foster carers out of relationships lessons aren’t in the best interests of their vulnerable children – or the wider class. The needs of our children to understand and value different family structures in modern 21st century Britain is paramount, to properly prepare them for adult life.

    New Family Social is committed to supporting LGBT+ people who adopt and foster, throughout their parenting journey. This includes working with education and partner organisations to better support LGBT+ adoptive and foster families, to enable these parents to help their children reach their full potential. Much of this work is carried out discretely to avoid further enflaming the current situation that has already caused considerable distress to some of the affected children and staff at the schools.

    If you’re an LGBT+ parent and want to find out more about the changes to education check out the information on Stonewall’s website.

  • 3 Jul 2019 14:52 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Adoption Barometer – the latest research from Adoption UK – shows that adopted children are twice as likely not to be in employment, education or training (NEET) as their peers, 16 per cent of them have had contact with the criminal justice system and 39 per cent have needed help from mental health services.

    Three quarters of adopted children have suffered significant violence, abuse or neglect in their birth families, with a lasting impact that extends into early adulthood and affects life chances, placing huge emotional and often financial strain on adoptive families. There are at least 55,000 adoptive families in the UK.

    While advances have been made in recruitment and preparation of adopters, the report argues government policies still don’t address the heart of the challenges faced by adoptive families, and especially families with older children.

    Around 3,500 families across the UK were surveyed, asking them to reflect on their experiences during 2018. The research also assessed national policy relating to adoptive families at each stage of their adoption journey.

    The report says that 79 per cent of families would encourage others to adopt - despite the fact that 70 per cent say they face a continual struggle for support.


    Key findings from the report:

    • 79 per cent of adoptive families would encourage others to adopt
    • 84 per cent of prospective adopters say their social worker understood and supported them through the process of approvals & matching
    • 50 per cent of prospective adopters found the process so difficult that they wondered if they could continue
    •  54 per cent of new adopters experienced stress, anxiety or the symptoms of post-adoption depression during the early weeks
    • 56 per cent of established adopters faced significant or extreme challenges
    • 65 per cent of parents experienced violence or aggression from their child
    •  70 per cent feel that it is a continual struggle to get the help and support their child needs
    • 45 per cent feel that contact with birth family is not well-managed by their agency
    • 24 per cent experienced direct birth family contact outside of a formal agreement – often unsolicited, via social media
    •  Nearly three-quarters of parents agreed that their 16-25 year-olds need significant ongoing support in order to live independently
    • 16-25 year-olds were twice as likely to be not in education, employment or training (NEET) as their peers
    • 39 per cent of 16-26 year-olds had been involved with mental health services
    • 44 per cent of children had diagnosed social, emotional and mental health needs
    • Adopted children in England were 20 times more likely to be permanently excluded
    • 80 per cent of home educating adoptive families would prefer their child to be in school
    Read the report on the Adoption UK website.

  • 3 Jul 2019 08:00 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Scottish government published statistics this week showing that the number of adoptions in Scotland by same-sex couples fell from 30 in 2017 to 28 in 2018. However, as the total number of adoptions also fell in the country this means that the proportion of adoptions by LGBT+ people in Scotland rose slightly.

    Find out more on the National Records of Scotland.

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    2 Jul 2019 16:16 | Anonymous member (Administrator)


  • 2 Jul 2019 15:59 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Training provider, The Foster Care Training Hub, has launched ‘The Big Initiative;’ a nationwide project. It’s the UK’s first cohort of free preventative online courses for young people across the UK on some 50 subjects including gangs, knife crime, gambling, bullying, and self-harm.

    The goal of The Big Initiative is to empower looked-after children, educate them on the dangers of certain issues and enable them to have an impact on their social circle. This will help them make better choices in life, and fulfil their potential. It’s a dedicated online platform that works to bring looked-after children and their foster families free support and guidance that will help change lives.

    Every time a young person completes a free online course via The Big Initiative, they enter a prize draw with the opportunity to win prizes including iPads, mobile phones, concert tickets and day trips.

    Speaking about The Big Initiative, a 15 year old girl in foster care said:

    ‘I have found it hard to go to school because I don’t enjoy it, and it’s not really my thing. My social worker Debbie and my foster carers allocated me the Social Media and Internet Safety course on The Big Initiative and I found this really interesting and learnt a lot especially about turning off my snapchat location so no one can find me, I prefer doing these courses than going to school.’

    The Big Initiative also provides free online training and resources for parents; designed to empower them to be the best parents they can be. The free parental online courses include reflective practice and listening skills, autistic spectrum disorder and bullying, plus well-being courses that cover subjects such as depression and suicide, and drugs and alcohol awareness.

    For more information visit The Big Initiative.

  • 19 Jun 2019 09:13 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    New Family Social was one of four organisations supporting LGBT+ people that took part in a new crowdfunding event – City for LGBT+ (#City4LGBT). The event raised over £25,000 for New Family Social, Gendered Intelligence, J-Flag and the Centre for Law & Policy Research. You can find out more about the event on the Funding Network’s website.

  • 4 Mar 2019 09:00 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    LGBT+ Adoption & Fostering Week – which returns today (4 March) – calls on more LGBT+ people to explore these routes into parenting, after the number of looked-after children in England hit a new high. Some 75,420 children were classed as looked-after in England in 2018, rising four per cent from the year before. One in eight adoptions in the country are now to same-sex couples, but there remains an urgent need for more LGBT+ people to explore both fostering and adopting.

    The campaign unites agencies keen to work with LGBT+ applicants and New Family Social, the UK’s charity supporting LGBT+ adopters and foster carers. Throughout the week some 90 information events will take place across the UK for interested potential parents. There’s also support online with a series of new audio case studies from LGBT+ adopters, foster carers and agencies.

    Tor Docherty, New Family Social chief executive, said: ‘We’re pleased to see the proportion of same-sex couples adopting continuing to rise in England and Wales. But there’s still much work to be done to support and encourage LGBT+ people to adopt and foster – and vitally important for those children in care.’

    Find out more about the campaign on the New Family Social website, follow it on Twitter at #proudtoadopt and #proudtofoster or on Facebook.

  • 11 Mar 2015 10:37 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    A £2.3 million Welsh Government investment for adoption support services in Wales has been announced, as has the new ‘Adoption Register Wales’.  The investment will be spent through the National Adoption Service’s five regions across Wales to strengthen adoption support services, enhance staff levels and improve ways of working in key areas of support for adoptive families.

    The new register is an essential part of the matching process in many adoptions and will support prompt family finding. No longer just for children who’ve been waiting the longest, but for all children with an adoption plan in Wales, the register gives adopters more say in their family-finding.

    Suzanne Griffiths, Director of Operations for the National Adoption Service, said:

    ‘The new register supports our commitment to the best possible family finding and matching for children and adopters. It is a bilingual service making it more inclusive and also gives adopters supported access to view children’s profiles and make decisions, with the support of their Social Worker.’

    Part of the investment has also been used to match fund an additional £250,000 from the National Lottery Community Fund, granted to Adoption UK to deliver its Therapeutic Education Support Services in Adoption programme (TESSA).

    Ann Bell, Development Manager, Adoption UK Cymru, said:

    ‘TESSA gives an adoptive family access to a clinical psychologist and an experienced adopter, giving them coping strategies and an insight into how other parents have worked through challenges to help their family flourish. Early intervention is crucial to successful adoptions and TESSA has proved extremely effective in Northern Ireland, with adoptive families saying what a huge difference it has made to them. The additional funding from Welsh Government will significantly increase the scale and reach of TESSA in Wales, making it more widely available to new adoptive families.’

    For more information on adopting in Wales, visit

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