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History of New Family Social

A brief look at how we got here.

What's planned and what have we done in 2022?

National service provision in Wales A new strategic partnership was announced in March. This brings together New Family Social and the Welsh National Adoption Service. Now, wherever they are in Wales, LGBTQ+ adoption applicants - who go through the process with a Welsh local authority - can access all of New Family Social's services free of charge.

Improve the adoption process for LGBTQ+ applicants in England While current figures show that 1 in 6 adoptions in England in 2021 were to same-sex couples, this undercounts the engagement of LGBTQ+ people in adoption. Current data only records the composition of the family a child's adopted into, forcing the statistics to assume that all single adopters don't identify as LGBTQ+. The data also doesn't record whether anyone in an opposite-gender adoptive couple identifies as LGBTQ+.   In partnership with the National Adoption Recruitment Steering Group New Family Social will work to improve the experience of LGBTQ+ people going through the adoption assessment process. Among the work that'll be delivered is a critical review by New Family Social of the existing standard paperwork that agencies use to record data and recommendations on how it can better include LGBTQ+ people. A rolling training programme will build capacity at the most senior levels within adoption agencies across England to help them identify areas of improvement within their organisations, such as the absence of a strategy to recruit and support LGBTQ+ adopters.

LGBTQ+ Adoption & Fostering Week In its tenth anniversary the campaign - the only national campaign solely focused on encouraging LGBTQ+ people to explore adoption or fostering - reached some 22 million people. When the campaign started 1 in 31 adoptions in England were to same-sex couples. The figures for 2021 stood at 1 in 6.

Organised the biggest LGBTQ+ camping event in the UK for adoptive parents, foster carers and their children. Taking place over the long public holiday weekend in August the camp's attracted a capacity crowd, after a reduced event in 2021 and complete cancellation in 2020 during the COVID pandemic.

Opening a dedicated peer-to-peer support scheme. This will pair existing LGBTQ+ adoptive parents and foster carers with people new to the process in need of support and will start in the second half of the year.

Adoption, Fostering & Tea returned for its sixth and seventh series. New Family Social's podcast showcasing the different stories of LGBTQ+ adoptive parents and foster carers notched up some 37,000 downloads in 2022. The series tackled issues including consensual non-monogamy, adopting multiple times and handling the challenging behaviour looked-after children can exhibit.

Ongoing development of online events for members. The pandemic forced many organisations to deliver their services online rather than in-person. New Family Social developed an online offering for its members during the pandemic, which remains a successful way of engaging members at all levels in the charity. Some 1,100 members of New Family Social attended one of its online events in 2021/2022, five times greater than the number participating in face-to-face events that weren't the annual summer camp.

Before 2022

In October 2007, 20 families and prospective families met in London for the first ‘New Family Social’ event – after it became apparent that there was a need for LGBT adopters and foster carers to support each other. New Family Social is now widely recognised as the UK support group for LGBT adopters and foster carers.

New Family Social now boasts some 5,300 LGBTQ+ adopter and foster carer members from across the UK. The charity provides support on behalf of regional adoption agencies, local authorities and independent adoption and fostering agencies. These agencies pay an annual subscription which allows their LGBTQ+ applicants, adopters and foster cares to access New Family  Social's online services free-of-charge.

With a calendar of online events, regional in-person met-ups and a secure forum New Family Social is both a well-established peer support network and a credible voice for LGBTQ+ adopters and foster carers. Its annual campaigns include LGBTQ+ Adoption & Fostering Week, which aims  - which in 2022 reached some 23 million people through its social media activities, . Existing LGBTQ+ adoptive parents and foster carers find s

New Family Social also arranges national family events, with some 130 LGBT+ parented families attending its four day camping festival in 2019.

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