This month’s spotlight feature is on Yorkshire Adoption Agency. This article explains who they are, what they do and the services they provide. If you want to find out more about the agency, their contact details are at the end of the article.
Who we are
Yorkshire Adoption Agency is a Doncaster based charitable voluntary adoption agency set up in 1946. We’re a child focused organisation which aims to recruit, train and approve adoptive parents for vulnerable children who are Looked After by Local Authorities throughout the UK. We cover a vast area including Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Yorkshire.
Who are the children who need adopting?
Sadly, most children in need of adoptive families have had a difficult start in life and many have experienced abuse and neglect. This means they need loving parenting which adapts to their changing needs. We encourage all potential adopters to contact us, but there is a particular need for families for:
- Groups of brothers and sisters who need to stay together
- Older children (above 3)
- Babies and children who are disabled or have complex needs
- Babies and children who may develop emotional difficulties
- Babies and young children on a Fostering for Adoption basis.
Why choose Yorkshire Adoption Agency?
- We pride ourselves on getting the right family for the child, and as a result of this our adoptions are successful.
- We offer lifelong support to all our families, which includes bespoke training packages, therapeutic parenting training, support from experienced adopters and groups for our children and families.
- We encourage the whole family to support the adoption. Friends and Family training is available for all family and friend networks.
- The Agency is committed to providing an equally high quality service to our potential adopters whether they hope to adopt a child in the UK or from overseas.
- We have over thirty years’ experience in Inter Country Adoption and are approved to assess the suitability of potential adopters who wish to adopt a child from overseas.
- We offer specialist training to Intercountry Adopters to support them with the challenges of parenting a child that has been cared for previously in institutional care.
Training and support available through the Yorkshire Adoption Agency
The Yorkshire Adoption Agency offers a comprehensive package of training and support to our prospective and approved adopters. Training programmes include:
- Two days of training, covering the effect of neglect and abuse, trauma, attachment and loss.
- One day of REAL therapeutic parenting training.
- Training for friends and families, including on Therapeutic Parenting.
- Evening and daytime training modules which include the following;
- Child development, contact and working with birth families.
- Parenting a child with additional needs.
- Parenting siblings, trans-racial placements, older children and early permanence placements.
- Internet and electronic safety.
- Managing challenging behaviour and educational issues.
How long does the adoption process take?
- We will contact you to offer an Information Session attendance within 10 working days. We currently provide Information Sessions every two weeks.
- Once you have attended an Information Session if you wish to proceed you will be asked to complete a Pre-Registration interview.
- On successful completion of the Pre-Registration Interview, should you wish to continue you will progress to the Prospective Adopters Assessment. This is a two-stage process and starts when you formally Register Your Interest.
- We will complete Stage One in two months but if this timescale is difficult for you, it can be extended at your request.
- When you have completed Stage One of the process and we have agreed you may proceed to Stage Two, we will complete your assessment within four months.
- These timescales mean that following your Registration of Interest with the Agency, if there are no unavoidable delays, you can be approved as suitable to adopt within six months.
When can I expect a child to be placed for adoption with me?
- Immediately after being approved, your social worker will start looking for the right child or children for you.
- The agency has close working relationships with neighbouring local authorities, in addition to which your details will be shared, with your consent, with over 60 local authorities nationwide to ensure the best possible match for you is identified.
- You will be supported to register with Link Maker, a family finding website, where you can view children available for adoption across the United Kingdom.
- We will support you to attend family finding events and activity days.
What our adopters say
“Matching went really well and very fast. We had been on Linkmaker but not actively family finding, just book marking.
When we came close to panel, our Social Worker started actively family finding and sent us links to siblings she thought would be ideal. The majority of which we had already book marked. We feel that our social worker had got to know us so well during assessment that she knew exactly what we was looking for in a sibling group.
As all the way through this process, she kept us up to date on what was happening and advised us on what to look at when reading the children’s assessments.
We were matched very quickly and now we have started and finished introductions we feel that we couldn’t have had a better match for us. They really are the perfect kids for us.”
“On the day we were approved at Panel, our social worker handed us a profile of a little girl she’d had in mind for us for some time, “Go home and think about it and I’ll ring you in the morning” she said. It was a lot to process for one day!
That evening we sat and read through the information and sat staring at her little grainy black and white photo.
My wife and I looked at each other and said “I can see no reason why we would say no….”
We were nervous about pursuing the first profile we’d seen, but agreed that she seemed perfect and that we wouldn’t actively look elsewhere (link maker etc) and would set our intentions to be matched with this little girl.
We were informed that she was due to go to an activity day a few weeks later, and we were invited to go and have a ‘chemistry meeting’ if we were interested. We couldn’t wait!!
The meeting went really well and we were instantly drawn to her, thank goodness!
A month or so later we returned for our matching panel.
We were so nervous as we had already claimed this little girl in our hearts, and been sharing photos with the foster family in the meantime.
We had nothing to be nervous about, the panel were lovely and so encouraging. They were as excited as we were!
2 months later our little girl came home!
That was 6 months ago now, and I have never been so sure that this little girl was meant to be ours, she has slotted into our family in a way that none of us could have expected. I understand that matching does not happen this way for everyone, but it felt ‘right’ for us every step of the way.”
At the Agency we appreciate that Adoption is a lifelong commitment and that our adoptive families may need support at different times in their lives. Research and our experience tell us that adoption is most successful when the right type of support is given to families which is tailor made to meet their individual needs. We are therefore committed to ensuring that our families receive support when they need it. Sometimes we provide it in-house, or it may be more appropriately provided by a specialist support service.
We welcome requests for help at any time because we know that providing this will help our families to continue giving their children the love and commitment they need throughout their lives.
Our support services reflect the evolving needs of our adoptive families. Our adopters and their families are involved with the ongoing creation and development of our services. Our post adoption support includes;
- Post-adoption training events and outside speakers on a broad range of subjects.
- Support groups for children such as lego therapy and summer holiday activities.
- Events such as story readings with local authors, parties, arts and crafts groups and fun filled summer picnics.
- Information on adoption news and offers such as discounted theatre tickets.
- Bespoke therapeutic packages informed by Sensory Integration, Theraplay and PACE.
What our adopters say about our events
“Thank you so much to the YAA team for organising such a great range of relaxed, non-competitive activities at the recent Family Fun Day. We came for half an hour and stayed for about 3 hours and bumped into some friends too. All of the staff were so welcoming and positive as usual that my son soon got into the swing of things-the prizes helped too! A triumph!”
“With Lego being one of our child’s favourite toys I had no doubt that our child would enjoy the session and it was good for him to meet other children. Running the parent support group alongside was an excellent way to keep an eye on the children and meet other adopters. Sharing experiences and ideas with other adopters is invaluable. Thank you.”
If you want to find out more about Yorkshire Adoption Agency, please contact us:
Loversall Court, Clayfields, Tickhill Road,
Balby, Doncaster, South Yorkshire DN4 8QG