Eleanor Schooling on adoption and fostering in Islington

Eleanor Schooling on adoption and fostering in Islington

September 9, 2019 0 By Ronny Jaskolski


There are many adoptive parents
that have come forward in Islington, but some of our children are more
challenging to find families for, such as large sibling groups. If
there’s four children in the family, it’s harder to find a family
that’s going to take those four on. And sometimes we have children who
have very challenging disabilities and again it takes us longer to find
suitable families for those children. We’re very flexible with people
who come forward to be adopters. And although there are
a number of things that we obviously
want to talk with them about. we do make sure that we take
each circumstance into account and we don’t put barriers
in people’s way. We’re very welcoming to anyone
who wants to be an adoptive parent or a foster carer. We have
a lot of training that is available. We have mentor foster carers
who will help other foster carers, particularly with
some of the challenges they face, so they’re not just talking
to social workers but to other people
that are doing the same job as them. The first thing we tell them is about
the joys of being an adoptive parent, because the rewards
are really significant and huge. We’re realistic, too, and we talk
to them about the kinds of children that they might be adopting,
so that they can get to understand what some of the issues
they might face might be as they go through the years. I’m very proud of the work we do with
Coram on concurrent planning, because that does mean that
where there are children or babies who are probably going to be adopted,
then they can start with the family that hopefully they’re going to
end up with long-term, for life. So, during that period
where the decision’s being made, those families will be fostering them
prior to them being formally adopted. It’s a challenging process
for those families, because of course there’s risks. They may not end up with that child
actually being adopted. But we support them through the help of
Coram and it is very successful. I’m pleased this issue has been
raised and championed in this way. I think it’s important
for us to look at the data and see how swiftly we’re
making decisions about adoption and see whether we are making
enough decisions about adoption. Because for many children that’s
going to be such an important factor in their whole future life. So I think the raising
of the profile of this and then beginning to look underneath at how we can solve
some of the structural problems is going to be
really good for children.