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Too Old at Four? - clear focus needed to create family life for these children says CoramBAAF in National Adoption Week 2015

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CoramBAAF has called for a "clear focus" to help 'older' children waiting for adoption to find new families as this year's National Adoption Week (19-25 October) is launched.

The theme for this year's event, run by national adoption service First4Adoption, is ‘Too old at 4?’, highlights the current shortage of adopters coming forward for 'older' children waiting for adoption. Statistics show that these children are often in sibling groups or may have complex needs and are among the children who wait longest to be adopted. 

CoramBAAF is among organisations working together during National Adoption Week 2015 to highlight the plight of these vulnerable children, break down the barriers that prevent them from being adopted as readily as others, and help them find forever families.

John Simmonds, Director of Policy, Research and Development at CoramBAAF, said: "We know it takes special people to adopt and very special people to adopt children who are older, where they have experienced a lifetime of serious uncertainty and very often abuse and neglect. We also know that these children find it hard to wait whilst a family for life is being found for them. It is essential, despite all the challenges that the adoption sector has experienced over recent years, that there is clearly focussed attention paid to these many children and what they can bring to a family as well as what they need. 

"CoramBAAF works with adoption agencies to ensure that in bringing children and families together there is a clear focus on how adopters and children 'fit together' but also that the necessary support is identified and available in the short and longer term. 

"There could not be a more important challenge in encouraging and supporting adopters to come forward during National Adoption Week to explore the potential that they have to create the family life that these children need. This is a step that undoubtedly changes lives for ever." 

Don't miss our matching conference

To help support adoption agencies, which have a central role in matching adoptive children and adoptive parents, CoramBAAF is running the conference 'Tread softly because you tread on my dreams - Child centred matching in adoption' on 27 October in London. As the conference programme explains: "There cannot be a more rewarding, intense, challenging or complex process for prospective adopters than the work that they have to do to identify the characteristics of the child or children who they think and feel they might adopt, and then turning that into the reality of choosing the child or children who they actually might go on to adopt." To book your place visit http://www.baaf.org.uk/node/7825 

For more information on National Adoption Week 2015 and to see how photographer Mary McCartney is supporting this year's event with a moving photograph projected onto iconic buildings across the country, visit http://www.first4adoption.org.uk/nationaladoptionweek/