The British Association for Adoption and Fostering (BAAF) is the UK’s leading adoption and fostering membership association.
They promote the highest standards of practice in adoption, fostering and childcare services in social work, health, legal and other professional bodies on behalf of children separated from their birth families.
Today there are over 91,000 children in care in the UK. On top of this, 4,000 children are waiting to be adopted.
BAAF work hard to provide children with the support they need in finding a new family to ensure a happy childhood – something every child deserves.Unfortunately there is a lack of adoptive parents. For every approved adopter there are 3 children waiting for a family.
National Adoption Week: 4 - 10 November 2013
As part of our support for BAAF, we are helping to raise awareness of national adoption week.
Since its launch in 1997, National Adoption Week has gone from strength to strength. The week is so important in reminding people about the children waiting for adoption and the difference it can make to their lives.
Find out more
Children in care are
Children in care are 14 times more likely to become homeless Children in care are 66 times more likely to have their own children taken into care Children in care are 5 times as likely to develop a mental disorder of some kind in comparison to other children; 42% of looked after children between the ages of five and ten had a mental disorder of some kind Children in care are 40% of prisoners aged 18-20 spent more than two years in care before prison Children in care are 15% of children in care got five A*-C grades at GCSE compared to 70% of the general population. Children in care are 72% of children come into care due to abuse, neglect or family dysfunction.
BAAF 2011/2012 successes
865 children were found permanent families that gave them a stable, loving home.
BAAF dealt with over 8,000 enquiries through their UK wide enquiries service.
BAAF provided 2,000 hours of targeted training and consultancy to professionals working with children to ensure they are best equipped to support children in care.
BAAF piloted four Adoption Activity Days (AAD’s) - child centered, fun days. 17% of children that attended the Adoption Activity Days found a family; this success rate is almost double the success rate of any family finding method in the UK
BAAF Initiatives & Success Stories
Play and Filial Therapy
Berni is one of four filial therapists in the UK. Filial therapy teaches the parent a new way to interact with the child to improve the parent/child relationship.
Play in itself helps a child to explore and interact with their environment; by watching a child engage in play the therapist learns to see the world through their eyes and decipher what the child has experienced that they cannot say with words, and help them overcome these experiences.
The play takes place in a safe supported environment at the child’s own pace.
Berni currently works with 48 children in the Midlands.
One child Bernie worked with, Carrie, was referred for play therapy when she was nine years old, having experiences years of neglect.
Adoption Activity Days
Adoption offers the best chance for a child in permanent care to experience the security and love they need to develop into happy, confident adults.
In April 2011 BAAF started piloting Adoption Activity Days (AAD’s).
The children that attend the days tend to be part of a sibling group (47% of children on the adoption register are part of a sibling group, the utmost effort is made to keep sibling groups together), older (over the age of four), ethnic minority and disabled. More than half of children attending have uncertain futures regarding their development.
The success of each day is not solely based on whether a child is linked to a family but whether the child enjoyed themselves.
Feedback from children that attended indicated that 100% said they had a fun time.
Carrie was experiencing difficulties in her placement due to always wanting to look after her younger brother, a role she had become accustomed to, making it very difficult for her carers to look after her and competing with her foster carer to provide for him.
The constant confrontation and rejection was stressful for the foster carer which increased the risk of placement breakdown, meaning there was a chance that Carrie and her brother would need to be separated, making it unlikely they would be adopted together.
Through play therapy over a series of months, Carrie was able to play out what she had experienced through the use of dolls and role plays with Berni.
It became apparent Carrie did not know that she could be looked after by an adult and did not Trust an adult to look after her.
Through role play Carrie learned to understand how her independence made others feel and understand the role of ‘Mummy’. She learned to understand her role as a little girl, and that she no longer has to do everything.
Carrie and her foster carer also engaged with filial therapy. This allowed the foster carer to witness Carrie’s play first hand and become more attuned to her understanding of the world. The foster carer realised that Carrie was not resistant to be cared for; she just did not know how to accept it.
The Play and Filial Therapy helped Carries foster carer to understand and support Carrie better, and importantly allowed Carrie to accept grown-ups care for children and enhance her attachment to those that care for her.
Carrie went on to make a successful adoption with her brother. This would not have been possible without Berni’s Play and Filial Therapy.
£10,000 will allow Berni to carry out her play and Filial Therapy for an additional one day a week.
Ruby was three years old when she attended the AAD. Ruby has developmental delay and Foetal Alcohol Syndrome; her development is 18 months behind what it should be.
Her birth father has a genetic condition that she had a 50/50 chance of developing, which cannot be diagnosed until she is five, but is already showing symptoms of.
Although she is too young for a statement of educational needs it is highly likely she will need to attend a special needs school.
Ruby’s family finding process began in March 2011 but was delayed due to her poor health.
She was referred to a consortium, featured at both a London and Manchester resource exchange, referred to the Adoption register and featured in a family finding magazine, but there were no expression of interest.
Her social worker felt that attending the Adoption Activity Day was her last chance to find a permanent family. Ruby was linked with a permanent family from that day.
Her social worker observed the couple that went on to adopt Ruby as ‘falling in love with her on the spot’.
The demand for AAD’s has been phenomenal, with over 50 Local Authorities expressing an interest in having an AAD carried out in their region. We are struggling to meet the demand.
It costs approximately £120 for a child to attend an AAD. Approximately 50 children attend each AAD, which costs £6,000 a day.
We expect all children that attend to have a fun, enjoyable day out that adds to their positive bank of memories, and for at least 17% of these children to be linked to a permanent family as a result of attending.
BAAF are the only organisation in the UK that runs AAD’s.