Adoption South East brings together services from Brighton & Hove City Council and East Sussex, West Sussex and Surrey county councils to provide a regional hub.
With 120 children in the south east needing adoptive families at any one time, the agency hopes to broaden the range and increase the number of people considering adoption.
Michael Wilson, Head of Service for Adoption South East, said: “Whilst is has certainly been an additional challenge to launch Adoption South East in the early days of social distancing and then lockdown because of the additional restrictions, we were committed to the principles of regionalisation; to widen the range of families available to the children who need adoption, to speed up the placement of children through close partnership working, and to share resources and good practice across the region.
“We recognised that the benefits of working together in this way will support us during these times as we came up with shared solutions to our challenges, all of us working together to keep our services running in unprecedented times.”
Cllr Sylvia Tidy, East Sussex County Council’s lead member for children and families, added: “We are extremely lucky in East Sussex to have many wonderful carers who open up their homes and their hearts to children in need of a permanent home.
“Adoptive parents play a hugely important role and can change the lives of children and young people for the better by providing them with a stable, loving environment, and it is vital that they are supported every step of the way.
“We are delighted to be part of Adoption South East, which will not only continue to offer the right support, but will also help to broaden the range of people adopting and encourage even more people to consider adoption.”
While contact is currently limited, Adoption South East is offering virtual information events and are ready to support potential adopters.
The regional agency’s new website includes a wealth of information for anyone considering adoption and wanting to find out more, including information about who can adopt, what the process involves and the kind of children in need of a permanent home.
Lucy and Neil are fostering to adopt Dylan, who was placed with them by Adoption South East at the beginning of April.
Lucy said: “Despite lockdown restrictions we can only see the positives. We’ve had so much more time than we would have outside lockdown to get to know Dylan and it has been totally wonderful getting to know him over the last seven weeks. This has been the most amazing experience for all of us.”
Adoption South East is committed to finding and supporting loving families for children who need to be adopted. There are at any one time around 4,000 children across the UK waiting to be adopted and within the South East there are 120 children needing adoptive families. Adoption South East looks to broaden the range and increase the number of people in the South East who can consider adoption in a bid to find these vulnerable children a permanent loving family.
For more information www.adoptionsoutheast.org.uk