Ready to gently guide and support you through the adoption process
In October 2020, the Leicester City Council Adoption Service joined together with four other local authorities to create Family Adoption Links, a regional adoption agency (RAA) designed to deliver excellence and best practices across all areas of adoption.
Rated ‘Good’ by OFSTED, the team are known by adopters for providing a positive experience for all those involved in the adoption process, and because they know that taking the first steps to becoming an adopter can be very emotional, they provide the right guidance and support needed to become an adoptive parent.
Last year the team successfully placed 57 children for adoption. Most of these children were placed within weeks or months of an adopter’s approval. The team continue to provide post adoption support through advice and guidance, social events, newsletters and training.
Many people who contact Family Adoption Links Leicester are concerned that their life-history hasn’t been perfect and that they may not be accepted because of this. On the contrary, challenging experiences often give people strength and insights that can help them care for vulnerable children. Remember one thing – you can adopt and there are children who are waiting right now for someone like you to come forward.
Family Adoption Links hold free, monthly and online Information Events to give you the opportunity to find out everything you need to know about adoption and enjoy a unique opportunity to hear from and ask questions from people who have already adopted.
Every year Family Adoption Links Leicester place, and continue to support, a substantial number of children with adoptive families. Some need placements on their own, others are brothers and sisters who need to stay together.
While most of the children are White British, children from a range of ethnic and cultural backgrounds also need placements including Asian, African, African Caribbean and mixed heritage children.
All adopted children are individuals who need to be carefully matched to the right family. Great care is taken to get the right match so that adopters and their children can have the best chance of a happy future together.
The team are always pleased to hear from adopters whether you are single, in a relationship, civil partnered or married. Adopters from the LGBT+ community are very welcome and the team would also like to hear from Black African or Caribbean adopters as there is a national shortage of adopters for children from these backgrounds.
We welcome adopters for all children but in particular for
Support during the adoption process
Family Adoption Links Leicester are an established team made up of experienced, knowledgeable, committed social workers and support staff who specialise in all aspects of adoption. The team recruit, train, assess and support prospective adopters to provide adoptive families for children in the care of Family Adoption Links or on the National Adoption Register.
You can expect a professional and confidential service, friendly and approachable staff, one worker to see you through the whole process (from assessment through to placement of a child and granting of an adoption order) and excellent support after adoption.
When you call, a friendly enquiry officer will give you initial advice about what to do next. This may be to attend an information event or speak directly to a social worker who will be available from 10am to 2pm on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.
After adoption: the support will you get
Following the adoption order you can continue to receive post adoption support services including advice and information, training, counselling and help with getting benefits.
The right support for you
The Children and Families Support Team is made up of social workers, mental health practitioners, a childcare support worker and an adoption support worker. Our dedicated team come with a vast range of skills and knowledge to support our adopted families and those affected by adoption.
Will I get post adoption support?
You are entitled to receive post-adoption support from us if:
If it is three years after the Adoption Order and/or you do not reside in Leicester, you will need to contact the local council where you live for support.
If your case needs to be transferred to us from another local council, you can ring us using the number on this page.
What support is available?
Adopted children are entitled to the same range of services as any child including, for example, special educational and medical services, as well as general advice and support. However, you might need help with particular issues that can come with adopting and this is where we come in. As part of our service, you can expect:
Are you worried about your child's mental health?
Our team has close links to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) and have regular consultation with them. Referrals to CAMHS can be made as part of the Post Adoption Assessment of Needs. If you are worried about your child’s mental health speak to your GP who can also make a referral.
Post Adoption Assessment of Needs
Within the first three years of the Adoption Order being made, it is the responsibility of the local authority who placed your child to complete this assessment. After the three years, the local authority where you live is responsible in carrying out this.
If you feel you need an assessment, simply call our team using the number on this page. Once your request has been accepted you will be assigned a social worker who will carry out the assessment. From here, recommendations for further support may be made, which may include signposting you to other agencies or gaining access to more bespoke therapeutic services.
Due to the skillset of the team, we are able to provide some of the therapeutic support you may need, which may include Theraplay, Play Therapy and Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP). However, the assessment can also lead to applications to the Adoption Support Fund for therapeutic support and even training for adopters.
We’re really keen to create opportunities for our adopters and their families to create friendships and networks with other families from play sessions to consultative groups, we’d love you to get involved.
This super friendly group meets on the second Tuesday of every month between 10.45 and 12.30am in Leicester giving you the opportunity to meet and chat with other adopters at the same time as exploring fun ways to engage and bond with your child.
Hosted by Family Adoption Links Social Workers, there’ll also be occasional guest speakers covering areas like child development, play therapy, life story work and speech and language.
Why not drop us an email to find out the location and book your place?
We’re really proud to offer our adopters the opportunity to join the Adopter Consultation Hub. Meeting virtually every 2 months, the group consults on and co-produces materials across a wide range of subjects to ensure the support we offer is relevant and useful to adopters.
If you’d like to get involved, send us an email.
If you live in the south of Leicestershire, why not bring your little ones and enjoy the chance to play and make friends with other adopters and their families as we enjoy Christmas crafts and other sensory activities between 9.30 and 11am on Wednesday 29th November and Wednesday 20th December 2023 in Wigston.
Take a few hours to relax and connect whilst enjoying a delicious hot or cold drink and some yummy biscuits.
If you’d like to come, please email email@example.com and we'll be happy to send you the venue details.
We’re delighted to welcome all Family Adoption Links adopters.
It’s really important to us that our young adopted people get involved and offer their insight into improving our services. With this in mind, we created Collabor8, a forum of young people who we employ to consult and collaborate on our services.
Meeting online every 2 months, if your young person would like to get involved, please send us an email.
Thrive is our post adoption support e-newsletter designed to offer you the latest research, hints, tips and advice on raising an adopted child. If you have any suggestions about what you may like us to include in the next edition, please send us an email.
Our son has brought us so much happiness. He is a fantastic little boy and although he does not stop whilst he is awake - we wouldn’t want it any other way. His energy and enthusiasm for life is infectious. We could not have been matched with a more suitable child.
As an Adoption Service in England, we are required to produce a written Statement of Purpose each year which sets out details of our services and how we will meet our commitment to providing high-quality care and support for our children, young people, and adopters.