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The forever family wishes of children in care
Tuesday 30th October, 2012

The poignant wishes of children in care have been collected for a new campaign aimed at encouraging people to adopt.

Children from Warrington, Wigan and St. Helens - who are cared for by their local authorities – were asked what kind of family they hoped would adopt them. The moving results will form part of a marketing campaign to be launched on Monday 5th November by the three councils, who together operate a shared adoption service.

The touching wishes include one girl’s hope her adopted family “will give me hugs and kisses”. Another girl said she would like to live with a “kind family”. One of the boys said he wishes to have a grandfather.

All the children asked to take part are waiting to be placed with a family they can live with permanently. There are currently 66 children across Warrington, Wigan and St. Helens awaiting adoption. One of the boys said his wish was “a dad who would play football with me”. A girl said she wishes to live with an adopted family who have “a dog with a kind bark”.

The children cannot be identified for legal reasons but their wishes will be released as part of a new campaign aimed at recruiting more adopters. It will be launched on Monday (November 5) to coincide with the start of National Adoption Week. A six foot “tree of wishes” featuring the children’s hand-written wishes will be unveiled by senior council staff and councillors at Wigan Life Centre.

Among those attending will be Donna Hall, the chief executive of Wigan Council, who was adopted when she was just three months old, and former Wigan mayor Cllr John Hilton, who was adopted after being abandoned at two days old.

Wigan, Warrington and St Helens councils merged their adoption services into one in October 2011. Known as WWiSH, it is the only combined service of its kind in the country. However, the new, larger service still has a shortage of adopters. Across the country there’s been a fall in the number of people willing to adopt meaning children are spending longer in care.

The marketing campaign is designed to persuade more people to come forward and offer a “forever family” for a child in care. A new WWiSH website has been launched providing information for those considering adoption and outlining the process involved. Sessions will also be held in each of the three council areas where those people interested in adopting will be able to get advice and information from WWiSH staff.

Ruth Fitzgerald, adoption manager for WWiSH, says: “The shortage of adopters is a national problem – and sadly it is getting worse. There are children in care desperate to be placed with a family but there simply isn’t enough people coming forward.

“We at WWiSH are hoping this marketing campaign will persuade people to think about offering a family for a child. We’d welcome interest from anyone from any walk of life regardless of marital status, gender, race or sexuality.

“Adopting can be challenging but it can also be hugely rewarding too. Providing a loving, stable, permanent home for a child in care is an opportunity to make a real difference.

“We at WWiSH are committed to helping people through the process and supporting them in every way we can.”
Could you provide a forever family for a child awaiting adoption? If so, please contact WWiSH - call 01942 487272, email wwish@wigan.gov.uk or go online at www.wwish.org.uk

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