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30 October 2012

Press release

Oxfordshire churches launch first Adoption Sunday

Oxfordshire churches launch first Adoption Sunday

Oxfordshire's churches will launch the first Adoption Sunday on 4 November, an initiative using the unique resources of the church to help children who are stuck in the care system to find 'forever families' through adoption or fostering. The launch date coincides with the annual National Adoption Week 5-11 November.

This project is a pilot programme that will become a nationwide initiative in 2013.

Oxfordshire resident, Krish Kandiah, is the founder of Adoption Sunday, an initiative that will encourage churches to help the 440 children in Oxfordshire, and 12,000 around the country, find permanent homes and curb the rising number of children who are living outside of stable and long-term family units.

Recent nationwide consultations about children in care found a common view that the Church is an untapped resource that could be easily utilised to help support families who adopt or foster children.

Adoption Sunday is supported by the Evangelical Alliance, Care for the Family, and Parents And Children Together (PACT).

Krish Kandiah, executive director of churches in mission for the Evangelical Alliance, said: "Being an adopter is an incredibly rewarding but also challenging experience. As an adoptive dad I am so grateful for the help and support our family has received from our church community.

"Our aim through Adoption Sunday is to encourage more people to step forward for adoption and for the Church to do its best to support and encourage them. With so many children waiting for adoption we need to do everything we can to help these children, especially those deemed hard to place, to find a home for good."

Jan Fishwick, chief executive of PACT, one of the leading agencies for adoption and fostering in Oxfordshire, said: "At PACT we help many families provide children with a positive experience of childhood and a solid loving and secure home life. We are keen to convey that the need for adopters is greater than ever but also that people who adopt rely on good agency and community support networks to help them cope with the inevitable challenges of parenting. PACT is pleased to support this campaign. Many of our adopters have a faith and we welcome adoption enquiries from Christians and people from all faiths."

The initiative has the backing of Oxfordshire County Council. Matthew Edwards, the council's corporate parenting manager, said: "We are very pleased to be involved with this initiative. We know that adopting or becoming a foster carer will be one of the most life-changing and life-enhancing decisions you ever make."

Photo-call: 12.30 on Sunday, 4 November, at Oxford Community Church where children and families will be photographed with 440 helium balloons to mark the 440 Oxfordshire children waiting to be given a permanent home through adoption or fostering. Directions to Oxford Community Church.

For more information on Adoption Sunday: www.eauk.org/HomeForGood

Churches holding a special Adoption Sunday service on 4 November:

Magdelan Road Church 10.30am
Cornerstone, Thame 10.15am
Christian Life Centre, Cowley
Headington Baptist Church
Living Stones Community Church 10.30am
New Frontiers, Emmanuel
Oxford Community Church 10.30am
Oxford Vineyard Church
St Aldates 10.30am
St Ebbes 9.45 and 11.45am, 4.30 and 7pm
St Leonard's, Eynsham 10.45am
Woodstock Road Baptist Church 11.30am

Adoption Sunday is supported by the Evangelical Alliance, Care for the Family, and Parents And Children Together (PACT).

   Photo credit: memoossa

Media Enquiries

Danny Webster
Tel: 07766 444 650
Email: d.webster@eauk.org

Notes to Editors

The consultations on adoption and fostering

In June 2012 a series of consultations was conducted across the UK for Christians to give their views on how the Church can help find homes for the thousands of children currently stuck in the care system. Krish Kandiah of the Evangelical Alliance is the spokesperson for the findings of this consultation.

How many children are waiting to be adopted or fostered?

Estimates show 6,800 children are waiting to be adopted and 8,750 more foster families are needed in the UK.

The government says that approximately 6,800 children have been identified for adoption but have not been adopted (http://m.bbc.co.uk/news/education-17313369). The Foster Network estimates that fostering services in the UK need to recruit a further 8,750 foster families during 2012 (http://www.fostering.net/about-fostering/recruitment-targets).

The Evangelical Alliance

The Alliance was formed in 1846, is the largest body serving evangelical Christians in the UK. Its membership includes denominations, churches, organisations and individuals. The mission of the Evangelical Alliance is to unite evangelicals to present Christ credibly as good news for spiritual and social transformation. According to a Tearfund survey (Churchgoing in the UK, 2007); there are approximately two million evangelical Christians in the UK. For more information, go to www.eauk.org.

Care for the Family

Care for the Family is a national charity which aims to strengthen family life throughout the UK and help those facing family difficulties.  Over the past 21 years, over 350,000 people have attended the charity’s events, workshops and family-building breaks.  Many more families find support through its resources and other initiatives – including stepfamilies, bereaved parents, families where children have additional needs, those parenting alone and those widowed young.  For more information please visit www.careforthefamily.org.uk

Parents And Children Together

PACT has been building and strengthening families since 1911 through its community projects across the Thames Valley and as an independent adoption and fostering agency in London and the south east. PACT is a key player in the fields of adoption (both domestic and overseas) and fostering and helps find forever families for the estimated 4,000 children requiring a new permanent home every year. PACT operates FACTS (Fostering and Adoption Consultation and Therapeutic Support) – a range of bespoke services to support adopted and fostered children and their families. Services include creative play therapy, life story work, counselling, clinical psychology and homeopathy. PACT adoption figures for 2011: 88 children adopted through PACT (i.e. placements, final adoption orders or placed from overseas), 69 couples or single people taken into the application process (domestic only), during 2011 one PACT family experienced a disruption. < 1.5% disruption rate, 2 children in foster placement with PACT families
.

Oxfordshire County Council

If you are interested in finding out more about adoption through Oxfordshire County Council please look at the website www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/adoption