The Adoption Team at SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity has taken stock of a year overcoming new, unprecedented obstacles whilst maintaining the quality of this vital service – and there is plenty to celebrate.

Following on from an Outstanding result given by Ofsted at the end of 2019, the team has since had to adapt to new, creative ways of working to ensure that the needs of vulnerable children are met – and new family units are forged. Currently, there are 45 households being supported by this service as they go through the adoption process with SSAFA.

September saw the first virtual Adoption Preparation group attended by five households, whilst adoption enquiries have remained constant throughout the pandemic. Seven households have been approved to take their next steps with adoption this year – and half of these approved households were same-sex couples, demonstrating SSAFA’s ongoing commitment to inclusivity. In addition, nine children from difficult and traumatic backgrounds will have secure and loving families as a result of SSAFA and its Adoption Service.

SSAFA’s Post Adoption Support Senior Social Work Practitioner has continued to offer virtual Post Adoption Support to families across the UK – and even Australia. A total of 84 families and 132 children have had regular updates and supportive ideas on how to manage at home during the pandemic.

Chris and Elissa Hebden, who adopted two children with help from the Adoption Team, said: “SSAFA you’ve just been amazing. Thank you so much for giving me my two wonderful little children. Thank you for making it as easy as it was and for still being there when we need you. Most people who adopt are on their own. And thank you to the people who back SSAFA’s Adoption Service. We wouldn’t have our two without you. What you do is invaluable.”

Jill Farrelly, Head of Adoption at SSAFA said: “I am extremely proud of the work that the Adoption Service and my team continues to undertake to ensure that beneficiaries are supported and that the life chances of children are improved. This service changes the lives of the prospective parents and children involved and we are honoured to be able to provide this to the Forces community.

“It has been a challenging year, but one that we have thrived in. The Nation may face difficult times ahead, but we will always continue to deliver an outstanding level of service to our adoptive families, now and in the future”.

To find out more about adoption through SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity: