The hopes of children in care will be the focus of an adoption campaign launched across Warrington, Wigan and St Helens from Monday.
Children currently in care across the three local authorities have been asked what kind of family they would like to adopt them and their wishes will feature in the campaign, which marks the start of National Adoption Week, a national campaign designed to encourage adoption and raise awareness of the shortfall in adopters.
Notes written by the children will appear on a “tree of wishes” which will be unveiled by council staff and councillors at Wigan Life Centre.
One boy says he wishes he had a grandfather, while a girl hopes to be adopted by a “kind family”. Another girl hopes that her adopted family will give her “hugs and kisses”. A boy wants “a dad who would play football with me”, while a girl hopes for a family who have “a dog with a kind bark”.
Attendees at the unveiling will include Wigan Council chief executive Donna Hall who was adopted at three months and former Wigan mayor Cllr John Hilton, who was adopted in early infancy.
All the children featured in the campaign asked to take part. There are currently 63 children available for adoption across the three councils, which operate a joint adoption service called WWiSH.
WWiSH adoption manager Ruth Fitzgerald said:
“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.”