By Ann Marie Foley - 06 November, 2019
There are more than 4100 children who need adopters and only 1700 approved adopters, and the Fostering Network in the UK estimates that more than 8600 foster carers must be found this year alone.
The Catholic Church in England and Wales is launching a campaign to highlight this issue and encourage families to foster or adopt.
The campaign, to be launched at the annual national gathering of Diocesan Marriage and Family Life Co-ordinators on 13 November at Hinsley Hall, Leeds, aims to raise awareness of the needs of children and explore how parishes can respond.
This initiative between the Catholic Church in England and Wales and the fostering and adoption charity Home for Good will highlight the needs of the thousands of children who enter the care system every year, and and how they need proper homes. This will be facilitated through the Marriage and Family Life and parish ministry across England and Wales.
“Together we will be exploring how Catholic parishes can renew awareness of the need and continue to play their part in both finding a home for every child who needs one and ensuring families who foster and adopt are supported by their church community,” said Kirsty Wordsworth, Head of Engagement for Home for Good.
She explained that within Catholic communities many families are already meeting the needs of vulnerable children through adoption.
Organisers of the Diocesan Marriage and Family Life Co-ordinators conference have stated that the campaign will encourage Catholic parish communities to consider those children who are vulnerable and marginalised, and specifically the critical need for children in care to find adoptive and foster parents.
“It is something that has been close to the heart of our Catholic mission over many years. Adoption and fostering [are] part of our Catholic DNA, our Christian story and experience,” they stated.
The campaign in Catholic communities comes shortly after National Adoption Week 2019.
Organisers of the conference highlighted the words of Pope Francis, who has encouraged the Catholic Church to find more safe and loving homes for children who are unable to live with their birth families, saying:
“There are so many children who need homes, and the Church should step up to help them” (Pope Francis, 24 May 2019).