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Children in care: Homes needed

Hertfordshire County Council Social Services wants more children, who are currently growing up in care, to have families of their own. The authority is appealing for more people interested in adopting to come forward.

Hertfordshie is looking after children of all ages who have been rejected, abused or neglected by their natural parents and who desperately need the stability and security that family life can give.

According to the authority's website. many people think they don't stand a chance of adopting because of their age or background. However the social services department says there is no upper age limit and those eligible to adopt can be married, single, in work, unemployed, childless or with children of their own.

The main qualifications are the ability to offer a secure and loving home and having the necessary health and vigour to meet the demands of children as they grow into adults.

In its news release, announcing the campaign for homes, the authority quotes Jeannie Hinds who with husband Clive adopted their 10-year-old daughter Georgina earlier this year.

"When I told the social workers I was 50 they said it wasn't a problem. You need common sense, understanding, sympathy, lots of patience and, above all, lots of love", she said.

The authority also mentions the case of Bernadette and Patrick Wild, who had already brought up their own children when they decided to adopt.

"Lots of people in their forties think they wont be able to adopt because their age is a barrier but it isn't like that, it's really about finding the right parents for the child, whatever their age", Bernadette is quoted to have said.

Hertfordshire Social Services is inviting anyone thinking of adopting or fostering to find out more either by attending an open day at New Barnfield, Travellers Lane, Hatfield from 10am to 2pm on Saturday 16 October when family placement workers, foster carers and adopters will be on hand to give information and advice, or by telephoning its Family Placement Service on 01727 866505 or 01992 509437.

National Adoption Week, organised by the British Agencies for Adoption and Fostering and supported by Hertfordshire Social Services, runs from 9-16 October. The aim is to encourage more people to come forward as adopters or long term foster carers for an estimated 10,000 children nation-wide who need permanent new homes.

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