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15,000 Kids & Counting

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48 minutes
Chris Eley
Chris Eley
Executive Producer:
Brian Woods

Child protection levels in Britain are at a record high. On average, one child is taken into care in Britain every 20 minutes.  Over 15,000 children were waiting to be adopted last year - double what it was only five years ago.

With unparalleled access to the entire adoption process, this three part documentary series, 15,000 Kids & Counting, follows social workers, foster carers, birth parents and adopters as heart-wrenchingly difficult decisions are made about the future of some of Britain’s most vulnerable children.

Executive produced by Brian Woods and series directed by Chris Eley, this in-depth three part series follows the entire adoption process from the parents who are desperately fighting to keep their children to the couples eagerly waiting to become adoptive parents and bring a child into their home.

Episode 1 - The Decision

The process begins with the most difficult decision of all: the decision to remove a child from its birth family. This episode follows the social workers whose job it is to take children away from their parents and recommend whether they should ever return; and parents who are desperately fighting to keep their children.

Episode 2 - The Search

This episode follows the search for adoptive parents to a two year old boy and a three and seven year old brother and sister. With the added challenges of having slightly older children, siblings and a child with possible health issues to place, the task for social workers Annette and Jackie is a massive one.

With the future of these children in their hands and recently set government targets to meet, they struggle not to become too emotionally involved as they strive to find adopters before time runs out.

Episode 3 - The Transition

The final episode of this series charts the transition from familiar foster home to the unknown of new adoptive parents. As reality sets in, adopters and the children alike discover that the prospect of learning to love and fit into a family that were once strangers can be a daunting one, and the stakes are huge, with both sides asking the same question, “Will they like me?”

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If you are interested in finding out more about adoption

First4Adoption is the national information service for people thinking of adopting a child in England. The information line is open 10am – 6pm, Monday – Friday on 0300 222 0022 to answer all your adoption questions.

Adopt North West has been created to help find forever families for the 623 children currently awaiting adoption in the region, and hopes to get adults thinking about adopting a child or children. To find out more or to register for more information, vista the website, call 0333 400 1230, text Adopt to 83118 or tweet using #AdoptNW

BAAF is the UK’s leading charity for children separated from their birth families. We provide services to meet the needs of some of the UK’s most vulnerable children and young people. In 2012/13 BAAF helped find families for over 700 children through our family finding services and dealt with many enquiries from the public through our UK-wide general enquiries service.

Adoption UK is a national charity, working with and on behalf of adopters, supporting families to build bright futures for vulnerable children who are unable to live with their birth parents.  Call 01295 752240

CVAA UK (hyper link)  is a charity that represents all 33 voluntary adoption agencies who have many offices across the UK. You can be assessed and approved as an adopter by voluntary as well as local authority adoption agencies; the most important thing is finding the right agency to suit you.  On the website prospective adopters can insert their postcode and will be given a list, description and direct link to all of the agencies nearest to them.

New Family Social is the UK network for LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) adoptive and foster families. Whether you are still deciding how to form your family, are on the way to being a parent, or are busy getting on with family life, you can find others near you in the same situation to share your journey. Call: 0843 2899 457  [email protected]

If you want to find out more about fostering

The Fostering Network is the UK's leading charity for all those involved in fostering. Those interested in becoming foster carers can find information on fostering, the skills and qualities needed to foster and the application process on the website.

For help after adoption

After Adoption is a voluntary adoption agency working throughout England and Wales to help all those affected by adoption. This includes supporting birth families and reuniting families separated through adoption.  Helpline: 0800 056 8578 (lines open Monday-Thursday 9am-5pm, Friday - 9am-4pm)

General Registry Office if you are an adopted person looking for birth family your first step should be to get access to your original birth certificate.

If you are interested in becoming a Social Worker

Social Worker - National Careers Service

If you want to make a positive difference in the community, a career as a social worker could be a perfect choice for you. To become a social worker you will need to study a three-year undergraduate degree or a two-year postgraduate degree in social work that is approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). You will also need to pass background checks by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

As a qualified social worker your job will be to relate to people of all ages and backgrounds and be able to gain their trust, in order to help them. Often you’ll be put in situations where your tact, patience and understanding will be needed and you’ll need to assess and cope with these situations in a sensitive and non-judgemental way.

For more information also see the British Association of Social Workers