Friday, October 26, 2012

Match Parties Return to the UK

The National Adoption Center’s influence is not just national but international. Over three years ago, adoption staff from the British Association for Adoption and Fostering (BAAF) contacted us inquiring about our match parties. Our staff shared their expertise and best practice materials on how to design and execute a match party.

Fast forward a few years and in early 2011, the UK held their first “activity day,” better known as an adoption or match party here in the states. While these events have had extremely successful outcomes, creating “matches” for 23 out of the 120 children who have been to the three events held so far, these activity days remain extremely controversial as the UK tries to spread awareness.

The UK’s first match party took place in the mid-1970s and quickly went out of favor in the 1980s with critics describing them as “adoption speed dating” which forced agencies to find new family-finding methods. As time has progressed and figures have shown a drop in placements, the UK has decided to reconsider hosting adoption parties, a method which has taken place for over 30 years in the US and have proven to be twice as effective compared to any other method of family finding for children.

“Activity days” have now returned to the UK as a pilot project involving nine local authorities, several adoption agencies, and made possible by the external funding and management of BAAF. BAAF’s adoptions staff has remained in contact with the National Adoption Center throughout their re-launch and our organization has been thrilled to help share materials and lend a hand in the creation of a successful match party.

As an organization that has been successfully hosting match parties for over 25 years, our program which has blossomed into a model for the country, is proud to have branched overseas and support BAAF’s efforts in bringing children in need one step closer to a loving, caring, permanent home.

To read more about BAAF’s “activity days” click here. 

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