SSAFA Adoption Service: a statement

08 February 2024

For nearly a quarter of a century, SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity has provided its registered and highly successful Adoption Service to serving members of UK Armed Forces.

Its record – placing more than 300 children with loving families – speaks for itself. Its work focusing on service families, with all the additional stressors and strains such a life gives, has led the way to a greater understanding of the circumstances of those in our Armed Forces by civilian adoption agencies and statutory authorities. 

The adoption landscape has, however, changed in the last few years.

There has been a nationwide decline in recruiting adopters in the last five years coupled with a rise in Special Guardianship Orders (Special Guardianship Orders are often granted to family members related to the child), and the Armed Forces Covenant is more widely and better understood meaning service personnel adoptions have become easier.

Due to these changes, trustees have reviewed the need for the service, resulting in agreement to consult with employees on its potential closure.

The consultation concluded at the end of January, and the trustees decided to cease accepting new applications and to close the service. The decision was reached because, simply, the adoption marketplace has changed so greatly and because SSAFA’s model of adoption services has, essentially, fulfilled its purpose.

However, we will be creating a new role to support with the placement of children within military families, advocating, advising and as and when necessary ensuring post-adoption support is made available to them.

SSAFA’s Adoption Service was graded ‘Outstanding’ during its last inspection by Ofsted; that was a recognition of the professionalism and commitment of all those involved in delivering this magnificent assistance to the Armed Forces community. It has been a remarkable success, and while there is of course sadness at the effect on employees because of its closure, the trustees and SSAFA as a whole hope that the service will be celebrated and remembered fondly for its achievements and especially for the children helped.  

Direct stakeholders and parties involved have been contacted, and support will continue for existing families while we work with them to transition to alternative providers.

Please feel free to call our Forcesline if you need any support.

0800 260 6780

We are open 09:00 - 17:00,
Monday to Friday.

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