Why Choose DFW?
DFW Adoption are a small not for profit adoption agency based in Durham with a strong regional identity and over 100 years of history. We are here to support individuals or couples throughout the North East through every step of their journey to becoming an adoptive parent.
DFW Adoption has been judged as Outstanding in the last 3 Ofsted inspections and the reports are available on our website here…
Our promise to you
We are a small adoption agency with strong family values and we will respect you as the individuals you are. People bring all sorts of skills and experiences to adoptive parenting and we will work with you to discover strengths you may not realise you have.
First steps – there is an enquiry form here however, if you would prefer to talk to someone we have a help and advice line every afternoon at our offices and there is always a friendly voice to respond to your questions if you make the initial contact by telephone. Alternatively we have a live chat option on our Facebook page or come into the office and meet us. If you email us we will respond without delay and if you leave your telephone details we will return your call on the same day if possible.
Who we are
DFW Adoption are an independent adoption agency based in Durham City, covering the north east and north Yorkshire areas. We are a registered charity who provide domestic adoption services and adoption support services. We also provide birth records, counselling and intermediary services. DFW Adoption are members of the Northern Consortium of Adoption Agencies and the Consortium of Voluntary Adoption Agencies. (C.V.A.A.). We undertake family finding at a national level, while working collaboratively with our colleagues in the Northern Consortium to provide family placements for a wide range of children. In particular sibling groups and children over the age of four.
We run our own Adoption Skills course, for approved adopters who have children placed with them, and additionally with the local authority in Durham we provide on-going training for waiting adopters and adopters with children in placement. We also encourage an informal network of support for our adopters and offer a “buddy system” with other adopters if people wish and we provide a newsletter and social events.
As an organisation we are strongly committed to research informing social work practice and DFW Adoption and the University of Durham have worked collaboratively for more than (6) years on a range of research projects. Currently we are the host agency for a PhD student who is undertaking research to explore the benefits and risks of social networking sites such as Facebook being used as a medium for contact within adoption. This empirical research is the first of its kind and will report its findings at a local and national level and no doubt have an impact on practice. Currently we are involved with research into sibling relationships with the University of Edinburgh.
What we do
- DFW provide an open, non-judgemental and supportive recruitment, preparation and assessment process for prospective adopters
- We have a daily advice and information line where any query relating to adoption can be discussed with a social worker. We also hold regular drop in events for those interested in adoption
- We provide an identified, dedicated worker to support the prospective adopters throughout their process from Registration of Interest to Adoption Order
- Our Preparation to Adopt Course is run over four days, tailored to coincide with stage one and stage two of the process
- Our unique PCFA (Preparing Children in the Family for Adoption) service provides an additional worker to work with any children already in the family, before approval and beyond
- The Khandan Project enhances the assessment of BME families by including a specialist BME social worker to help explore language, religious, cultural issues and discrimination
- DFW has a commitment to offering lifelong post adoption support to all our adopters, including, an annual wellbeing check – telephone contact to maintain the link with adoptive families and early identification of any issues
- DFW deliver an Adoption Skills Course, currently offered free to our prospective adopters who have a child placed. This is a 12 week course based on Caroline Webster Stratton’s ‘Incredible Years’, acclaimed parenting programme and adapted for the particular needs of adoptive parenting. Integral to the course, adopters attend three days of working with an artist, to work creatively with their children to apply the knowledge and techniques in a realistic setting
- At DFW we maintain strong links with all our families, through social media, a regular e-newsletter and social events throughout the year
- We have a well-established Single Adopters Support group who meet regularly and provide ongoing support, friendship and advice to each other via social media. They also offer peer support and advice to potential new single adopters
- We employ a qualified play therapist/social worker who provides non directive play therapy with children and bespoke parent/child interventions
- We also have a member of the social work team trained in using Theraplay techniques and all our social workers are trained in life story work
- Any direct work with children if not taking place in the home, can be undertaken in our fully equipped therapeutic play room based here at DFW
- We have a large number of historic adoption files and regularly compile information collated from the files for adopted adults and birth family members. People who receive this information can also request a tracing and intermediary service at a competitive price. On request we can also provide birth records counselling
- For a number of years we have facilitated letter box contact for a local authority and also provide an independent birth parent support service
Additionally we are commissioned by one local authority to manage their Post Box Service. We are also commissioned by the same local authority to provide independent support for birth families whose children are about to be or have been placed for adoption.