A FRESH call is being made for families in West Somerset to step forward to give permanent homes to children presently in the care of Somerset County Council.
The appeal has been timed to coincide with the start on Monday, November 10, of National Adoption Week.
The county council is hoping that the week of awareness will encourage more people to put themselves forward as adoptive parents.
The authority is particularly looking for families who can adopt children aged over five years, and it welcomes applications from all sections of the community.
It currently has 17 children aged from nine months to nine years who are waiting for an opportunity to live permanently with a new family.
The four girls and 13 boys include one sibling group of three, and four sibling groups of two.
Linda Barnett, head of children’s social care at the council, said: “The process for becoming an adoptive parent is rigorous, and so it should be.
“But there are no blanket bans so please do not think we will turn you down because you are over-40, single, or because you do not own your own home.
“We need people who can offer a loving and supportive family for life.”
Information about adopting in Somerset will be available at a drop-in session being held on Friday, November 14, between 10.30 am and 1 pm in North Street Church, North Street, Taunton.
County portfolio holder for strategic services for children and young people,
Councillor Pauline Clarke, said: “It is a sad fact that some children are unable to stay with their birth family for all sorts of reasons.
“The council is hoping potential adoptive parents will come forward to give these children the best possible chance to restart their lives.”
National Adoption Week aims to raise awareness of adoption and encourage potential parents to come forward.
There are about 4,000 children in the UK who need adoption every year.
Anybody who believes they have what it takes to become an adoptive parent should contact the county council by calling the freephone number 0800 587 9900 or visiting www.somerset.gov.uk/adoption.