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Who are we?

Parents for Children is a charity that specialises in finding loving, caring families for children with exceptional needs. We work throughout the UK to find permanent homes for children who have profound emotional, learning or physical disabilities. Without our help, many of these children would otherwise remain in residential care or face many disruptive moves in the care system.

Here is a picture of a little boy with Downs syndrome standing beside a tree. Since we began in 1976, Parents for Children has found permanent homes for over 250 children with complex needs. We were the first UK agency to find permanent families for children with Down's syndrome and our specialist service is as vital today as it was when we began. The number of children who are waiting for a loving home has not diminished and amongst the 'children who wait' are some of the most vulnerable in our society. We believe that the rise in the number of these children may be a direct reflection of the current 'binge Britain' society, leaving children permanently affected by their mothers' use of alcohol and drugs during pregnancy. Parents for Children is setting up a specialist project to support these children.

Whilst our principal aim is to find permanent homes for vulnerable children, we also realised that there was a need for families who are able to offer foster care for children with complex needs. In 1997 we began a specialised fostering service for this same group of children, mainly within a 50-mile radius of London. In this, our 30th year, we are expanding our fostering service to cover a pilot 'care and cluster' fostering project in Northamptonshire.

We know too that the lives of many children are enhanced by offering short breaks to them and their families. Established in 1998, our short breaks scheme recognises the benefits of regular breaks to adopters, children in foster care and their carers, and disabled children and young people. The care offered ranges from providing a befriending role to offering children a weekend break in the carer's home or holiday accommodation.

The pioneering and innovative practices of Parents for Children have always been matched by a commitment to disseminate lessons learned and the outcome of frequent research projects, via seminars, conferences and publications. Our experienced consultants in planning for children offer advice to other professionals and organisations.

At Parents for Children, we believe that every child deserves a family and that there is a family somewhere for almost every child.

Photo © www.johnbirdsall.co.uk