Circles

We Are Family

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How do I join WAF?

We’d love for you to join us. Begin by finding your nearest group and contact them. You will find a map of all our groups here

Please state in your email your name and stage within the adoption process. We will also need your social worker's email address so that we can verify your status as an adopter or prospective adopters from stage 2 onwards, for obvious security reasons.

Once that has happened the WAF volunteer from your nearest group will email you to confirm you are now a WAFer.

We also need you to confirm that you are happy to be on our mailing list as that is presently the main way that we communicate. An email is fine.


At what stage can I join WAF?

You can join WAF once you have reached stage 2 of the adoption assessment.


How do I join the Prospective Adopters' Group?

Once you have joined one of our local groups, you can join our Pan-London Prospective Adopters’ Group. They meet monthly in a central London location.


How do I join the Single Adopters' Group?

Once you have joined one of our local groups, you can join our Pan-London single adopters group. They meet monthly. 

This is exclusively a forum for single parents, male and female. Couples are asked to join one of our Parent Support Groups.

Single, prospective adopters are advised to join the Prospective Adopters Group.


Is there a creche for my child while I am at the parent support?

The single adopters have made private arrangements for child minding at the premises, while the parents chat in a nearby room. The cost is £10 per family - we hope soon to be able to subsidise this.


Does WAF need to be Ofsted registered?

No. While we hope that WAF events do provide valuable sharing of information, they do not aim to provide the learner with any certification or recognised qualification, or otherwise educate.

Where there are children present at our activities they are with their parents.

Sometimes WAF co-run workshops are courses with Ofsted-registered partners, in which case the professional educational part sits with our partner.


There isn’t a WAF group in my area, can I join another?

Do get in touch with us! We operate a very open geo-policy, and have several members from outside the capital and other areas where there doesn’t seem to be much in terms of the support network.

There may be networks in your area. It is always worth asking your local authority if they are aware of any, as there are many user-led informal groups up and down the country.

Other organisations also run peer-led support networks. For instance Adoption UK, who run many user-led groups all over Great Britain. Or Home for Good, a specifically Christian organisation.  

If you know of other organisations that we should refer to here or elsewhere on our site, please let us know.


How do I start a WAF group in my area?

Please get in touch with WAF via enquiries form for more information. We are currently working on a toolkit that will provide the details.


How can I volunteer for WAF?

Yes please! The more the merrier. There are many ways of contributing. Either locally or centrally. All our groups have a steering group so it is a good place to start by contacting your local head via your local WAF group email listed here.

Can I join the playgroup?

Yes. If you have a kid - usually playgroups are for children under five. Older children may enjoy our family days, which run monthly in many part of  London, on a weekend day.

Check if there is a playgroup in your area. Even if there isn’t - we may have contact with local playgroups that are adopter-friendly.

In some areas adopters have got together via WAF to form their own coffee morning groups with the tots.


Can I join the parent group?

Yes please, the groups are open to adoptive parents from matching onwards, only. Prospective adopters from stage 2 are invited to join our Prospective Adopters' Group.

Single adopters can join our group just for them (no couples allowed).


What is the parent group?

It is a friendly space to meet with like-minded people over a nice cuppa. Usually on a weekday evening. We value this listening zone, for its non-judgmental atmosphere and the opportunity to air fears, worries and successes.

We have decided to keep it to parents only, with no professionals present, since their presence does change the dynamics.

Some Local Authorities also run support groups. Do contact them if you would like to check such a group out. In addition, there are also be a user-led adopters group in many parts of the country that you might like to join.


I feel very emotional when I speak about my children or my adoption journey, can I still come to the parent group?

Yes! Definitely. We have tissues… lots of them.

Talking about all the difficult stuff that so many people around us don’t understand is where we started. It is why we started! Creating a space to share the unvarnished truth about home life is what we do. And crying is a regular feature! As is anger, frustration and laughter. We have a lot of black humour in the group.


My child displays some pretty extreme behaviour. Can I bring this to the group?

Yes. Definitely. We offer to be a place where parents can speak openly and honestly about the difficult stuff. Our threshold for extreme stories is very high, having lived or heard tough stories before. Please don't let issues such as CPV or embarassement of what you might feel or do - or not - keep you from coming. We know and recognise those feelings. We strive for a highly non-judgemental atmosphere.


How often do WAF meet?

Once you are a member, we will keep you informed about upcoming events.

WAF has many meet ups every week across the capital. The actual activities depends on the local groups itself, and so will vary from group to group. Many groups send out a regular fridge sheet (to print out and stick on your fridge ;)) with all our activities listed.

All our WAF activities are regular - weekly, monthly, bimonthly or annually. We have support groups for adoptive parents, prospective adopters, single adopters, plus playgroups for younger children and a weekend meet up for older children and working parents. We also host seasonal parties and socials.

Some activities take place in the evening, some are in the day time.

Most are on weekdays, but the family meet ups are generally on weekends.


Does it cost anything?

Nope. WAF runs with free but registered membership.

Except... where we have a presence at an existing playgroup there may be a small fee towards the running of the playgroup.


My child is a teenager can I still join WAF?

Yes. WAF welcomes all adopters and adoptive families.


I adopted many years ago. Can I join WAF?

Yes of course! We see a growing number of ‘older’ adopters joining us these days.


How is WAF governed?

We have a governing Board with a Chair, Deputy Chair, Board Secretary and a total 10 Trustees (the Chair and Deputy Chair are also trustees). All board members are volunteers and meet every two months. You can find a little more information here.


How is WAF staffed?

WAF runs entirely by volunteers, all adoptive parents or prospective adopters.