We recently wrote to you about the improvements that we are making to our membership and joining process and the need to update your details on the member hub.
To help with any questions that you may have about this, we have put together a list of FAQs. For any questions that have not been answered below, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
What has changed about the membership and why?
Until recently, membership to We Are Family was for anyone at Stage 2 (prospective) or beyond, of the adoption process. All members could access all digital content with less distinction between the stages of adoption and the support offered.
Membership is now open to anyone at Stage 1 (exploring) and beyond, and members at each stage will receive tailored services and communications that are more relevant to their specific needs at the point in the adoption journey at which it is useful. For example, members at:
- Stage 1 (exploring, considering adoption, stage 1 of assessment process) will have access to selected resources and a regular newsletter.
- Stage 2 (prospective, stage 2 of assessment process) will be able to access resources, attend talks and specific peer support groups and events.
- Stage 3 (approved adopter, family finding, pre-placement) will be able to access resources, attend talks and specific events aimed at family-finding peer support.
- Stage 4 (approved adopter with child/ren placed) will have full access to all of our services including peer support sessions and participation in family friendly events.
Is membership still free?
Yes, membership is and always will be free.
What is changing about the joining process?
You might be interested to know how the joining process is now slightly different and how you can direct peers to register – applications can be made via the Join Us page.
There are now multiple ways that you can join We Are Family membership:
- Route A – Social Worker validation: Your social worker, or authorised professional, can validate your adoption status. This is the primary route and should be used for all members that can validate this way.
- Route B – Self-evidencing: For those that may no longer have contact with their Assessing Authority / Adoption Agency (e.g. they adopted some years ago). In these cases only, we have a “self-evidencing” process which can be used. Full details will be provided within the sign-up process.
If none of these processes will work for your unique circumstances then please contact us directly.
Does my partner automatically get access to membership if I sign up on our behalf?
No, membership is for individuals only so each adoptive or prospective adoptive parents should make their own application.
We encourage partners to become full members in their own right in order to have access to all of the relevant services, and to grow our membership numbers which in turn increases We Are Family’s ability to be considered an important advocate for adopter’s voices.
What does partner linking mean?
To speed up the process to validate an adoptive partner, you can input your partner’s email and you will therefore become a “linked account”. Each partner will still need to create individual accounts to become a member in their own right.
Do I still need to join a local group?
No, you no longer need to join a local group but we would encourage you to consider joining one or more local or pan-We Are Family groups (from stage 2 onwards) as this is how you access the online and in-person peer support groups.
We Are Family offers groups which allow you to interact with others in your local area, and some which are designed for particular types of members (e.g. single adopters). When you join a group, you will be added to that group’s e-mailing list. You may change your group choices at any time.
Please note that you can join whichever group is geographically closest to you; you do not have to live in the borough of the group that you choose to join.
If I don’t join a local group, how do I access programmes and services?
You may be interested to know that each member that now joins We Are Family will receive a digital welcome note, providing further information about how to get the most out of membership, and will be invited to join our next New Member Event. These are online sessions and a brilliant opportunity to meet the team, learn more about the membership and services, and connect with fellow adopters.
As a current member, as long as you consent to receive emails from us, then you will receive central emails about upcoming events, training, opportunities and more. This is the best way that you access our full programme and services.
Any member that joins a local or pan-We Are Family group will also receive emails from the relevant group.
How do I tell you if my adoption status changes?
To ensure that we let you know about the most appropriate services and events for whatever stage you’re at in the adoption process, we encourage you to let us know if/when your stage changes by updating your Member Account, found within the Member Hub.
I am a current member, do I need to do anything?
Yes, in order to continue with full membership access, we ask that you take 5 minutes to update the details we hold about you. Please share with us:
- What stage you are at in your adoption process and your Assessing Authority (Please select the assessing authority that is assessing you as a potential adopter / has assessed you as an adopter NOT the placing authority if you have been through placement).
- Your mailing list preferences
- Your current contact details
Update your details now by following the link in your email or the Member Hub.
If you don’t update your details then we will not be able to send you information about forthcoming events, webinars and (if appropriate) group meetings.
Why can’t you update my details automatically?
Currently we only know about where a member is on the adoption journey (e.g. prospective, approved adopter etc ) at the point they join. To enable us to provide more tailored services and communications we need you to review and update the information that we hold.
Also, due to a recent change from the Information Commissioner’s Office, the promotion of a charity’s aims and objectives is now classed as marketing and therefore we need members to specifically consent to being contacted via email with information about our services and events.
Why do you ask for my proof of status as an adopter and what do you do with the documents that I provide?
If you are applying for Stage 4 membership, you are given the choice of being able to “self-evidence” your application (rather than asking your social worker to). This option is available to you if you are joining at Stage 4 and may have already adopted (in some cases, this could have been a long time ago) and therefore you may no longer have contact with your Social Worker.
“Self-evidencing” means that you are asked to provide evidence that you have already adopted, and proof of your identity. We Are Family asks for this as a simple security step so that they know that applicants are genuine adopters.
Once you have uploaded your documents, We Are Family will review the application and, providing there are no questions, we will “validate” the application and you will then be notified that your application has been approved.
The action of validating the application automatically removes the documents from the system so that no confidential or sensitive information is retained.
What happens if I don’t consent to receiving emails from We Are Family?
Being on our email list enables you to make the most of your membership. It’s the best way to hear about what’s going on and how you can get involved. You are of course welcome to opt-out, however you won’t receive any emails from We Are Family about our resources, webinars, events and training.
You can choose to receive blog updates separately and can update your mailing list preferences at any time via your Member Account, found within the Member Hub.
What happens if I don’t update my details?
Until you update your details, you will have limited access to the Member Hub and programme of events, including not being able to attend Talks and Events for those at Stage 2 (prospective) and beyond.
Is there a deadline to update my details?
The sooner you update your details, the sooner you can make the most of your full membership access. We will email you up to 3 times to remind you, at which point if you have not updated your details you will need to do so via your Member Account, found within the Member Hub.
What do I do if I want to end my We Are Family membership?
To end your We Are Family membership, please email email@example.com.
I have a peer that would like to join – what should I send them?
Please direct them to follow the steps on the Join us page.
For any questions that have not been answered above, please email firstname.lastname@example.org