Husband and wife police duo launch adoption and fostering network
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A new adoption and fostering support network has been set up at Leicestershire Police as a way of providing support and advice to current or prospective adopters and fosterers.
Sergeant Chris Gorman and Inspector Siobhán Gorman set up the network after adopting their child. Since going through their own personal journey, they decided it would be valuable to others if a specialised network was set up across the force.
Chris has worked for Leicestershire Police for 19 years and currently works in the Firearms Department. Siobhán is the NPA (Neighbourhood Policing Area) Commander for Wigston and Market Harborough and has been in the force for 17 years.
The adoption process began for them both in 2014 after going through an emotional rollercoaster journey of their own.
Siobhán said: “We had explored adoption on several occasions and decided this was the route we would still go down. With Chris and I both working for the police, we deal with some tragic circumstances, so it was important for us to give a child a nurturing, stable and loving home.
“A memorable moment for me was when our adopted child started pre-school and stood in the middle of the footpath and shouted, ‘I love you mum!’ ”
Currently, the team is made up of 15 peer supporters from a range of backgrounds, such as same sex couples, those with mixed race heritage, those who have been through the care system and those who have already adopted/fostered.
The aim of the Adoption and Fostering Support network is to provide guidance to those thinking about adoption and fostering and to those who may have already adopted or fostered a child. The network also supports those who have been in the care system themselves, wishing to share their personal journey, like Tim McKagan who works as a Sergeant in the Custody Suite at Leicestershire Police.
Tim was a ‘cared for child’, which meant he was in and out of the care system for all of his childhood. At just six months old, Tim was put into an orphanage and was later adopted at five years old. However for Tim, his adoption journey wasn’t successful and he spent the rest of his childhood in various care homes.
He said: “As a child I dreamt of having a ‘normal’ upbringing, but on reflection I wouldn’t change anything about my first 18 years. Although the adoption journey didn’t work out for me, it has given me a special insight and passion to try and help others.
“Foster parents and adoptive parents are vital to bringing some positivity to the lives of those who have had complicated starts in life.”
Siobhán and Chris Gorman said: “Adoption and fostering is about big life decisions and having a network that can offer support is of great benefit for the wellbeing of staff. Having been through the process ourselves we know the stresses and strains it can place on people.
“We recognised that there are people within our organisation who may need this confidential and unofficial support from others who understand.”
If you wish to speak to someone or would like to support the network, please contact: A&FSN@leicestershire.pnn.police.uk