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I am starting up an Adopt a Grandparent/Grandchild Agency

(30 Posts)
LottieBlank Wed 23-Sep-15 11:45:15

Hi.

I am in the process of starting up an adopt a grandparent/child agency and would like to hear from anyone who may be interested. I would also like to hear from anyone who would be willing to answer some research questions regarding the 'adoption' process.

We are in the early stages, but hoping to get it up and running by the beginning of next year.

Cheers

Charlotte

FredaMayor Wed 23-Sep-15 12:56:07

OP, would you be trying to do this for profit?

I have no evidence to doubt your own motives, clearly, but personally I would not find such an enterprise ethical, and I would very much question the motives of the adults wanting to get involved, whatever their reasons it is not something to bring to the adult-child relationship.

Sorry, OP, but I do not think it is a good idea, nor would you get the authorities' backing even if you have a bottomless pit of money for insurance and future court cases, whatever safeguarding measures you think you may have put in place. It's the times we live in I'm afraid.

Wouldn't you agree that society as a whole would do much better by supporting families and social relationships rather than artificially trying to construct 'instant' family members?

LockedBox Wed 23-Sep-15 13:41:19

How would this work? Is it like a mentoring system?

WombOfOnesOwn Wed 23-Sep-15 18:22:13

I'm going to disagree with others here and say that I think this is a lovely idea. I often wished for such a thing--my own grandparents, because they had my parents late, died when I was quite young. By age 12, they were all gone, and I missed them terribly. I volunteered at old people's homes and such, but never could get much one-on-one time with the same people week after week. sad I'd have given anything for such a service back then!

ShutUpLegs Wed 23-Sep-15 18:27:22

I agree that there could be mileage in this idea - albeit not without some regulatory pitfalls...
But...
My Mum lives a long way from us (and all her grandchildren). SHe "adopted" two local kids and is basically their honorary Grandmother figure - they pop over for a cake after school, or get my Dad to help with bike maintenance, she does occasional runs to Scouts etc.. She knows its not a replacement for her own grandkids (nor is that what she is looking for) but it keeps cross-generational relationships going.
Likewise, my neighbours fulfill a similar role for my two - cake, presents, baby sitting etc..
BOth my mum and kids have a fab relationship - they wouldlike to see more of eachother.
When I ran a local Toddlr group, I tried to set up an informal relationships like this with the neighbouring sheltered housing assoc but the warden was very anti and I wsn't allowed to even put up a poster.

BibiBlocksberg Wed 23-Sep-15 19:06:59

Put me down on the interested list OP, would be delighted to adopt a grandparent (even without kids)

A bit of company for both parties, a regular chat & a cup of tea could do wonders in an age where loneliness feels like its ever on the increase.

LottieBlank Wed 23-Sep-15 20:05:30

Hi FredaMayor,

Thank you for your reply, any reply whether for or against is going to be very useful.

In response to your first question; this would be a business, but a Community Interest Company rather than a profit based company. The premise is not too dissimilar to a dating agency and I have already spoken to social services regarding this and will be working closely with them.

The idea for this came about because there are many children who do not have grandparents and many older people who do not have grandchildren.

The relationship between child and grandparent or vice versa is a very special one.

I would agree that society as a whole should support families social relationships and I firmly believe that it takes a village to raise a child. An agency where people can register their interest in finding grandparents/grandchildren in their local area is a way of supporting that.

Is it unethical to offer a chance for people to find like minded people to become a part of their family? I don't think so, but I am sure that like you, there will be others that will question it and having naysayers will be good.

There are some people out there who are very unpleasant and that we wouldn't want within a million miles of our children, but it is also known that there are no more of these unsavoury people today than there were 50, 100 or more years ago - it's just that we are more aware of them. I it also of note that they are very few and far between.

I think most of the people who would be willing to go through an investigative process, would have the right intentions and good motives and would be joining because they want to have a healthy positive relationship with the family that they connect with.

As ShutUpLegs as said, this happens anyway, but some people don't have friendly neighbours and I know my son, whose only living grandparent lives in Australia, is missing something very special that my 3 eldest children were lucky enough to have.

Yes, there are a lot of security and safety measures to put in place, but is this any less safe than letting someone down the street spend time with your children?

Please keep the dialogue going, as long as it continues to be polite and respectful, it is very welcome.

Charlotte

Duckdeamon Wed 23-Sep-15 20:08:44

I don't think you should refer to it as "adoption", which has a specific meaning and associations. A "buddying" type thing between generations sounds nice, and child safeguarding issues shouldn't mean it couldn't me done, but could also cause pain if it went wrong (for either DC, parents or older people).

Duckdeamon Wed 23-Sep-15 20:09:35

By "going wrong" I mean people falling out, not quite clicking, feeling rejected rather than anything sinister!

RaspberryOverload Wed 23-Sep-15 20:12:57

I would certainly be interested, from the POV of a family with something to offer an older person.

But my parents are still alive, although in poor health (DP's parents have died). I'd be happy to befriend a "grandparent" if I could start if off low key.

BrandNewAndImproved Wed 23-Sep-15 20:19:02

Would this be like the big brother scheme they have in the US?

I think it's a great idea.

LottieBlank Wed 23-Sep-15 20:20:53

I know that security and protection will be a key factor and I would like to post a couple of the basic measures that will be put in place.

Whilst we do not want to make it feel like prospective Grandparents/Grandchildren (Grands) have to jump through impossible hoops, child protection and safeguarding measures for both Grands are a top priority, therefore it will not be a case of signing up and off you go.

Firstly every one who would like to join would need to have a DBS check before any matching would take place.

Addresses and personal contact details of both families would be verified before contact was made. Personal contact details would not be released to either party until meetings had taken place and both parties were happy.

Obviously, an agency cannot prevent people from giving out their contact details when they meet up but there would be clear guidelines in place for initial meetings, for instance, make sure it is public place, children should not be left alone at any time with the prospective grandparent for the first few meetings. (It would also be emphasised that this is not to be used as free babysitting service).

I have been asked about disclosure and that is something I would be taking direction from Social Services and other protection agencies. Obviously it is very important that disclosures are made, but there can be some rather grey areas around confidentiality and forward disclosure to prospective Grands; regardless, our disclosure policy would be very clearly stated and easy to find.

We are also considering several other security measures including:

Home visits on both sides, this is not to check the home itself, but would be part of address verification.

Setting up the first and possibly subsequent meetings through the agency itself.

This is by no means an exhaustive list and we have other ideas and we are going to be working closely with protection agencies to make sure we have all areas covered.

I am hoping to form a panel of both potential parents and grandparents for what they would like to see in place for both safety, match making areas and how they would like the agency process to be.

Please continue to ask questions, make suggests and message me if you would like to be part of the panel and I will add you to a mailing list.

Charlotte

LottieBlank Wed 23-Sep-15 20:24:41

More replies .. keep em coming.

DuckDaemon and BrandNewAndroid, this would be more of a buddying system, the final name would not be on the lines of Adopt a Grandparent/Granchild. Names are still in the basket - a current favourite is "Glorious Grands" because it is about a two way relationship between the families and we don't want to just mention Grandparents or Grandchild in the name.

Misnomer Wed 23-Sep-15 20:26:57

I'd be interested. I've been saying for years that something like this would be a fantastic idea. I often feel guilty at the lack of grandparents in my children's lives - Sign me up!

BeccaMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 24-Sep-15 10:00:57

Hi all - we're going to pop this over to Business Start-Ups.

jaggednerves Thu 01-Oct-15 22:46:46

Hi LottieBlank
Can you please put me down as a very interested ...I have been searching for some time for something like this. I think it is an excellent idea as there are so many people living far away from grandparents or as in my case have one living close by but have very little contact with due to them being dysfunctional.

jaggednerves Thu 01-Oct-15 22:49:44

Sorry for putting my message here but I couldn't find it in Business start ups....

Piratespoo Thu 01-Oct-15 23:06:21

This could be a great way for unsavoury people to meet children. You say you ask people not to leave children alone until a few meeting down the line, then hey, go for your life and leave your dc with a virtual stranger who can get to work grooming them.
The idea in itself of older and younger people having a relationship is good. But it should naturally take place in a setting where people are known, like a church or community centre.
Having worked with children and recruiting people to work with them, dodgy people gravitate to where they can access children, and they are often the keenest to get started.

dottypotter Fri 09-Oct-15 16:25:10

I tried to start this as a charity a charity is the only way to go. You would be backed and receive grants etc, a private business is not the way, I know because I did research it. You would also have to charge so much to make any money.

Even as a charity I did not make it sadly because there are so many issues surrounding it. It is a very sensitive area and two sets of vulnerable people are involved. If you don't do this properly you can also end up in court. I have researched this thoroughly if you want to pm for more info. Nobody seems to have successfully launched this and know I know why. I even asked existing charities if they wanted to partner but they did not. Its a great idea but sadly some things have to remain as an idea for good reason.

dottypotter Fri 09-Oct-15 16:30:04

can I also say that even a DBS check will not stop people from offending. The checks only bring up the people who have offended for the first time.

There is always a first time.

dottypotter Fri 09-Oct-15 16:31:35

you do have to check the home out actually. The home has to be checked out if the child is going to visit there. It has to be suitable.

Lagoonablue Fri 09-Oct-15 16:41:54

Pah! This was my idea! Though didn't follow it up obviously.

It's got legs I think but needs careful handling.

dottypotter Fri 09-Oct-15 16:52:46

I think a lot of people have the idea, I know someone in Birmingham and Maidenhead did too, nothing has got off the ground though to much involved.

MrsC15 Sun 31-Jan-16 19:53:15

I am very interested. Have also been wanting to set something like this up just wasn't sure how etc.

I also posted on granset about it, some were interested some not.
www.gransnet.com/forums/grandparenting/1213905-Grandparents-wanted?msgid=25716545#25716545

What is the latest on this?
thanks

SabrinaBenSalmi Wed 03-Feb-16 00:02:39

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

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