MONCTON (GNB) – The provincial government is providing an additional $82,000 to help expand a program that supports adoptive families.

The New Brunswick Adoption Foundation’s support network, also known as peer-to-peer, currently operates in Saint John, Moncton and northeastern New Brunswick thanks to the $53,000 being provided by the Department of Social Development. The additional funding will bring the provincial government’s investment to $135,000, which will allow the program to be expanded to every region of the province.

“We are extremely pleased to be able to help the New Brunswick Adoption Foundation expand this important program,” said Premier Brian Gallant. “The emotional support and education aspects of the support network are extremely important to fostering a fulfilling and positive adoption journey for the family and the child.”

The funding will allow the foundation to provide further support to families in the adoption process and it will ultimately aid in the adoption of more children who are in care.

Research has shown that peer support is extremely important to individuals who are going through an adoption as it allows them to talk to people who have had similar experiences. As well, building the capacity of prospective adoptive parents to better match the needs of waiting children is an important part of the adoption process.

In surveys completed by the New Brunswick Adoption Foundation, more than 90 per cent of post-adoptive participants said they felt more confident, competent and supported thanks to the peer-to-peer network. As well, more than 96 per cent of support network participants reported they felt more prepared to adopt a child in care after they attended an activity.

Some of the initiatives organized by the support network include monthly support groups, workshops and social events. Visits are also arranged with parents and newly adopted children in collaboration with social workers. Joint meetings are also held with adoption staff from each region and a variety of opportunities for connecting are encouraged either through social media, telephone, email, one-on-one support and monthly group support.