CatLady you are on Chick’s Mum’s list for WhatsApp group once verified - so some hope for contact. I usually have a quick look daily but even when tempted to say something give up because of the number of steps involved to actually do so! Hope everything is ok with you and KitKat and your wonderful daughter and son in law
Can the forums recover?
Safia, I think I am on Chick's Mum's list. At least, I did say I was interested when she asked. I do know just what you mean about the log in thing.. it was so easy before!
We are all well thanks, little Kitcat growing apace and keeping us all on our toes. I hope. You and yours are good too? Let's hope things get better on the forum soon. Take care xx
Its a shame, I dont think Linkmaker or AUK understand the 'customer base'. Apart from older adopters who don't want to get back in touch agencies, it excludes those prospective adopters who are in the very early days of thinking and havent got as far as an agency yet. Not to mention old friends like Lily who post in times of great need
I agree with you Serrakunda. That apparent lack of understanding of the forum users is a real shame. And as you say, it excludes many from across the adoption spectrum. I know that admin worked hard to address the early glitches, but there is a sense of lost opportunity here and I really feel for people who now can’t contribute as before, and may be in need of support.
Hi. We are very much trying to understand what users want, and are still working on changes in response to feedback. Regarding the point above, we understand that for some users with a valid need to chat (ie private message), it is not possible for us to do an identity check with a past agency or authority. We therefore announced that this is being changed so that any user can use chat.
Here are the two updates with relevant information:
Thanks for your help, Admin.
LM admins - was any research done about who the 'customers ' actually are. the AUK forums are or were very different to linkmaker.
Are there any admins/mods from AUK ? It seems to me that you have just lumped the two together without any real thought to who the users are. Its great that you have sorted some of the glitches but I think there are bigger issues.
I agree with Serrakunda - as a regular user of the AUK boards it felt to me as if the boards were very suddenly taken away - without any warning or discussion - I appreciate that you have been working on the technical issues and have managed to resolve quite a few of these but for a previous user of the AUK boards the new boards bear no resemblance to the old boards we were using - there seems to be no AUK presence at all and it is near impossible to provide the feedback and support to each other that was possible previously. It does feel as if we have been totally disenfranchised and had the boards taken over by another organisation with quite a different purpose (not in a sinister way but a different reason for existence) This is very sad for me and lots of other users who have found them to be an invaluable support and a real community of people who understand where each other are coming from. I really feel quite grief stricken about the whole thing
Deffo not auk anymore I don't care how much linkmaker say it is & it is just them managing the techie stuff ?
Just check out how long some of the 'playdate' families have been listed for.... some 2016!! Duh ? no brainer tbh...
The heart has gone & it is & 'feels' that it serves a very different purpose, one that is devoid of what the old boards were popular & well frequented for..... ????
Auk has sold out.... ?
We’re sorry to hear some of you are still feeling unsettled with the new Forum.
We’d like to reassure you that these are still very much the Adoption UK forums and we are monitoring them. We posted an update on why we moved to a new platform which can be read here: https://www.linkmaker.co.uk/forums/topic/98825 The post also highlights that there are Adoption UK moderators and how to contact them if needed.
We also mentioned that there will be an increased presence on the forum from and we plan to do this going forward. Plans are currently being developed, by our Head of Engagement – Scott, on how this will work and should start shortly, as we are keen to keep the forum as a peer-to-peer support tool as much as possible. Moderators will continue to monitor the forum and our Helpline will be checking in and responding where necessary.
Any queries you can contact the team with any concerns or feedback at onlinete[email protected] Thank you again for your continued support.
Dear Post contributors.
As per the last post by the online team over the weekend, I am posting to reassure you all that the forums are very much still a part of Adoption UK. As a user of the forums for many years myself, I appreciate each of your comments, and part of my role in the coming weeks and months is to develop the forums and (I aspire to) increase the number of contributors.
We are aware that security online is becoming an increasingly important issue for all families, and we recognise that social media is not the ideal place to be able to share some of the more challenging experiences of being an adoptive family, therefore we want to be able to provide a safe and secure space for all (challenging and positive) contributions.
The online forums will continue to develop, and I will be looking at ways to be able to work with those users who feel they would like to contribute to the developments, this will include new features, moderation, recognition and value of contributions to name a few. Some of this may take time, however, with the Link Maker partners providing their vast technical experience, we are confident that we will be able to react to developments faster than ever before, and also be able to plan developments for the future.
If you are experiencing any technical issues with the forums then please do use the [email protected] email address. If you would like to get in touch with me, whether to flag an issue, development opportunity or even to express and interest in supporting the online forum future, I can be contacted, either on the forums, or via email: [email protected]
I will be posting regularly over the coming weeks and months, and really look forward to developing a thriving safe community for members and online users.
Head of Engagement & Delivery
Scott - I think the problem is that it all feels the wrong way round. As happened last time, the forums were changed quite dramatically with no consultation that I remember, So you are left with responding to technical glitches and trying to 'fix' something that hasn't gone down well with the membership, when really there should have been research or consultation ( or better research if did take place) with the membership - both paid up AUK and otherwise - so that you knew who your 'customers' actually are and what they need.
I've been around these forums for about 10 years now. They were a source of information, help and suppor which were invaluable to me, I've made life long friends here. Its desparately sad to see them deserted like this, I think we all understand the issues about costs, but I hope that AUK can also understand that many of the older posters give a lot of time, freely, to support newer adopters. That should be of value to AUK as well as to the indivudal posters who come here seeking help and support
I understand and am definitely taking it all on board. Similarly I have been here the same time just didn’t really have the time to be a regular poster in the latter few years.
I am definitely open to taking all the feedback onboard and seeing how we can do this better. It is my responsibility to improve things, and that is exactly what I am setting out to do as a specific part of my job role. I will be posting an update in a few days once I have the first plans signed off and, please, do be assured, we know that we have been unable to resource this service as much as we would have liked over the past few years, but we know that it is an imperative part of the Peer Support that needs to be given our attention. I am available on email or of course here for anything anyone should need.
Ha ha ha.... just tried to email AUK & guess what.....have had a reply from linkmaker?,! Wtf.....
Why has auk transfered everything to linkmakers forum?? & why are they still insisting it is auk?? Bonkers ? ? ? ?
Precisely Moo! It’s so obvious there is no AUK presence whatever people say - and why would it be something that was just “planned” if it’s meant to be a AUK support forum. It should have been there in an active way from the start! The issues are not just technical - it is about the withdrawal of support for a huge number of people - and of the ability / option to provide support for others from personal experience. Adoption is not just about assessment and matching - there are lifelong very serious issues to consider and these are not necessarily clear until years later. There are so few contributors here from the old boards - and virtually all the posters are prospective / new adopters - not even those in the early stages of parenthood!
Maybe if money was the issue this could have been put to users as an alternative - that people could pay to use the forums without necessarily having full membership or that they would be sold on / taken over. It would have been nice to have had some choice and more than a few hours warning of this total disruption and need to find alternative forms of support.
Once again, thanks for your comments.
I can only attempt to reassure you once again that the forums are very much still a part of Adoption UK and it's strategy, more so now than ever. The forums are still "owned" by Adoption UK. You will know, as much as we do, that they have not been invested in for some time. Adoption UK remains very much in control of the online forums that are hosted by LinkMaker.
LinkMaker provide the platforms, technical expertise and security that is required to be able to provide an online forum these days. It is clear that whilst social media has a place, we want to create that safe and secure environment, and of course, we want nothing more than to be able to provide a supportive community driven by the users that it is provided for.
Of course, this will take time, and the move to our partnership with LinkMaker is the first step in that, and was long overdue given the security issues (mainly spam) on the previous providers platform.
Any communication from LinkMaker is dependant on the specific technical issue that may be encountered. The team at Adoption UK that were available before remain in place (they can be contacted in the same way as before or by email: onlin[email protected]), plus myself and the team at LinkMaker.
Having recently agreed to support the development, moderation and engagement on the forums, and as I said in a previous post, we are committed to ensuring that we increase support, engagement and moderation on the forums, and any plans will engage with users to ensure that we are providing according to the need.
I appreciate that you may still have some comments or queries, therefore, please do not hesitate to contact me, either here, or of course by email: [email protected]
Thanks again, and best wishes
Moo and Safia I agree absolutely. When I started reading the AUK forum a couple of years ago, and eventually posting, there was a lot of support and information from more experienced adopters, and this was very much valued. Now, as you say, the presence on the forum is much more weighted towards newer and prospective adopters. Plus the admin does appesr to be mainly Linkmaker. It all happened so quickly too!
I have been on the auk forum for a couple of years. So I am not new to this, I got to "know" people's personalities, thoughts and views through their responses on the previous boards.
I was aware of the partnership with link maker at the end of 2018 , just by researching the pages I found this information, so it was there for all to see.
Like anything new , I think it is a work in progress and it got off to a slow start and I believe the mods have read the moans and groans and responded to fix some of the issues and now that we have a latest post option , I am enjoying the boards.
on these new boards, I am taking a new stance, as I often felt intimidated before as my opinion was often shot down and it was allowed to happen as the mods were not very proactive. So hopefully, new folks and long time lurkers might feel confident about saying things.
It’s not moaning it’s how I feel. My experience is that there have been several major overhauls over the years and each time it has negatively affected the experience for users - again my view / experience - you may feel differently. I did not search around the website - just read the message boards - so would not be aware of anything written there but I would have thought that anything directly affecting the message boards should have been pointed out to users. Anyway that is how it is - good luck with the new format
Clearly AUK have allowed their forum be absorbed/morphed into linkmakers. As mojo states AUK 'talked' about new forum for agood while. But as ever the practicalities were not up for forum debate. Prolly coz AUK had no plan to oversee it as it is linkmaker!
I am sad because this is clearly linkmaker's forum that has been pasted absorbed & called AUK'S. It is obvious to us who frequented 'before' in all its many previous incarnations.
To say gitches are being ironed out, might be true but clearly bonkers as if it were AUK why would we all have to totally re-register from complete scratch. AUK have clearly stated that linkmaker are running the tech stuff. All email correspondance to me has only come from linkmaker auk clearly are not running the forum. But trying to alleviate member tension by occasionally posting. Proven if you check out the playdate area. Some playdate requests were registered as far back as 2015 ? no brainer dear frends. AUK have handed over its forum membership to linkmaker who have a totally different agenda. Hightened so called security as they are predominently looking to be linking & are family finding....understandable but not what support from AUK forum has throughout its history been all about.
I am sorry because linkmaker will not like my views & will prolly reprimand me for being correct & stating it publiicly. I mean no offence but my experidece of this forum over 15 years is enough proof to comment on the fact that this linkmaker creation is not the heart & soul support AUK has been in my 15 year experience.
Sorry but there it is....
XX moo xx
I'm not sure the move to Linkmaker is the biggest issue...though it does feel more like a transfer than a joint venture.
Its another change which was imposed rather than asking members/users what they wanted/needed and now after the event they are trying to plug gaps.
I'm not sure with the current number of posts its sustainable - in the last week just 16 threads have had any input and two of those are the fun threads of G2 and ARF - which to me means its hardly worth the effort of logging on (especially when you have to do it very frequently and its a 3 step process). Even after that, without PMs the support that can be offered is limited. This change has also meant many "old" posters have jumped ship and with them much invaluable experience has gone for those coming up behind them and needing support/advice.
I do think that AUK/Linkmaker are maybe finally listening but its possibly too little too late....
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